Exhibit honoring legacy of James Michael Curly on display at City Hall
March 9, 2015
In honor of the centennial of the building of the former mayor’s mansion at 350 The Jamaicaway, a poster exhibit showcasing Wentworth Institute of Technology student curatorial concepts for a digital/virtual house museum will be placed in the Mayor’s Neighborhood Gallery on the 2nd floor of City Hall until March 31, 2015. A companion exhibit of Curley-related projects and artifacts will be featured in a glass display case located in the reception area of the Mayor’s office on the 5th floor of City Hall.
The exhibit is drawn from a body of work created by students enrolled in a Wentworth Institute of Technology course in the “Media, Culture, and Communications Studies Department” titled Digital Approaches to Boston Culture: Curating the Legacy of Mayor James Michael Curley.
"I want to congratulate the Wentworth students for their thoughtful and creative approach to this exhibit," said Mayor Walsh. "I encourage visitors to City Hall to browse the exhibit to get a better sense of Mayor Curley and his contributions to the City of Boston."
Commonly known as the “House with the Shamrock Shutters,” the former mayor’s mansion at 350 Jamaicaway in Jamaica Plain is a neo-Georgian style brick home built in 1915 during Curley’s first term as mayor. Construction began on St. Patrick’s Day, and soon the stately mansion, designed by rising-star architect Joseph McGinniss and incorporating a dining room from the Fairhaven, MA estate of Henry H. Rogers, began to rise. The elegant mansion filled with crystal chandeliers, marble fireplaces, and intricate woodwork has over 21 rooms and is more than 10,000 square feet in size. The window shutters adorned with shamrocks proclaimed Curley’s financial and political success as the son of impoverished immigrants.
Although his opponents had him barred from succeeding himself as mayor, Curley was re-elected at three different intervals from 1922-26, from 1930-34, and from 1946-50. In 1934, Curley reached the pinnacle of his career when he was elected Governor of Massachusetts. Curley lived in the Jamaicaway mansion until he sold it to the Oblate Fathers in 1956, two years before his death. The Oblates lived in the house until 1988, when the City of Boston purchased it via the George Robert White Fund, and today it remains a testament to the Curley legacy.
The Galleries at Boston City Hall are open to the public at no charge. Boston City Hall is accessible by MBTA via State Street (Orange and Blue lines) and Park Street (Green and Red lines). For additional information, call 617-635-3245, or visit http://www.cityofboston.gov/arts.