31 in 31 of Your Favorite Buildings in Boston: #4

The Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center, 100 Malcolm X Boulevard, Roxbury, MA 02120

Dr. Sami Angawi; Steffian Bradley Architects; Sasaki Associates (traffic study), 2008

 I was inspired to highlight 31 buildings in Boston in 31 days after the architecture blog A Daily Dose of Architecture . Not only was I going to highlight 31 buildings, but 31 of Bostonian’s favorite buildings. This is the series.

About the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center:

Given the tremendous media coverage of the “Ground Zero Mosque” in New York City, everyone from the money starving real estate tycoon of Donald Trump to my next door neighbor has formulated an opinion on this issue. Unfortunately, the mosque has drawn out the worst in Americans, it has exposed the insensitivity and religious intolerance that persists in the United States, but worst of all, it has targeted Islam as the enemy. Why can’t we move beyond this? Are we not better than this?

The Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center in Roxbury was no different than the project proposed for New York City in terms of negative media coverage. In spite of the opposition, the Islamic Center in Boston was able to revitalize a corner of Roxbury once used as a loitering field. The building has truly become a shining gem in the city. Every morning while on my way to work,  I go past the mosque and I’m reminded that hard work and perseverance always pays off in beautiful ways.

This building is not only significant for many people in Boston as you can see from this poll, but also to me since I wrote an architectural guidebook entry for a seminar I took on Boston Architecture at Boston University taught by the amazing, Professor Keith Morgan. I’ve visited the mosque on many occassions and spoke with those who use the building as well as those who work in it and I have nothing but praise for their hospitality and tremendous help. To read my entry, you can do so here.

On a side note, I should also mention that Discover Roxbury, a local not for profit organization caught on to this poll and posted a link to their Facebook profile, hence the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center making the 31 in 31 list.

View looking east

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3 Comments

  1. I always thought the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center was an outstanding building, a contemporary interpretation of Muslim architectural tradition. I especially love the tower, which appears older than it is, as a testament to historical tradition dating back to the time of Mohammed. A great choice for #3 in 31!

    Reply
  2. I’ve never seen this building before. It is really fantastic, clearly paying homage to both Boston and Eastern architectural traditions. Very beautiful.

    As to your question, sadly, we aren’t better than this. Small-mindedness seems to be on the advance. The truly American thing would be to embrace a center such as this or the one proposed for New York. Unfortunately, voices of the intolerant dominate what we hear above the din.

    Reply
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