Back Bay, Boston

Back Bay is an officially recognized neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts.[2] It is most famous for its rows of Victorian brownstone homes—considered one of the best preserved examples of 19th-century urban design in the United States—as well as numerous architecturally significant individual buildings, and cultural institutions such as the Boston Public Library. It is also a fashionable shopping destination (especially Newbury and Boylston Streets, and the adjacent Prudential Center and Copley Place malls) and home to Boston's tallest office buildings, the Hynes Convention Center, and numerous major hotels.

The Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay considers the neighborhood's bounds to be "Charles River on the North; Arlington Street to Park Square on the East; Columbus Avenue to the New York New Haven and Hartford right-of-way (South of Stuart Street and Copley Place), Huntington Avenue, Dalton Street, and the Massachusetts Turnpike on the South; Charlesgate East on the West."[3][4]

Prior to a colossal 19th-century filling project, Back Bay was a literal bay. Today, along with neighboring Beacon Hill, it is one of Boston's two most expensive residential neighborhoods.

Back Bay Historic District
Boston skyline from Longfellow Bridge September 2017 panorama 2
Back Bay and Charles River
Back Bay, Boston is located in Boston
Back Bay, Boston
Back Bay, Boston is located in Massachusetts
Back Bay, Boston
Back Bay, Boston is located in the United States
Back Bay, Boston
LocationBoston, Massachusetts
ArchitectMultiple
Architectural styleMid 19th Century Revival, Late 19th And 20th Century Revivals, Late Victorian
NRHP reference #73001948[1]
Added to NRHPAugust 14, 1973

History

BackBay pre1858 Boston
View (1858) from State House dome westward along the Mill Dam (now Beacon Street), which separated Back Bay (left) from Charles River and which, with companion Cross Dam (in distance, in modern Massachusetts Avenue–Kenmore Square region, with mills barely visible near juncture with Mill Dam), represented attempt to derive mill power from river tides. Trees along north-south waterline represent western boundary (now Arlington Street) of Boston Public Garden.[5]

Before its transformation into buildable land by a 19th-century filling project, the Back Bay was literally a bay, west of the Shawmut Peninsula (on the far side from Boston Harbor) between Boston and Cambridge, the Charles River entering from the west. This bay was tidal: the water rose and fell several feet over the course of each day, and at low tide much of the bay's bed was exposed as a marshy flat. As early as 5,200 years before present, Native Americans built fish weirs here, evidence of which was discovered during subway construction in 1913 (see Ancient Fishweir Project and Boylston Street Fishweir).

In 1814, the Boston and Roxbury Mill Corporation was chartered to construct a milldam, which would also serve as a toll road connecting Boston to Watertown, bypassing Boston Neck. The dam prevented the natural tides from flushing sewage out to sea, creating severe sanitiary and odor problems.[6] With costs higher and power lower than expected, in the end, the project was an economic failure, and in 1857 a massive project was begun to "make land" by filling the area enclosed by the dam.[7]

The firm of Goss and Munson built additional railroad trackage extending to quarries in Needham, Massachusetts, 9 miles (14 km) away. Twenty-five 35-car trains arrived every 24 hours carrying gravel and other fill, at a rate in the daytime of one every 45 minutes.[8] (William Dean Howells recalled "the beginnings of Commonwealth Avenue, and the other streets of the Back Bay, laid out with their basements left hollowed in the made land, which the gravel trains were yet making out of the westward hills.")[9]

Present-day Back Bay itself was filled by 1882; the project reached existing land at what is now Kenmore Square in 1890, and finished in the Fens in 1900.[10] Much of the old mill dam remains buried under present-day Beacon Street.[11] The project was the largest of a number of land reclamation projects which, beginning in 1820, more than doubled the size of the original Shawmut Peninsula.

Completion of the Charles River Dam in 1910 converted the former Charles estuary into a freshwater basin; the Charles River Esplanade was constructed to allow residents to enjoy the view of the new lagoon, which had vanquished the smell of raw sewage at low tide.[12] The Esplanade has since undergone several changes, including the construction of Storrow Drive.[13]

Roads

Street map of Back Bay
Principal streets of Back Bay.

