Talk:Symphony Hall, Boston

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Saw on WP:RP#Places_in_North_America that a picture of Symphony Hall was desired, so I took one and stuck it in the article. It isn't great, but since we didn't have a picture of the exterior before, it'll do until someone puts up a better one. I also moved the image of the interior that was already here lower in the article to a place where the interior was discussed. I'm not too attached to those placements if anyone wants to change them though. digfarenough (talk) 19:22, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

I hope someone can replace File:Symphony hall boston.jpg. It's a terrible photo, but it's the only one we have. :( Viriditas (talk) 21:19, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

References?? From the 19th Century[edit]

Well, this is not very encyclopedic. Also, the reference given for the acoustics of the hall (only) are from an article from 1888.

Symphony Hall (...) is widely considered to be one of the two or three finest concert halls in the world, alongside Amsterdam's Concertgebouw and Vienna's Großer Musikvereinssaal[citation needed]. All three concert halls are renowned for their exceptional acoustics

If this is a serious article, and according to the source, it should say something like "in the 19th century it was considered one of the halls with best acoustics". Yes, it is a good concert hall, but “renowned”, “widely considered”, “finest in the world” etc are expressions quite subjective for this encyclopedia. Also the first paragraph should just introduce the article (ie. The xxxx is a xxxx in xxxx) and not highlight the importance of the venue. --Karljoos (talk) 16:05, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

No doubt the assertions are correct. Symphony Hall is one of the finest in the world. But agree it needs to be written better and assertions are too strongly POV for intro para. Good refs could be easily found. Markhh (talk) 01:06, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
I don't doubt it is a good hall, at least as good as many good concert halls in the States, Europe etc, but it is a judgement not good for an encyclopedia. --Karljoos (talk) 20:44, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
If it is a matter of fact that Boston's Symphony Hall is regarded as one of the best acoustically, why is it inappropriate to state that fact in an encyclopedia? (talk) 01:08, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, I forgot to sign in; that last comment was written by me.Gacggt (talk) 01:09, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
Read NPOV. If Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, then articles should be impartial and objective. Claims of prestige, greatness, or being among the best in the universe etc. are always a third person’s opinion (and very often based on personal taste, preferences etc.). Objective articles are: X is a Y with Z characteristics. That’s what you would find in the Britannica, not “X person says Y is great”. However, it seems like many people with ties to some places or institutions really need to over-highlight things; in that case a “X person says Y is great” could be added, but such information, even when properly sourced, is not encyclopedic. Just open the Britannica or the Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians … these are objective articles about the Jordan Hall! I know that the acoustics of the Symphony Hall are good (I performed there in the early 90s) but for every concert hall in the world it is possible to find someone who says that the acoustics of the hall are among the best. --Karljoos (talk) 11:43, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
I've added the current NHL webpage as a source (just a short blurb available) and I added the extensive 1998 nomination document written by an architectural historian and others. I added a peacock type phrase, but it is a sourced quote and that is okay. I am removing the POV and disputed tags on the article, leaving the cleanup tag. I think everyone is agreed, there is no dispute, that more specific sourcing in the article would be good. Please feel free to develop the article with specific quotes, references to the 1998 document. doncram (talk) 16:47, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
I don't see where is the discussion where all agreed that the changes you made are ok. I am sorry, but even when sourced, your changes still sound very un-encyclopedic. Why don't at least to move the acoustics info somewhere else in the article?--Karljoos (talk) 20:35, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
Indeed there is room to improve the article. I added 2 sources, you can't take issue with that, you must not mean to oppose my adding the sources. What i meant about there being no disagreement is that in general everyone here agrees the article's statement's should be sourced more specifically. There should be no peacock type claims that are not specific quotes or otherwise very precisely sourced to attribute the claim to someone not us saying them. You could read the NRHP application document and use that to revise the article, sourcing statements from it. There may well be stuff in the article that is not encyclopedic which should be changed, but I don't think that anything I added is unencyclopedic. I would appreciate your or someone else doing a rewrite using the added sources. doncram (talk) 21:05, 25 March 2009 (UTC)


Same as above: This kind of judgementes ("best in the world" etc) are not good for an article! I'm talking about the following sentence:

The Symphony Hall organ, a 4,800-pipe Aeolian-Skinner (Opus 1134) designed by G. Donald Harrison, installed in 1949, and autographed by Albert Schweitzer, is considered one of the finest concert hall organs in the world

Please refrain from such judgements, even if properly sourced! --Karljoos (talk) 13:15, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

I disagree. A well-sourced statement that something is "one of the finest" is not a problem. That said, those statements are not really well-sourced in this article.
While I'm also a fan of Symphony Hall, this article appears to only reference what are basically BSO sources. This is fine for factual stuff (like the cost and method of replacing the stage floor), but is otherwise bad for these sorts of peacock phrases, and nearing the problem of WP:SELFPUB.
-- Magic♪piano 14:40, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
What is a "BSO source"? The 1998 nomination document can be taken as reliable on factual matters. On the subjective matters of whether the acoustics and organ are among best in the world, you have to apply some judgment. doncram (talk) 16:47, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
Prior to your edits, the only listed references were publications of the BSO, which owns the building, and has an interest in promoting it; hence my comment on the need for care with WP:SELFPUB. There was only one meaningful citation, which was only used to cite a statement Karljoos rightly expressed concern about. (I would be somewhat surprised if Apple's book actually backs what that sentence says; "often cited", indeed.) Magic♪piano 21:10, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

Style of Hall[edit]

In the descriptive box, it says that it is "Renaissance" style. It looks Georgian to me, particularly as the architects McKim, Mead and White were masters of Georgian Revival. What's the source for "Renaissance"? Rick lightburn (talk) 15:55, 18 March 2010 (UTC)


Why and where does this article need cleanup? What needs cleaning and how should it be done? Hyacinth (talk) 20:20, 31 October 2011 (UTC)