The Prudential Center: An Architectural Eyesore That Saved Downtown Boston



The boxy Prudential Center, built in the 1960s, has never been a darling of architecture critics. But Yale University architectural historian Elihu Rubin says the massive redevelopment project represents a key historical moment when — at the height of white flight and automobile sprawl — a mega-corporation made an unlikely investment in the future of cities.

In his new book, “Insuring the City: The Prudential Center and the Postwar Urban Landscape,” Rubin argues that the Prudential Center has proved itself to be an adaptable, flexible landscape that made the jump from the automotive metropolis of its origin to the dense, pedestrian and transit -based city of today.


  • Elihu Rubin, assistant professor of architecture and urbanism, Yale School of Architecture

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Host Meghna Chakrabarti introduces us to newsmakers, big thinkers and artists and brings us stories of relevance to Bostonians here and around the region. Live every weekday at 3 p.m. and 10 p.m.

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