The Back Bay is traversed by five east-west corridors: Beacon Street, Marlborough Street, Commonwealth Avenue, Newbury Street and Boylston Street. These are interrupted at regular intervals by north–south streets named alphabetically: Arlington (along the western border of the Boston Public Garden), Berkeley, Clarendon, Dartmouth, Exeter, Fairfield, Gloucester and Hereford Streets. All of the west-east streets, except Commonwealth Avenue, are one-way streets.

In the 1960s, the "High Spine" design plan, in conjunction with development plans, gave way to the construction of high-rise buildings along the Massachusetts Turnpike, which in turn allowed the development of major projects in the area.

Architecture

Boston Back Bay
Aerial view of the "High Spine" of skyscrapers in the Back Bay, including the Prudential Center and John Hancock Tower.

Building guidelines

The plan of Back Bay, by Arthur Gilman of the firm Gridley James Fox Bryant, was greatly influenced by Haussmann's renovation of Paris, with wide, parallel, tree-lined avenues unlike anything seen in other Boston neighborhoods. Five east-west corridors—Beacon Street (closest to the Charles), Marlborough Street, Commonwealth Avenue (actually two one-way thoroughfares flanking the tree-lined pedestrian Commonwealth Avenue Mall), Newbury Street and Boylston Street—are intersected at regular intervals by north-south cross streets: Arlington (along the western edge of the Public Garden), Berkeley, Clarendon, Dartmouth, Exeter, Fairfield, Gloucester, and Hereford. An 1874 guidebook[14] noted the trisyllabic-disyllabic alternation of that alphabetic sequence; the series continues in the adjacent Fenway neighborhood with Ipswich, Jersey, and Kilmarnock Streets. West of Hereford are Massachusetts Avenue (a regional thoroughfare crossing the Harvard Bridge to Cambridge and far beyond) and Charlesgate, which forms the Back Bay's western boundary.

Setback requirements and other restrictions, written into the lot deeds of the newly filled Back Bay, produced harmonious rows of dignified three- and four-story residential brownstones (though most along Newbury Street are now in commercial use). The Back Bay is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and is considered one of the best-preserved examples of 19th-century urban architecture in the United States.[15] In 1966, the Massachusetts Legislature, "to safeguard the heritage of the city of Boston by preventing the despoliation" of the Back Bay, created the Back Bay Architectural District to regulate exterior changes to Back Bay buildings.[4][16]

Since the 1960s, the concept of a High Spine has influenced large-project development in Boston, reinforced by zoning rules permitting high-rise construction along the axis of the Massachusetts Turnpike, including air rights siting of buildings.[17]

Buildings around Copley Square

Trinitychurchboston
Trinity Church c. 1903

Copley Square features Trinity Church, the Boston Public Library, the John Hancock Tower, and numerous other notable buildings.

Boston MFA Back Bay
Original home of the Museum of Fine Arts
Backbay from south
Back Bay in Boston at night as seen from the South End
Back Bay Skyline from South Boston
Back Bay skyline as seen from South Boston, including One Dalton Street residences under construction (at left)
  • Trinity Church (1872–1877, H.H. Richardson), "deservedly regarded as one of the finest buildings in America."[18]
  • The first monumental structure in Copley Square was the original Museum of Fine Arts, begun 1870 and opened 1876. After museum moved to the Fenway neighborhood in 1909 its red Gothic Revival building was demolished to make way for the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel (1912–present).
  • The Boston Public Library (1888–1892), designed by McKim, Mead, and White, is a leading example of Beaux-Arts architecture in the US. Sited across Copley Square from Trinity Church, it was intended to be "a palace for the people." Baedeker's 1893 guide terms it "dignified and imposing, simple and scholarly," and "a worthy mate... to Trinity Church." At that time, its 600,000 volumes made it the largest free public library in the world.
  • The Old South Church, also called the New Old South Church (645 Boylston Street on Copley Square), 1872–75, is located across the street from the Boston Public Library. It was designed by the Boston architectural firm of Cummings and Sears in the Venetian Gothic style. The style follows the precepts of the British cultural theorist and architectural critic John Ruskin (1819–1900) as outlined in his treatise The Stones of Venice. Old South Church remains a significant example of Ruskin's influence on architecture in the US. Charles Amos Cummings and Willard T. Sears also designed the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.
  • There were at various time three different "Hancock buildings" in the Back Bay, culminating in a skyscraper flanking Trinity Church:
    • The Stephen L. Brown Building (Parker, Thomas & Rice, 1922) was the first of the three Hancock buildings:
    • The Old John Hancock Building (Cram and Ferguson, 1947) was the tallest building in Back Bay until construction of the Prudential Tower. (Sometimes called the Berkeley Building, though not to be confused with the actual Berkeley Building, below.)
    • The John Hancock Tower (I. M. Pei, 1972), New England's tallest building at 60 stories, is a dark-blue reflective glass tower with a footprint in the form of a narrow parallelogram. Admirers assert that it does not diminish the impact of Trinity Church; a critic said it "may be nihilistic, overbearing, even elegantly rude, but it's not dull."[19]

