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    Venue

    Boston Public Library

    700 Boylston Street
    Copley Square
    Boston, MA 02116

    Phone: 617-536-5400

    Official Website

    boston-public-library-at-copley-square.jpg

    Founded in 1848, by an act of the Great and General Court of Massachusetts, the Boston Public Library (BPL) was the first large free municipal library in the United States. Amenities include a restaurant and café, a peaceful inner courtyard, several comfortable and wifi accessible inviting reading areas.

    Among the better known treasures of the Central Library in Copley Square are:

    Bates Hall...

    Founded in 1848, by an act of the Great and General Court of Massachusetts, the Boston Public Library (BPL) was the first large free municipal library in the United States. Amenities include a restaurant and café, a peaceful inner courtyard, several comfortable and wifi accessible inviting reading areas.

    Among the better known treasures of the Central Library in Copley Square are:

    Bates Hall
    Acknowledged by many to be architecturally one of the most important rooms in the world, Bates Hall features a majestic barrel-arched ceiling enclosed by half domes on each end, English oak bookcases, busts of eminent authors and Bostonians, and a richly carved limestone balcony. The hall, located on the second floor of the McKim building, is named in honor of Joshua Bates, a London merchant banker born in Weymouth, MA, who in 1852 gave the Boston Public Library $50,000 for the purchase of books.

    The Chavannes Gallery
    Painted by the renowned French artist Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, exquisite murals adorn the walls of the McKim building's grand staircase and second floor gallery. The central mural depicts "The Muses of Inspiration Hail the Spirit of Light." Eight stairway murals representing the main disciplines of poetry, philosophy, and science complete this allegorical cycle.

    The Abbey Room
    Murals titled the "Quest of the Holy Grail," by American artist, Edwin Austin Abbey, grace the walls of the Abbey Room on the second floor of the McKim building. The murals are composed of a series of 15 panels featuring 150 life-sized figures illustrating the Arthurian legend. The room also features a beautiful fireplace of French rouge antique marble, dark oak wainscoting, and a beamed ceiling modeled after one in the library of the Doge's Palace in Venice.

    The Sargent Gallery
    Located on the 3rd floor are spectacular murals painted by John Singer Sargent. The theme of this unusual series is the development of world religions. Sargent considered this effort to be his most important work. Distinctly different from his well-known portraits of distinguished Americans and Europeans and his delicate landscapes, Sargent painted in the style of Italian Renaissance frescos by incorporating the architectural detail of the building into the work.

    Library Tours
    The library offers tours highlighting the architecture of Charles Follen McKim and Philip Johnson, as well as the many works of famed sculptors and painters. The tours last about an hour and are given by volunteer guides. For a list of currently scheduled tours click here.

     



    Full map and directions


    Hours:

    Central Library hours can be found here:
    http://www.bpl.org/general/hours.htm


    Parking Information:

    By subway

    • Green Line to Copley Station.
    • Orange Line to Back Bay/South End Station. Walk down Dartmouth Street to Copley Square.

    By car
    Interstate 93 (from north or south) Take Storrow Drive exit. Take Copley Square exit off of Storrow Drive. The exit deadends at a signal light. The cross street is Beacon. Take a right on Beacon Street. While on Beacon Street, you will cross Berkeley, Clarendon, and Dartmouth Streets. The next street is Exeter. Take a left onto Exeter (it is a one-way street). While on Exeter, you will cross Marlborough Street, Commonwealth Avenue, and Newbury Street. The next cross street is Boylston. The Library is on the corner of Exeter and Boylston Streets.

    Mass Pike (Interstate 90) Come all the way into the city on the Mass Pike. Take the Copley Square exit (the sign will read: Prudential Center, Copley Square). The exit road will split, follow the Copley Square (right) lane. You will exit the tunnel onto Stuart Street. You will be on the right hand side of the street. Move to the lane furthest left. Take the left at the next light, Dartmouth Street (approximately 500 feet from the tunnel exit). The Library is on the left of Dartmouth Street, after the next light (approximately 500 feet).


    There is no accessibility service information available at this time.


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