Common and Uncommon Boston Common Attractions
Boston Common, Boston, Massachusetts.
by Eric J. Hurwitz. Article updated on Dec. 31, 2016.
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The following article includes excerpts from my book, Massachusetts Town Greens
(Globe Pequot, May 2016), on the Boston Common
The Boston Common is the hub of Massachusetts town greens and the
oldest park in the country, dating back to 1634. This fifty-acre park,
in the heart of the city, possesses a remarkable history, as it has
been used for many purposes throughout the years, including cattle
grazing, amusements, entertainment, and, of course, the location where
British troops were stationed on the Boston Common before the American
Revolution and deployed from this land to face resistance at Lexington
and Concord in April of 1775.
Declared a US Historic National Landmark in 1987, the Boston Common
extends far beyond its core location bounded by Tremont, Park, Beacon,
Charles, and Boylston Streets. The Emerald Necklace, a seven-mile
network of connected parks spanning the city’s neighborhoods, offers
twelve hundred acres of wonderful green space, including Franklin Park,
the Arnold Arboretum and Jamaica Pond in Jamaica Plain, Olmsted Park,
the Riverway, Back Bay Fens, and Commonwealth Avenue Mall and Boston
Public Garden, according to the Emerald Necklace Conservancy website.
Boston Public Garden is
located at the Boston Common and was the first public garden in the
United States. Initially a space for the Victorians to display their
love for gardening, the Boston Public Garden today features more than
eigthy species of plants and is home to the legendary Swan Boats of
Boston. Perhaps the most beloved Boston Common attraction, the Swan
Boats of Boston scenic summer rides on pedal boats featuring inanimate
swans. The Swan Boats have been a staple in Boston since 1877.
Swan Boats of Boston.
Notable attractions on the main Boston Common land feature the
Alexander Hamilton statue, 9/11 memorial, George Washington
statue, Make Way for Ducklings statue, Central Burying Ground (final
resting place for Revolutionary War soldiers and many more), Soldiers
and Sailors Civil War Monument, Shaw Memorial, and Brewer Fountain.
The Boston Frog Pond is another wonderful Boston
Common attraction featuring an idyllic location for public ice skating
in the winter and a wading pool in the summer (the Tadpole playground
and a carousel are nearby).
Pond at Boston Common.
Notable events include... the lighting of the Boston Common Christmas
Tree, and fireworks during Boston’s First Night celebration on New
Year’s Eve. Boston Common is also the starting Point of the historic
Boston Freedom Trail!
Want to learn more about the Boston
Common and other historic, beautiful town and city commons in
Massachusetts? Purchase a copy of Massachusetts Town Greens
(Globe Pequot, May 2016), written by Eric Hurwitz, publisher of VisitingNewEngland.com.
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