Other prominent Back Bay buildings

Cultural and educational institutions

Prominent cultural and educational institutions in the Back Bay include:

Parkland

Transportation

Back Bay is served by the Green Line's Arlington, Copley, Hynes Convention Center, and Prudential stations, and the Orange Line's Back Bay station (which is also an MBTA Commuter Rail and Amtrak station).

Demographics

Race

Back Bay/Fenway–Kenmore (02115) Racial Breakdown of Population (2017)[24][25]
Race Percentage of
02115
population
Percentage of
Massachusetts
population
Percentage of
United States
population
ZIP Code-to-State
Difference
ZIP Code-to-USA
Difference
White 67.2% 81.3% 76.6% –14.1% –9.4%
White (Non-Hispanic) 60.7% 72.1% 60.7% –11.4% +0.0%
Asian 15.1% 6.9% 5.8% +8.2% +9.3%
Hispanic 13.2% 11.9% 18.1% +1.3% –4.9%
Black 8.9% 8.8% 13.4% +0.1% –4.5%
Native Americans/Hawaiians 0.3% 0.6% 1.5% –0.3% –1.2%
Two or more races 3.5% 2.4% 2.7% +1.1% +0.8%
Back Bay/Bay Village (02116) Racial Breakdown of Population (2017)[26][25]
Race Percentage of
02116
population
Percentage of
Massachusetts
population
Percentage of
United States
population
ZIP Code-to-State
Difference
ZIP Code-to-USA
Difference
White 77.1% 81.3% 76.6% –4.2% +0.5%
White (Non-Hispanic) 70.9% 72.1% 60.7% –1.2% +10.2%
Asian 14.4% 6.9% 5.8% +7.5% +8.6%
Hispanic 7.5% 11.9% 18.1% –4.4% –10.6%
Black 4.9% 8.8% 13.4% –3.9% –8.5%
Native Americans/Hawaiians 0.2% 0.6% 1.5% –0.4% –1.3%
Two or more races 2.2% 2.4% 2.7% –0.2% –0.5%

Ancestry

According to the 2012-2016 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, the largest ancestry groups in ZIP Codes 02115 and 02116 are:[27][28]

