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MIT Museum acquires archives of Kallmann, McKinnell & Wood Architects

Designers of the 'sixth greatest building in American history'
Pencil sketch of the Back Bay MBTA Station, opened in 1987.
Pencil sketch of the Back Bay MBTA Station, opened in 1987.
Designed by Kallmann, McKinnell and Wood.

The MIT Museum has acquired the archives of Kallmann, McKinnell & Wood Architects, one of Boston’s — and the nation’s — pre-eminent architectural practices.

The highly respected firm began in 1962 when the city of Boston selected the design of the new city hall by Kallmann McKinnell and Knowles in a nationwide competition involving 286 architects. (Henry Wood joined the firm in 1965.) The building received instant national and international recognition and, in a poll of architects and historians sponsored by the AIA, it was voted the sixth greatest building in American history.

Among its many laurels, the firm has won Boston’s Harleston Parker Award six times, awarded jointly by the Boston Society of Architects (BSA) and the City of Boston for design of ‘the most beautiful building’ in Boston’s metropolitan area. (Since the award was created in 1923, no other architect has won the medal that many times).

"This acquisition adds substantially to our 20th century collections," says Gary Van Zante, curator for architecture and design at the MIT Museum, "and to our documentation of Boston buildings. Our challenge is to bring this extraordinary resource into active use in the architectural curriculum."

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