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Prudential Center Skywalk Observatory — Boston Photo Essay

Stunning 360° views of Boston Massachusetts from the 50th floor of the Prudential Tower are reason enough to visit The Prudential Center Skywalk Observatory.

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The venue provides a unique perspective on dozens of well known Boston landmarks, historic and modern including several attractions on Boston’s Fredom Trail.
You can also enjoy the view from the Top of The Hub — a white table cloth restaurant and lounge a couple of floors up. At ground level the Shops at Prudential Center provide many additional dining and dozens of shopping options.
The Pru, as it is known locally is located in Boston’s Back Bay. Copley Square and rival tall Boston tower, The John Hancock Tower, are a few short blocks away.
The tallest skyscraper in the world outside of New York City when it was completed in 1964, the Prudential Tower no longer ranks among the top 50 tallest buildings in the USA.
For some of the same and many other Boston sights from ground level see my Boston, Massachusetts Photo Essay and my Freedom Trail, Historic Walking Tour Photo Essay.

Photos from the Skywalk Observatory

A view of downtown Boston from the Skywalk

The John Hancock Tower dominates this view looking west from the Skywalk Observatory.
Construnction of the Prudiental Tower spurred its rival to build the slightly taller building in 1975.
Trinity Church in Copley Square is near the base of the tower and Boston’s Back Bay extends to the left.


Boston's Back Bay and the Charles River

Back Bay is a Boston neighborhood filled with Victorian brownstones and fashionable shopping.
Literally a bay before a massive filling project in the 19th century, much of Back Bay was a tidal marsh at low tide.
The next several telephoto shots are of sections within this scene.


Sailboats on Charles River crossed by Longfellow Bridge

Sailboats on the Charles River and the Longfellow Bridge connecting Cambridge with Boston’s Beacon Hill neighborhood.


Boston's Beacon Hill neighborhood from above

Beacon Hill, one of Boston’s smallest and most historic neighborhoods was settled in 1625.


Massachusetts State House from above
The Massachusetts State House, designed by Charles Bullfinch, is on Beacon Hill across from the Boston Common.


Boston Common and surrounding buildings
50 acre Boston Common is the oldest city park in the US.
Over the years it has served as a cow pasture, British camp during the American Revolutionar War—staging area
for the march to Lexington and Concord—public hanging area, food shortage riot venue, site of Vietnam War protests
and public park for all with concerts, softball and ice skating.


Park Street Church in Boston with surrounding buildings, from above

Boston Common is also the starting point of the Freedom Trail — see my photo essay for more of this historic walking tour.
Park Street Church, above, on the southwest corner of the Common is one of those landmarks.
Dating to 1809 its 217 foot steeple made it the tallest building in the US until 1846.


Hatch Shell, bowl-style outdoor stage

Back to the south shore of the Charles River, the Edward A. Hatch Memorial Shell (commonly “Hatch Shell”)
is a popular concert venue in the Charles River Reservation (commonly known as the Esplanade).


Liberty Hotel, former Charles Street Jail

Nearby the historic Charles Street Jail or “Suffolk County Jail” was constructed of granite in 1851 and is now a luxury hotel.


Church steeple rising above surrounding buildings

Much further back (you'll need a telescope or telephoto lens) is the Old North Church steeple where, on the evening of April 18, 1775, two lanterns were displayed to indicate the British were crossing the Charles river toward Lexington and Concord.


Two bridges perpendicular to each other

A bit to the left (north) is a view of the Zakim (Leonard P. Zakim – Bunker Hill Memorial) Bridge
framing the Tobin (Maurice J. Tobin Memorial) Bridge also known as the Mystic River Bridge.
The cable-stayed Zakim Bridge, part of the Big Dig, opened in 2003 while the cantilever truss Tobin bridge,
a mile north spanning more than 2 miles from Charlestown to Chelsea over the Mystic River, opened in 1950.


Bunker Hill Monument and Mystic River

A few cables on the Zakim Bridge are visible in this extreme telephoto shot of the Bunker Hill Memorial and Mystic River.


Planes land at Logan Airport in Boston

This distance compressed telephoto shot of the area just to the right of the John Hancock Tower in the first photo above
shows the Seaport World Trade Center in the foreground, Boston Inner Harbor, planes landing at Logan Airport,
a bit of Boston Harbor, a section of Winthrop MA (a town situated on a peninsula) with Massachusetts Bay beyond.


Monument on Dorchester Heights in Boston

Further south we see a helicopter flying over Dorchester Heights with Thompson Island in Boston Harbor in the background.
Dorchester Heights was fortified with cannon from Fort Ticonderoga, New York during the American Revolution.
Now part of Boston National Park, a white marble Georgian revival tower completed in 1902 commemorates the events of 1776.


Christian Science Plaza near the Prudential Tower

Looking west and almost straight down from the Prudential Center Skywalk Observatory we see Christian Science Plaza.


View almost straight down of a circular fountain

There is a circular fountain at the east end of the rectuangular pool at Christian Science Plaza.


Baseball stadium from above

Looking west from the Prudiental Tower with a good telephoto lens we could watch a baseball game at Fenway Park.


Don’t miss my photo essays on Boston’s Freedom Trail and Boston from ground level.

Next — Freedom Trail / Previous — Boston introduction

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Website and all photos copyright © 2001–2016 Lee W. Nelson