MARSH PLAZA—In a rare interview Tuesday, Mort Spivlak (CFA ’47), the architect who designed Boston University’s School of Law Tower, broke his decades-long silence to respond to criticism of his most infamous work.
“I think it’s pretty okay,” said Spivlak, while eating a plain yogurt at his home in Brookline.
Despite housing a world-class postgraduate law program, the Law Tower at 765 Commonwealth Avenue has been the subject of a constant string of criticism since its construction due to its unpopular architectural design.
“I could build a better building with Legos,” said Ryan Wald (LAW ’15) on his way to class.
“Legos were a big inspiration, sure,” said Spivlak, who followed the plain yogurt with a piece of dry toast. “I always wondered, ‘What would Legos look like if they were grey and vaguely threatening?’”
“Of course, I always had Megabloks as a child,” added Spivlak, wearing one of his many pairs of khakis.
Many have described the 16-floor tower – the tallest law school building in the United States – as “Orwellian,” “blocky” and “unfinished looking.”
“Makes me feel at home,” said Warren Towers custodian Alexei Sokurov, who lived through the most oppressive years of the Soviet Union.
“You mean that building isn’t a work in progress?” said Rebecca Lazlo (COM ’17). “Aren’t they going to make it look, like, good?”
In 2012, the School of Law received a multi-million dollar donation from Sumner L. Redstone to make improvements and additions to the college.
“I made sure they wouldn’t touch my tower,“ said Spivlak, who was worried upon initial reports of Redstone’s donation. “In fact, I matched Mr. Redstone’s donation and provided several decades’ worth of grey paint. You know, just in case,” said Spivlak, dusting the toast crumbs from his sweater vest.
At press time, Spivlak was seen snapping his fingers offbeat to a cassette tape of smooth jazz.