If you are in Boston and you are hanging out with your photographer friend and he says you “have” to go see (and photograph) the Boston Public Library, you’d be an idiot to disregard those words.
About a million thank-yous to my friend Don Toothaker for his very sound advice. I never would have given the library a second thought; Don’s other advice was to slow down and look at the details. I did that, too, but it’s the feeling of this spectacular space that has stayed with me. It’s so classic, so classical, so hushed. Kind of like church, only with books and reading tables. And fewer hymns.
Boston Public Library
I made a lot of photos on my trip to Boston, and this one is emerging as one of my favorites.
The place that amazing arrow is pointing to – Durgin-Park – closed down in early 2019. It had a long run, from its start in 1827, but even 192 year old places are vulnerable. If you’ve got time, you might want to read this article about the place. And if you read it, pay special attention to the quotes from Gina Schertzer, who worked there for 43 years. She makes her opinions pretty clear (and may also provide some credibility to another article I read that described the service as “sometimes surly.”