Ancestry Percentage of
02115
population
Percentage of
Massachusetts
population
Percentage of
United States
population
ZIP Code-to-State
Difference
ZIP Code-to-USA
Difference
Irish 13.43% 21.16% 10.39% –7.73% +3.04%
Italian 10.57% 13.19% 5.39% –2.61% +5.18%
Chinese 7.82% 2.28% 1.24% +5.54% +6.58%
German 7.36% 6.00% 14.40% +1.36% –7.04%
English 4.89% 9.77% 7.67% –4.88% –2.77%
Polish 3.36% 4.67% 2.93% –1.31% +0.42%
Russian 3.20% 1.65% 0.88% +1.55% +2.33%
French 2.97% 6.82% 2.56% –3.85% +0.41%
Asian Indian 2.82% 1.39% 1.09% +1.43% +1.73%
Sub-Saharan African 2.67% 2.00% 1.01% +0.67% +1.66%
American 2.40% 4.26% 6.89% –1.87% –4.50%
Arab 2.12% 1.10% 0.59% +1.02% +1.53%
Mexican 2.00% 0.67% 11.96% +1.33% –9.96%
Puerto Rican 1.95% 4.52% 1.66% –2.57% +0.29%
French Canadian 1.79% 3.91% 0.65% –2.12% +1.13%
European 1.77% 1.08% 1.23% +0.69% +0.54%
Korean 1.39% 0.37% 0.45% +0.67% +0.89%
Scottish 1.16% 2.28% 1.71% –1.12% –0.55%
Greek 1.05% 1.22% 0.40% –0.17% +0.65%
Portuguese 1.05% 4.40% 0.43% –3.35% +0.62%
Swedish 1.05% 1.67% 1.23% –0.62% –0.18%
Ancestry Percentage of
02116
population
Percentage of
Massachusetts
population
Percentage of
United States
population
ZIP Code-to-State
Difference
ZIP Code-to-USA
Difference
Irish 16.93% 21.16% 10.39% –4.23% +6.54%
Italian 10.58% 13.19% 5.39% –2.61% +5.19%
Chinese 10.16% 2.28% 1.24% +7.88% +8.92%
German 9.82% 6.00% 14.40% +3.82% –4.58%
English 9.39% 9.77% 7.67% –0.39% +1.72%
Polish 4.84% 4.67% 2.93% +0.17% +1.91%
Russian 4.18% 1.65% 0.88% +2.53% +3.30%
French 3.25% 6.82% 2.56% –3.58% +0.69%
Scottish 2.65% 2.28% 1.71% +0.37% +0.94%
American 2.46% 4.26% 6.89% –1.80% –4.43%
Puerto Rican 2.46% 4.52% 1.66% –2.06% +0.80%
European 2.08% 1.08% 1.23% +1.00% –0.85%
Sub-Saharan African 1.72% 2.00% 1.01% –0.28% +0.71%
Mexican 1.56% 0.67% 11.96% +0.89% –10.40%
Asian Indian 1.52% 1.39% 1.09% +0.13% +0.43%
Arab 1.48% 1.10% 0.59% +0.38% +0.89%
Swedish 1.39% 1.67% 1.23% –0.28% +0.16%
Cape Verdean 1.38% 0.97% 0.03% +0.41% +1.35%
French Canadian 1.35% 3.91% 0.65% –2.55% +0.70%
Greek 1.29% 1.22% 0.40% +0.07% +0.89%
Dutch 1.27% 0.62% 1.32% +0.65% –0.05%
Eastern European 1.16% 0.42% 0.17% +0.74% +0.99%
Scotch-Irish 1.09% 0.63% 0.96% +0.46% +0.13%
British 1.08% 0.48% 0.43% +0.60% +0.65%

