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For Boston City Hall’s 50th Birthday, a Commemorative Pin

The city’s most polarizing building is now officially middle-aged and a couple of fans have reproduced a pin that was given out during its opening week celebrations in 1969.
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(Shannon McLean/OverUnder)

On February 10, 1969, one of the most iconic Brutalist buildings in the United States opened to the public. When Boston City Hall was completed, the city celebrated with a week-long run of celebrations, from a concert by the Boston Pops to a performance by the Boston Ballet, finished by a champagne toast. Attendees received a metal lapel pin as a memento.

Now, the building, designed by architects Kallmann, McKinnell & Knowles, is 50—and the pin is back. Joyce Linehan, chief of policy for Boston’s Mayor Marty Walsh, still has an original pin, which local designers Chris Grimley and Shannon McLean used as the basis for a reproduction. Their new pins, cast in bronze and hand-patina’d, depict the reverse-ziggurat structure as it might look warmed up by the sun.