The only rival to the John Hancock's claim on Boston's upper skyline is the 52-story Prudential Tower, built in the early 1960s when the scale of monumental urban redevelopment projects had yet to be challenged. The Prudential Center, which replaced the railway yards that blocked off the South End, now dominates the acreage between Boylston Street and Huntington Avenue. Its enclosed shopping mall is connected by a glass bridge to the more upscale Copley Place. As for the Prudential Tower itself, the architectural historian Bainbridge Bunting made an acute observation when he called it "an apparition so vast in size that it appears to float above the surrounding district without being related to it." Later modifications to the Boylston Street frontage of the Prudential Center effected a better union of the complex with the urban space around it, but the tower itself floats on, vast as ever. Prudential Center Skywalk, a 50th-floor observatory atop the Prudential Tower, offers panoramic
vistas of Boston, Cambridge, and the suburbs to the west and south—on clear days, you can even see Cape Cod.
Hynes Convention Center. The Hynes Convention Center hosts conferences, trade shows, and conventions. It's connected to the Prudential Center, where visitors can find a branch of the Greater Boston Visitors Bureau in the center court of the mall. 617/954–2000. www.massconvention.com.