See also

Notes and references

Notes

  1. ^ National Park Service (2007-01-23). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  2. ^ "NEIGHBORHOODS".
  3. ^ "About NABB". Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay. Archived from the original on 16 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-25. While the city of Boston does officially recognize various neighborhoods within its confines, it does not assign precise boundaries.
  4. ^ a b The Back Bay Architectural District, somewhat smaller than "Back Bay" as defined by the Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay, is bounded by "the centerlines of Back Street on the north, Embankment Road and Arlington Street on the east, Boylston Street on the south, and Charlesgate East on the west."
  5. ^ Mapping Boston (1999), Alex Krieger (editor), David Cobb (editor), Amy Turner (editor), Norman B. Leventhal (Foreword by) MIT Press, ISBN 0-262-11244-2, p. 126
  6. ^ "Boston vs. the rising tide". Boston Globe. 2018-04-28. which says: By 1849, a city report described Back Bay as a “cesspool” covered with “greenish scum,” and its waters “bubbling like a cauldron with the noxious gases that are exploding from the corrupting mass below.”
  7. ^ Newman, William A.; Holton, Wilfred E. (2006). Boston's Back Bay: The Story of America's Greatest Nineteenth-century Landfill Project (illustrated ed.). UPNE. ISBN 978-1-55553-651-0. Retrieved 2015-02-25.
  8. ^ Whitehill, Walter Muir (1968). Boston: A Topographical History (Second ed.). pp. 152–154.
  9. ^ Antony, Mark; Howe, DeWolfe (1903). Boston: The Place and the People. New York: MacMillan. p. 359.
  10. ^ However, the Kenmore and Fenway land was not all built up immediately, as explained by Bainbridge Bunting in 1967: By 1900 the Back Bay residential area had almost ceased to grow. After 1910 only thirty new houses were constructed, after 1917 none at all. Instead of paying high prices for filled land on which to erect a home within walking distance of his office, the potential home builder escaped to the suburbs on the electric trolley or in his automobile. This flight from the city left empty much of the area west of Kenmore Square and adjacent to Fenway Park, and only later was it occupied by non-descript and closely-built apartments.
  11. ^ Back Bay History Accessed 2009-02-25
  12. ^ "100 years of celebrating the Fourth of July at Esplanade". The Boston Globe. 2010-07-04. Archived from the original on 9 July 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-11.
  13. ^ Campbell, Robert (March 4, 2012). "To make a better Esplanade, harness citizens' passion". Boston Globe. Retrieved 4 March 2012.
  14. ^ Nason, Elias (1874). A Gazetteer of the State of Massachusetts. B. B. Russell. p. 95.
  15. ^ Jolly, Joanna (27 October 2014). "How Boston is rethinking its relationship with the sea". BBC Magazine. Retrieved 2 March 2015.
  16. ^ [1], [2]
  17. ^ Frug, Gerald E.; Barron, David J. (2013). City Bound: How States Stifle Urban Innovation. Cornell University Press. ISBN 978-0-8014-5822-4. Retrieved 2014-04-17.
  18. ^ Baedeker's United States, 1893
  19. ^ a b Lyndon, Donlyn (1982). The City Observed: Boston. Vintage. ISBN 0-394-74894-8.: the Hancock "may be nihilistic, overbearing, even elegantly rude, but it's not dull;" the Prudential is "an energetically ugly, square shaft that offends the Boston skyline more than any other structure."
  20. ^ "Case Studies" -- Urban Land Institute
  21. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2011-06-14.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  22. ^ "Church of the Covenant:Tiffany Windows"
  23. ^ Mark Jarzombek, Designing MIT: Bosworth's New Tech (Northeastern University Press, 2004)
  24. ^ "ACS DEMOGRAPHIC AND HOUSING ESTIMATES 2012-2016 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved August 25, 2018.
  25. ^ a b "Massachusetts QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau". census.gov.
  26. ^ "ACS DEMOGRAPHIC AND HOUSING ESTIMATES 2012-2016 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved August 25, 2018.
  27. ^ "PEOPLE REPORTING ANCESTRY 2012-2016 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved August 25, 2018.
  28. ^ "ACS DEMOGRAPHIC AND HOUSING ESTIMATES 2012-2016 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved August 25, 2018.

References

  • Bacon, Edwin M. (1903) Boston: A Guide Book. Ginn and Company, Boston, 1903.
  • Bunting, Bainbridge (1967) "Houses of Boston's Back Bay", Harvard University Press, ISBN 0-674-40901-9
  • Fields, W.C.: "My Little Chickadee" (1940), in which the Fields character calls himself "one of the Back Bay Twillies."
  • Jarzombek, Mark, Designing MIT: Bosworth's New Tech. Northeastern University Press, 2004. ISBN 1555536190.
  • Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Back Bay Boston: The City as a Work of Art. With Essays by Lewis Mumford & Walter Muir Whitehill (Boston, 1969).
  • Shand-Tucci, Douglass, Built in Boston: City and Suburb, 1800–2000.Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1999. ISBN 1558492011.
  • Train, Arthur (1921), "The Kid and the Camel," from By Advice of Counsel. ("William Montague Pepperill was a very intense young person...")
  • Howells, William Dean, Literary Friends and Acquaintance: My First Visit to New England

