An 80-storey skyscraper designed by one of today’s biggest names, the Italian architect Renzo Piano, has triggered a roaring battle in Boston. Paul Rudolph’s 1960 Blue Cross/Blue Shield office building could be demolished to make way for Piano’s Trans National headquarters, against the will of preservationists who see the building as a seminal example of mid-century Modernism.
On March 13 the Boston Landmarks Commission plans to consider the developer of the new skyscraper’s application for a demolition permit for the Rudolph building, at 133 Federal Street, in the city’s financial district, the New York Times reported.
In an interview, Mr. Piano said he wanted his tower to have a “light presence,” hovering above the proposed 70-foot-high public plaza. Without the vast open space, he said, his tower will seem too aggressive, and only demolition of the Rudolph building will make that wide plaza possible.