A Walking Tour of Boston Back Bay, South of Commonwealth
by Doug Gelbert
There is no better way to see America than on foot. And there is no better way to appreciate what you are looking at than with a walking tour. Whether you are preparing for a road trip or just out to look at your own town in a new way, a downloadable walking tour from walkthetown.com is ready to explore when you are.
Each walking tour describes historical and architectural landmarks and provides pictures to help out when those pesky street addresses are missing. Every tour also includes a quick primer on identifying architectural styles seen on American streets.
In 1857 the Commonwealth of Massachusetts began to fill in the tidal flats west of the city center. The fill began at the Public Garden and spread westward, eventually taking 25 years to complete the project. From the beginning, Back Bay was designed to be a residential community; over the next 60 years more than 1,500 houses and apartments were built here.
Back Bay represented one of the country’s first concerted efforts to create a homogeneous urban environment on a grand scale. The wide streets and large building lots attracted wealthy Bostonians from Beacon Hill from the beginning. America’s top architects from the Gilded Age are represented throughout the neighborhod. World War I and the Depression led to the dissolution of many of these magnificent single-family mansions and the infiltration of retail establishments.
This walking tour of the Back Bay will begin in Copley Square, home to several of America’s most significant buildings...
- Doug Gelbert, January 2010
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