Boston, the largest city in and capitol of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is one of America’s oldest, most historic and scenic cities.
Please enjoy the first of three photo essays I’ve publised on the city of Boston—a street level overview some of the city’s neighborhoods and public spaces.
For a more literal over-view, i.e. pictures of Boston from above, see my photos taken from the Prudential Center Skywalk Observatory. A third Boston Photo Essay focuses on the city’s Revolutionary War history with locations along the Freedom Trail—a two and one-half mile route featuring significant historic sites.
Boston was the location for important events in the American Revolution including the Battle of Bunker Hill, Boston Tea Party, Boston Massacre and Siege of Boston which ended with the fortification of Dorchester Heights.
Founded in 1630 on the Shawmut Peninsula by Puritan colonists from England, Boston’s original landmass has been considerably enlarged.
Pictures of downtown Boston
A view of downtown Boston from Boston Harbor. The waterfront once extended to the Custom House Tower.
An early landfill project was used to provide land for the construction of Quincy Market in 1826.
The building, now part of Faneuil Hall Marketplace, still provides a place for visitors and downtown workers to shop for food.
The cupola of Faneuil Hall can be seen on the left of the above photo.
Statue of American Patriot Samuel Adams behind Faneuil Hall on Congress Street—the site of numerous speeches
by Samuel Adams, James Otis and others encouraging independence from Great Britian.
Long Wharf, now considerably shortened because of landfill, once extended nearly a half-mile into the harbor from Faneuil Hall.
The wharf was once home to John Hancock’s counting house, now a restaurant and the oldest surviving structure.
Nearly a million Irish immigranted to the U.S. during the Famine years, many arriving and settling in Boston
near the waterfront, the North End and East Boston.
The Boston Irish Famine Memorial by Robert Shure, across the street from the Old State House,
was unveiled in June 1998 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Great Famine.
It is one of the 20 stops on the Irish Heritage Trail in downton Boston and Back Bay.
The Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge, part of the Big Dig Project.
The 10-lane, cable-stayed hybrid bridge, the widest ever built, opened in stages with the last in 2005.
Pictures of Boston Public Garden
First established in 1837 as the first public botanical garden in the U.S,, Boston Public Garden still reflects its Victorian heritage.
The above view is to the west with the Arlington Street Church in Back Bay (1861).
Two Swans (Romeo and Juliet) live in the Public Garden from May through October, sleeping and laying eggs on an twig nest.
The swans live at the Franklin Park Zoo in the winter.
Named for an earlier pair this pair, both females, has been reintroduced each year since 2003.
Swan Boats have been part of the Boston Public Garden experience since 1877.
Along with swans, ducks and ducklings make their home in the park.
Possibly the most famous sculpture in Public Garden is this Duckling Sculpture by Nancy Schön
based on Robert McCloskey’s Make way for Ducklings 1941 bestseller.
Just the second monument in the Garden, this equestrian statue of George Washington by Thomas Ball was unveiled in 1869.
Pictures of the Charles River and Esplanade area
The second and third images on my Prudential Center Skywalk Observatory Photo Essay are good aerial type shots of the Charles River and Esplanade area of Boston. Here are a few shots from ground level.
Boats on the Charles River near Longfellow Bridge. The Bunker Hill Monument is visible in the distance on the top right.
Longfellow Bridge—a combination railway and highway bridge known to locals as the “Salt-and-Pepper-Shaker Bridge”—
crosses the Charles River between Boston’s Beacon Hill and Kendal Square area in Cambridge.
Above a Boston Duck Tours boat visits one of the sculptures on the main pier representing the prow of a Viking ship.
The Charles River Esplanade is a state-owned park between Boston’s Back Bay and the Charles River with
boating, walkways, playgrounds, statuary and the Hatch Memorial Shell performance stage.
There is a good photo of the Hatch Shell on my Prudential Center Skywalk Observatory photo essay.
Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops first performed on the Esplanade during the summer of 1929.
This sculpture of the conductor, created by Ralph Helmick, is located near the Hatch Shell.
Pictures of Boston’s Copley Square
Named for John Singleton Copley, America’s first great portrait artist, Copley Square is literally an equilateral square
with a number of historic and architecturally important buildings and landmarks on and around it.
The John Hancock Tower, designed by I.M. Pei is 60 stories tall. The old John Hancock building. completed in 1922
was the second of the John Hancock buildings and is known for its weather beacon which broadcasts light patterns as
weather forcasts. It is now known as the Berkeley Building. The first, now known as the Stephen L. Brown Building, completed in 1922 was the second tallest building in Boston, 26 stories high, for several decades.
Trinity Church, seen here reflected in the John Hancock Tower, was completed in 1877. Designed by Henry Hobson Richardson,
the style has come to be known as “Richardson Romanesque” characterized by rough stone, heavy arches, massive tower,
clay roof and multiple colored stonework (polychromy). Trinity Church is considered one of the top ten buildings in the U.S.
Opened in 1895, Boston Public Library was the first publicly-supported municipal library in American, the first library
with a children’s room and is the second-largest public library in the U.S.
This Tortoise and the Hare sculpture at Copley Square, a reference to one of Aesop’s fables, was designed by
Boston sculptor Nancy Schön to pay tribute to all Boston Marathon participants.
Old South Church in Boston is a National Historic Landmark building across the street from the Boston Public Library
on Copley Square. Completed in 1875, the historic church is a colorful example of Northern Italian Gothic architecture.
Fenway Park, Home of the Boston Red Sox
Ted Williams, Johnny Pesky, Bobby Doerr and Dom DiMaggio are the Boston Red Sox baseball players immortalized in the
Teammates statue outside Fenway Park in Boston. The last photo in my Boston from Above essay is an aerial shot of Fenway.
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Website and all photos copyright © 2001–2016 Lee W. Nelson