Further reading

External links

Media related to Back Bay, Boston at Wikimedia Commons

Back Bay travel guide from Wikivoyage

Coordinates: 42°21′4.66″N 71°4′49.28″W / 42.3512944°N 71.0803556°W

500 Boylston Street

500 Boylston Street is a 1.3-million square foot postmodern building located in the Back Bay section of Boston and part of the city's High Spine, completed in 1989. It sits next to the landmark Trinity Church, Boston. It dominates the western half of the city block bounded by Boylston, Clarendon and Berkeley streets and St. James Avenue. It was designed by John Burgee Architects with Philip Johnson, with structural engineering by LeMessurier Consultants and MEP/FP engineering by Cosentini Associates, Inc. The construction project was managed by Bond Brothers. It cost $100 million to build. The site contains approximately 137,000 square feet (12,700 m2) of land area, with approximately 500 feet (150 m) of frontage on Boylston Street.The first six floors are retail and small office space. Above that there is a 19-story office tower with Class A office space. It has approximately 715,000 square feet (66,400 m2) of office space. It has an underground parking lot for 1,000 cars that it shares with 222 Berkeley Street.

Berkeley Building

The Berkeley Building (also known as the Old John Hancock Building) is a 26-story, 495-foot (151 m) building located at 200 Berkeley Street, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. It is the second of the three John Hancock buildings built in Boston; it was succeeded by the John Hancock Tower. The building is known for the weather beacon at its summit, which broadcasts light patterns as weather forecasts. The Berkeley Building is the 19th-tallest building in the city.

Berklee College of Music

Berklee College of Music is a private music college in Boston, Massachusetts. It is the largest independent college of contemporary music in the world. Known for the study of jazz and modern American music, it also offers college-level courses in a wide range of contemporary and historic styles, including rock, flamenco, hip hop, reggae, salsa, heavy metal and bluegrass. Since 2012, Berklee College of Music has also operated a campus in Valencia, Spain.

In December 2015, Berklee College of Music and the Boston Conservatory agreed to a merger. The combined institution is known as Berklee, with the conservatory becoming The Boston Conservatory at Berklee.

Brownstone

Brownstone is a brown Triassic-Jurassic sandstone which was once a popular building material. The term is also used in the United States to refer to a townhouse clad in this, or any of a number of aesthetically similar materials.

Commonwealth Avenue (Boston)

Commonwealth Avenue (colloquially referred to as Comm Ave by locals) is a major street in the cities of Boston and Newton, Massachusetts. It begins at the western edge of the Boston Public Garden, and continues west through the neighborhoods of the Back Bay, Kenmore Square, Allston, Brighton and Chestnut Hill. It continues as part of Route 30 through Newton until it crosses the Charles River at the border of the town of Weston.

Copley Place

Copley Place is an upscale shopping mall in the Back Bay section of Boston, Massachusetts, as part of a larger complex that includes office buildings, two hotels, and a parking garage.

Copley Square

Copley Square, named for painter John Singleton Copley, is a public square in Boston's Back Bay neighborhood, bounded by Boylston Street, Clarendon Street, St. James Avenue, and Dartmouth Street. Prior to 1883 it was known as Art Square due to its many cultural institutions, some of which remain today. It is a pending Boston Landmark.

Exeter Street Theatre

The Exeter Street Theatre is a Richardsonian Romanesque building at the corner of Exeter and Newbury Streets, in the Back Bay section of Boston, Massachusetts. It was built as the First Spiritual Temple, 1884–85, by architects Hartwell and Richardson. For seventy years, from 1914 to 1984, it operated as a movie house. It now houses the Kingsley Montessori School.

Fenway Theatre

The Fenway Theatre (1915–1972) of Boston, Massachusetts, was a cinema and concert hall in the Back Bay, located at no.136 Massachusetts Avenue at Boylston Street. Architect Thomas W. Lamb designed the building; its interior was "marble and velvet." The auditorium sat 1,600. In the early 1970s Aerosmith used the theatre for rehearsals. In 1972 the Berklee College of Music bought the property; the remodeled Berklee Performance Center opened in 1976 and continues today.

First Church in Boston

First Church in Boston is a Unitarian Universalist Church (originally Congregationalist) founded in 1630 by John Winthrop's original Puritan settlement in Boston, Massachusetts. The current building is on 66 Marlborough Street in Boston. The church has long been associated with Harvard University.

Hatch Memorial Shell

The Edward A. Hatch Memorial Shell (commonly referred to as the "Hatch Shell") is an outdoor concert venue on the Charles River Esplanade in the Back Bay section of Boston, Massachusetts.

