Boston Public Library

We have been looking for a place that would appeal to adults and the kids. The weather forecast was hot and humid so we would prefer to be indoors. Since we are staying in the Back Bay area, we need something close. The Prudential Mall is out of the question. The Boston Public Library in Copley Square checks all that requirement.

Built in 1895, the library design is based on the Renaissance style similar to Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris. It includes a large reading room and an open air central courtyard. It was the first urban library building in the nation.






We inquired on the Library tour but was told that there is a toddler story time in the open courtyard. I was surprised that my kids were quiet and listening to the storyteller.




Afterwards, we started to walk around the building. We skipped the tour.




I like this idea of an open area courtyard that look like cloisters. You can enjoy the outdoors on a nice weather. It is like a small park.




Then we stepped in the reading room called Bates Hall.


Nostalgia just hit me when I found traces of old fashioned library tool such as this card cabinet. I used to work for a library in my college days.




Then we look into the murals outside Bates Hall. It is by Puvis de Chavannes called Muses Welcoming the Genius of Enlightenment. 




Going up the 3rd floor is the John Singer Sargent murals titled Triumph of Religion. It is his largest scale mural in which he worked on for thirty years. The sky lights on the roof make it possible to have the colors on the murals look vivid.




By the grand staircase, there were two large lions that were dedicated to the 2nd and 20th Massachusetts Volunteer Regiments of the Civil War.





The Boston Public Library has two sections: McKim building (the old library) and the Johnson building (the new one). Both libraries were connected by a walkway.



There is a large Children's Library inside the Johnson Building. They have books and ample space for toddlers to run and play.



We happened to attend a bubble presentation in the afternoon. My daughter even participated on the exhibition by standing inside a giant bubble.



I would recommend visiting the Boston Public Library at least once. Walk around the McKim Building, look around the reading rooms and the murals. There is a space for kids if you need a safe place for them to move around. We might stop by again if we are in the area. Maybe next time, I will sign up for the tour.

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