Public Library, Boston

4.5 out of 5 stars 13 Reviews

700 Boylston St., Boston MA 02116 617-536-5400

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  • Public Library
    by machomikemd
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    by machomikemd
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  • machomikemd's Profile Photo

    Boston Public Library Beside Old South Church

    by machomikemd Written Jul 12, 2014

    Around the Famous Landmarks around Copley Square are two structures side by side that is only separated by Bolyston Street and Darthmouth Street, these are the Old South Church and one of the Boston Central Public Library Central, McKim Building, a little further walk is the Johnson Building Part of the Boston Central Public Library.

    This location in Copley Square is the Central Branch of the Boston Public Library of which it has more than 22 branches around Boston and the Suburbs. The McKim Building lies in front of Copley Square and the Johnson Building is at the Back Side and if you are into free reading or if you want to do FREE WIFI, you can hang around the public library.

    Hours: monday to Thursdays: 9:00 am to 6:00 pm
    saturdays: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
    Sundays: 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm

    Bus Trolley Stop at Copley Station
    Nearest Public MBTA: Copley Station and Boston Back Bay Station.

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    BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY

    by ViajesdelMundo Updated Sep 15, 2012

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    This Library is such a delight full of magnificent art every step you take from the vestibule, with vaulted ceiling of pink Knoxville marble where there is a bronze statue of the Governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1636-37, Sir Harry Vane;
    through the Entrance Hall of Roman design, vaulted ceiling covered with a marbe mosaic;
    up the ivory gray marble Main Staircase with the twin lions, which are memorials to Massachusetts Civil War infantry regiments;
    to the Puvis de Chavannes Gallery on the second floor, whose murals decorate that area, also of yellow Siena marble;
    to the Abbey room, featuring Edwin Austin Abbey's "The Quest of the Holy Grail". This room s 64 ft long, 33 ft wide with a ceiling of heavy ornamental rafters.

    There are a few other smaller, lesser rooms, and then the SARGENT GALLERY, where John Singer Sargent spent years decorating its walls with a powerful mural sequence, "Triumph of Religion";it is 84 ft long, 23 ft wide and 26 ft high, with an absence of windows.

    Then there is the WIGGIN GALLERY, for special collections; evidently has many work of both American and European artists of 19th and 20th Centuries, but we did not get to this room.

    The Courtyard's Promenade is a facsimile of the arcade of the Cancelleria Palace in ROME.

    There is an hour's FREE tour at varying hours, meeting in the McKim entrance hall, just inside the Dartmouth St entrance, October thru May.

    from Boylston Road LIONS sculpted of unpolished Siena Marble BATES HALL Reading Roon Courtyard &bronze fountain,BACCHANTE & INFANT FAUN Arcaded Promenade
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    Boston Public Library

    by cjg1 Updated Jan 20, 2010

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    The Boston Public Library was completed in 1895 and is a large, impressive structure. The building was designed in the Italian Renaissance style by Charles Follen McKim. The building is a National Historic andmark and has beautiful ceilings, artwork and architectural designs.

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    Boston Public Library

    by Jefie Updated Jun 1, 2008

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    For someone who spent 6 years studying English literature, visiting the Boston Public Library was almost like walking into a sacred temple! But even if you don't care about books as much as I do, you'll still enjoy visiting the BPL, if only for its amazing architecture. Founded in 1848, the BPL was America's first public library, and it still remains the largest in the country today. Some of the greatest American artists of the 19th century contributed through their paintings or sculptures to making the library one of the finest buildings in Boston.

    Admission is free so you should really take a few minutes to roam around the library, snap a few pictures, and visit the temporary exhibits (we caught a great one on Champlain's America, in which I learned that my hometown was originally identified on maps as "Matane's boobies" ?!?). The Boston Public Library is open from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm from Monday to Thursday, and from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm on Friday and Saturday.

    Main reading room at the BPL Boston Public Library's grand staircase Boston Public Library Bust of Henry James at the BPL
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    The Boston Public Library

    by Paul2001 Written Aug 2, 2007

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    Rarely is the local public library a worthy must-see experiences but Boston is home to one those few urban wonders. The Boston Public Library was built in 1852 in the manner of an Italian Renaissance palazzi and for this reason it compliments the two nearby churches. The facade is striking however it is only a small indicator of the wonders inside of this building. Upon entering you come across a magnificent staircase that leads you to second floor. The staircase is flanked by very fine murals painted by Pierre Puvis de Chavannes. The murals depict the four great expressions of humanity, poetry, history, philosophy and science. The staircase ends at one of the great rooms in Boston, the Bates Hall Reading Hall. This is a reference library reading room and features a stunning barrel vaulted 50 foot high ceiling. I was thinking that it must be difficult to study in such amazing surroundings without looking up at the ceiling. From here you can take another stairwell up to the third floor. Here there are more murals, this time by John Singer Sargent, one of my favourite American painters. The murals are fascinating and depicting themes from Judaism and Christianity. Beyond this main building is a large cloister also resembling a Renaissance structure. This cloister leads you to the Johnson Building which is the actual "library" here where you can withdraw books. It serves as the headquarters of the Boston Library system.
    Beyond the artworks and architecture, the Boston Public Library also has a merited collection of historical documents and rare books. During my visit there was interesting touring exhibition about Alexandre Vattemare, who created the first exchange between libraries and museums.
    Admission is free to the Boston Public Library. It is open from 9am to 9pm from Monday to Thursday, 9am to 5pm on Friday and Saturday and from 1pm to 5pm on Sundays.

