Boston Common

139 Tremont St, Boston, MA

Founded in 1634, it is the oldest city park in the United States. The Boston Common consists of 50 acres (20 ha) of land bounded by Tremont Street (139 Tremont St.), Park Street, Beacon Street, Charles Street, and Boylston Street.

A visitors' center for all of Boston is located on the Tremont Street side of the park.

From Colonial times to the present day, the Common has been at the center stage of American history. It has witnessed executions, sermons, protests, and celebrations, and it has hosted famous visitors from Generals Washington and Lafayette to Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. and Pope John Paul II. In Colonial times, it served as a meeting place, pasture, and military training field. Bostonians in the nineteenth century added tree-lined malls and paths and, following the Civil War, monuments, and fountains. The twentieth century saw victory gardens, troop entertainment, rallies for civil rights and against the Vietnam War, and the first papal mass in North America.

Today, Boston Common is open for all to enjoy.

Notable features:

  • The Boston Common Tablet is installed near the corner of Park Street and Tremont Street.
  • Brewer Fountain stands near the corner of Park and Tremont Streets, by Park Street Station. This is a bronze copy of a French original that won a gold medal at the 1855 Paris World’s Fair.
  • Plaque to the Great Elm tree, which had been adorned with lanterns to represent liberty, used as a point of fortification, and used for hangings. The Great Elm tree was destroyed in a storm in 1876.
  • Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ Shaw/54th Regiment Memorial - The most acclaimed piece of sculpture at the Common. The enormous bas-relief depicts the mounted Colonel Robert Gould Shaw leading the Massachusetts 54th Regiment, the first all-volunteer black regiment in the Union army.
  • The Soldiers and Sailors Monument is a victory column on Flag Staff Hill, commemorating Civil War dead.
  • The Boston Massacre Monument was dedicated November 14, 1888. This depicts the events before the Old State House on March 5, 1770, features Crispus Attucks, the first to fall.
  • Parkman Bandstand, in the eastern part of the park, is used in musical and theatrical productions.
  • Parkman Plaza is a circular paved area located in front of the Visitors’ Center. It features three bronze statues representing Industry, Religion, and Learning.
  • Founders Memorial is erected along Beacon Mall on the Common. It shows William Blackstone welcoming John Winthrop’s party to Shawmut peninsula, as allegorical figures look on.
  • Frog Pond is the heart of the Common all year round. In summer, it provides an escape from the heat and a great spot for a picnic.

 

Photo: "Aerial View Parkman Bandstand at Boston Common" by AbhiSuryawanshi is licensed by CC-BY-SA-4.0



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