Statement of Significance (as of designation - January 20, 1999):
Symphony Hall was completed in 1900 by the nationally celebrated architectural firm of McKim, Mead & White as the permanent home for the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO). Symphony Hall remains, acoustically, among the top three concert halls in the world and is considered the finest in the United States. This achievement is primarily the result of the vision of BSO founder and long time patron, Henry Lee Higginson; pioneering Harvard physics professor Wallace Clement Sabine; and noted American architect Charles Follen McKim who, carefully following Sabine's specifications, created a design that was subservient in all its aspects to the needs of performing symphonic music. Symphony Hall is also significant for the influential role of the BSO in shaping American musical culture in this century.