    The Bates Reading Hall The Boston Public Library Mural by John Singer Sargent Another mural. More murals
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    Boston Public Library

    by shiran_d Written Jul 12, 2003

    For more than 150 years, the Boston Public Library has pioneered public library service in America with revolutionary ideas and famous firsts. Established in 1848, the BPL was the first publicly supported municipal library in America, the first public library to lend a book, the first to have a branch library and the first to have a children’s room.

    Public Library
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  • Boston Public Library

    by zChris Updated Jun 25, 2003

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    On the other side of Copley Square are two more Boston landmarks. The first is the beautiful Italian-Renaissance palazzo style Boston Public Library, which is adorned with sculptures and inscriptions. The interior is no less spectacular, in fact it far exceeds the facade in impressiveness, with a grand staircase. Further within is the inner courtyard, with its arcades and statuary, resembling the cloister of a medieval monastery. Across Bolyston Street from the library is the confusingly named New Old South Church. When the congregation of the Old South Meetinghouse downtown moved here in the mid 19th century, the parish kept its name, becoming the New Old South. The soaring gothic revival church is wonderfully adorned. The interior is nice as well.

    Public Library

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    Boston Public Library

    by dinhyen Updated Oct 1, 2002

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    Boston is home to many "first"s, and the Boston Public Library is no exception. The first public library in America, the BPL occupies an elegant building in the heart of Boston. The main building facing Copley Plaza was designed by Charles McKim and is noted for its perfect proportions and classical elegance. The facade boasts graceful arched windows, magnificent carvings, and a row of graceful wrought-iron lanterns. The two statues on both sides of the entrance, sculpted by Boston artist Bela Pratt, represent Art and Science.

    Enter, and you're in the main entrance hall, of Roman motif. The vaulted ceiling, covered in marble mosaic, is inscribed with the names of 30 famous Bostonians. The white marble floor leads to the magnificent main staircase. Most sriking is its surface. The walls are made of "richly variegated yellow Siena marble" and the steps are made from "ivory gray Echaillon mottled with fossil shells". Two great lions, reclined on pedestals, are the work of Louis St. Gaudens and dedicated to the Massachusetts 2nd and 20th Volunteer Infantry Regiments which fought in the Civil War.

    But the best is yet to come. The BPL is known for its decorated galleries and lobbies. The most spectacular is the Sargent Gallery, named after the famous American painter John Singer Sargent, who spent years decorating it. The splendid mural sequence depicts "Judaism and Christianity".

    The McKim building contains an unexpected delight. At the top of the Main Staircase, visitors can look down upon the wide, airy inner courtyard. The other 3 sides of the courtyard are enclosed by an arcade which is a copy of the arcade of the Cancelleria Palace in Rome. In the center of the courtyard is a clear pool with waterfountains surrounding a bronze statue, "Bacchante and Infant Faun", by Frederick MacMonnies.

    Courtyard and

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    Boston Public Library

    by rids Written Aug 25, 2002

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    Boston Public Library
    Like a visit to an art gallery. The Boston Public Library was founded in 1848 as America's first major free municipal library. Its current location in Copley Square is composed of two interconnected structures: the building designed by Charles Follen McKim and completed in 1895, and the Philip Johnson-designed building added in 1972. (Johnson is the same architect who designed the Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth, Texas.) The McKim Building is used to store the library's research materials, and is kept open to the public both as a historical site and a functioning research library.
    Take a look at my Library Travelogue for a photo tour.

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  • Gypsystravels's Profile Photo

    Library Facade

    by Gypsystravels Updated Sep 1, 2006

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    Located in Copley Square, across from Trinity Chruch you will find the Boston Library.

    More to follow.

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    Lovely Building

    by EdinburghRoc Updated Oct 24, 2005

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    Take the lift to the top [admire it its very old] and see the Mural by John Sargent.
    Its a nice building inside and worth a look see.

    Inside  view of Boston library Inside view of Boston library, a place of quite
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  • jltan's Profile Photo

    Boston Public Library

    by jltan Written Oct 4, 2003

    Boston, being 'an intellectual city' as it is, boasts to have the first public library in America.

    Its building is very prominent in Copley Square.

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    Boston Public Library Main Staircase

    by dinhyen Written Oct 1, 2002

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    The reclining lion statues are dedicated to the 2nd and 20th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiments.

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