City Hall Plaza is a cold, windy, 56-acre concrete plaza, surrounded by government office buildings. Occupying the site of the former Scollay Sq, the plaza was supposed to be a model of innovation and modernization when it was built in the 1960s. But it has been much maligned, topping at least one list of the world’s ugliest buildings. The plaza hosts food trucks, public gatherings and occasional summertime performances.
Designed by IM Pei, City Hall Plaza is home to the fortress-like Boston City Hall and the twin towers of the John F Kennedy Federal Building. The plaza’s high points are the gracefully curved brick Sears Crescent, one of the few buildings that remains from the Scollay Sq days, and the sweeping curve of the modern Center Plaza, which mirrors Sears Crescent.