The Moody Hancock
I took this dead-center approach to photographing the 62 story, 790 ft. Hancock Tower from across the Charles, on the Longfellow Bridge. I’ve been photographing the 1.3 billion dollar building (at its historically highest price point) for roughly 23 years. Hancock Tower is one of those buildings that seems to be visible every time you raise your camera skyward, in Boston.
It is said Hancock Tower was envisioned as a minimalist design. Yet, the original plans had to be modified to prevent the tower from casting its shadow on Boston’s Trinity Church, a National Historic Landmark. The building’s designer Henry N. Cobb, added a geometric modernist twist by using a parallelogram shape for the tower floor plan. From the most common views, this design makes the corners of the tower appear very sharp. The highly reflective window glass is tinted slightly blue, which results in the tower having only a slight contrast with the sky on a clear day. As a final modernist touch, the short sides of the parallelogram are marked with a deep vertical notch, breaking up the tower’s mass and emphasizing its verticality. In late evening, the vertical notch to the northwest catches the last light of the sky, while the larger portions of glass reflect the darkening sky.