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30 Must-See Museums: Boston

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum's centerpiece is its four-story courtyard.

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
Designed and convincingly executed in the style of a 15th-century Venetian palazzo, this 1901 mansion was the private home of the museum’s unconventional founder and namesake (when it opened as a museum, she lived on the top floor). The centerpiece is the dramatic four-story courtyard surrounded by elaborate balconies and archways; it is illuminated by a skylight and filled with seasonal blooms from the museum’s own greenhouse.
Up Next: World-renowned Italian architect Renzo Piano, known for his 1986 design of Houston’s Menil Collection, among others, is behind the upcoming expansion of this Boston treasure.

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