Old City Hall

Boston, MA
Key Elements
  • Historic urban site 
  • Unique archaeological application 
  • Combined laser scanning and traditional survey techniques 

Old City Hall was constructed in the City of Boston between 1862 and 1865. While the building itself is historically significant, the site of Old City Hall is just as historically important. The Boston Latin School, the City’s first public school and the oldest educational institution in the country, was built at this location in 1635. When the City’s Archaeologist found records showing that a portion of the property had not been built on since the 17th century, they realized that they had the opportunity to excavate a spot in the heart of the City.   

To support the archaeological dig, the Architectural Heritage Foundation asked Nitsch to prepare a site survey that would serve as the base drawing to define the dig boundaries, support archaeological submissions to the City and the Massachusetts Historic Commission, and support future courtyard and exterior building renovations. Using a combination of traditional land surveying and laser scanning techniques, our land surveyors located a number of site features, including fences, statues, terraces, and significant plantings, as well as scanned the building façade. We prepared existing conditions site plans, researched and compiled utility records, and provided boundary line determination for the site. 

Key Collaborators

Owner: City of Boston 
Owner Project Manager: Architectural Heritage Foundation 
Landscape Architect: Klopfer Martin Design Group