The Hatch Shell is best known for hosting the Boston Pops Orchestra annually for the Boston Fourth of July celebration, but is also used for free concerts most weekends and many weeknights during the summer months. The grass pavilion in front of the stage has no permanent seating. There is a memorial nearby to Arthur Fiedler, first permanent conductor of the Pops.

Hynes Convention Center

The John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center located in Boston was built in 1988 from a design by architects Kallmann, McKinnell & Wood. It replaced the John B. Hynes Memorial Auditorium, also a convention center, built in 1963 during the Massachusetts Turnpike expansion from Route 128 to the Central Artery, which was regarded as "ungainly". The 1988 design "attempted to relate in scale and materials to its Back Bay setting, adopting granite and setbacks... The severe gray interior is reminiscent of an early 20th-century German railroad station". The Center is named after former Boston mayor John Hynes.

Massachusetts Historical Society

The Massachusetts Historical Society is a major historical archive specializing in early American, Massachusetts, and New England history. It is located at 1154 Boylston Street in Boston, Massachusetts and is the oldest historical society in the United States, having been established in 1791.

The Society's building was constructed in 1899 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1966. In 2016, The Boston Landmarks Commission designated it a Boston Landmark.

New England Historic Genealogical Society

The New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) is the oldest and largest genealogical society in the United States, founded in 1845.

Park Square (Boston)

Park Square in downtown Boston, Massachusetts is bounded by Stuart, Charles Street South, Boylston, and Arlington Streets. It is the home of the Boston Four Seasons Hotel, the Boston Park Plaza, and nearly a dozen restaurants. To the north across Boylston Street is the Boston Public Garden. To the east is the Washington Street Theatre District. The Bay Village neighborhood is to the south, and Back Bay is to the west.

At one time, the terminus of the Boston and Providence Railroad was in the square; however, after South Station opened, the terminal was closed.

A small street in the district was renamed "Park Plaice" in honor of Legal Sea Foods, a local restaurant.

Park Square Theatre, Boston

The Park Square Theatre was a theatre in Park Square in Boston, Massachusetts, designed by architect Clarence Blackall. It opened January 19, 1914, as the Cort Theatre, named for impresario John Cort. It was his first theatrical venue in Boston.In August 1915 the Cort Theatre was purchased by Archibald and Edgar Selwyn and renamed the Park Square Theatre. In 1921 it was renamed the Selwyn Theatre, one of many Selwyn theatres in the United States. In time the building was replaced by a parking garage.

Prudential Tower

The Prudential Tower, also known as the Prudential Building or, colloquially, The Pru, is an International Style skyscraper in Boston, Massachusetts. The building, a part of the Prudential Center complex, currently stands as the 2nd-tallest building in Boston, behind 200 Clarendon Street, formerly the John Hancock Tower. The Prudential Tower was designed by Charles Luckman and Associates for Prudential Insurance. Completed in 1964, the building is 749 feet (228 m) tall, with 52 floors, and (as of February 2018) is tied with others as the 96th-tallest in the United States. It contains 1,200,000 sq ft (110,000 m2) of commercial and retail space. Including its radio mast, the tower stands as the tallest building in Boston, rising to 907 feet (276 m) in height.

A restaurant, the Top of the Hub, occupies the 52nd floor. A 50th-floor observation deck, called the Skywalk Observatory, is currently the highest observation deck in New England open to the public, as the higher observation deck of 200 Clarendon Street has been closed since the terror attacks of September 11, 2001.

St. James Theatre, Boston

The St. James Theatre (1912–1929) of Boston, Massachusetts, was a playhouse and cinema in the Back Bay in the 1910s and 1920s. It occupied the former Chickering Hall on Huntington Avenue near Massachusetts Avenue, adjacent to Horticultural Hall. For some years Loew's theatre chain oversaw the St. James. In 1929 the theatre "became part of the Publix (Paramount) chain, and was renamed the Uptown."

The College Club of Boston

The College Club of Boston is a private membership organization founded in 1890 as the first women's college club in the United States. Located in the historic Back Bay of Boston, Massachusetts at 44 Commonwealth Avenue, the College Club was established by nineteen college educated women whose mission was to form a social club where they and other like-minded women could meet and share companionship. The College Club of Boston the oldest residential college club in the United States.

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