"Isn't a courthouse supposed to celebrate the dignity and discipline of the law by means of architecture that is sober and, well, maybe even a little grim, a little frowning?
A new federal courthouse here breaks all those rules. Designed by the well-known architect Moshe Safdie, who operates out of Somerville and Cambridge, it's one of the most inviting public buildings I've ever seen.
The courthouse stands on a major street, State Street. It's pretty much in the middle of an informal civic center, surrounded by handsome older buildings - a cathedral, an armory, a library, a museum, all of which are surfaced in dark stone or red brick. In the middle of this sober architectural party, the new courthouse seems to spiral out like a ballerina. It's white, it's delicate, and it sweeps across the site in a long curve, very much a star attraction on a civic stage."