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Built : 1795

Architect : Charles Bulfinch

Architectural Style : Colonial Revival, Federal, Greek Revival

Sections : South slope, north slope, Flat of the Hill

Prominent Attractions : Massachusetts State House, Black Heritage Trail, Boston Common, Acorn Street, Charles Street, Suffolk University etc.

Noteworthy Residents : Charles Bulfinch, Robert Frost, Louisa May Alcott, Sylvia Plath, Robert Lowell

Closest Subway Stations : Part Street, Bowdoin, Charles/ MGH

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Beacon Hill, Boston Overview

Beacon Hill in Boston is a historic neighbourhood lined with residential buildings representative of different architectural styles. Located close to sites such as Boston Common, Charles River Esplanade, Boston Public Garden amongst others, this area, made up of three sections (north and south slopes, Flat of the Hill) attracts a significant amount of crowd throughout the year.

Declared a National Historic Landmark in 1962, the historic Beacon Hill in Boston is a predominantly residential neighbourhood considered to be one of the most expensive in the city. Built towards the end of the 18th century, this neighbourhood is not only home to the Massachusetts State House but also to several picturesque streets like Acorn Street, the Suffolk University, the Harrison Gray Otis House along with others.

With certain parts of the neighbourhood falling on the Black Heritage Trail, Beacon Hill is a fairly popular area in Boston and is not only decently populated but also frequently visited. The general architecture resembles the Colonial and Greek Revival, and Federal styles, with rowhouses, cobblestone and narrow gaslit streets, brick sidewalks and mansions being some of the prominent features.

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What all can One Do in Beacon Hill?

There are a lot of recreational activities to indulge in when it comes to Beacon Hill. Some of them include the following:
  • One of the main reasons for this neighbourhood being so popular is its distinctive architecture. The many residential buildings as well as other structures are representative of the Colonial Revival, Greek Revival and Federal style of architecture; this area is perfect for those looking to discover different architectural features.
  • Boston Common, the country’s oldest public park, happens to fall on Beacon Street and Charles Street which means that residents and visitors can go and have a fun day at the 50-acre lush green park that offers the possibility of engaging in a number of recreational activities.
  • The Massachusetts State House, home to the state government and the site of several historic events, is located in Beacon Hill, which means that people can take some time and go visit this 18th century structure with the magnificent golden dome.
  • For those who enjoy photography, Beacon Hill is the where one would find Acorn Street. It is a narrow pathway made up of cobblestones and a brick sidewalk that is especially beautiful during Christmas, when it is decorated with wreaths and bright lights.
  • The neighbourhood is lined with numerous bars and restaurants which offer a wide variety of food options. There is Mooo, a steakhouse, Figs for pizza, Toscano for those craving Italian, Tatte with its delicious pastries and coffee, Tip Tap Room known for their beer, and many others. The Beacon Hill Pub and 21st Amendment are popular bars while the neighbourhood also houses Clink and Alibi, a famous lounge.

What is the Easiest Way to Reach Beacon Hill?

Given that Beacon Hill is a residential area, there are a number of ways to reach this historic neighbourhood. For those who happen to live here, there are Resident Parking spots and in order to park here, one requires a permit in the form of a Resident Parking sticker. On the other hand, for those simply visiting this area, there is metered parking available on Charles, Cambridge and Beacon Street along with there being parking garages like One Beacon Garage, Brimmer St- Garage and Center Plaza Garage. When talking about public transportation, the Blue, Green, Red and Orange lines of the MTBA Subway, buses 111, 43, 504, 92 and SL5, and trains Framingham/ Worcester, Greenbush and Haverhill drop off passengers close by, with Park Street, South Station, Bowdoin, Government Center Station and Charles/ MGH being some of the stops.

The Formation of the Beacon Hill Civic Association

The Beacon Hill Civic Association was formed in 1922 by residents of the neighbourhood with the intentions of preserving the historic area and preventing any new construction on the land (houses and other structures) and the replacement of the brick sidewalks, a noteworthy feature of Beacon Hill.
Ever since then, the Association has been a major asset to Beacon Hill, has strived towards making the neighbourhood a better place to live in and has taken initiatives such as advocating for resident parking permits, streamlining the trash service and creating a virtual community that seeks to help the older members of the community, along with others.

About Beacon Hill as a Residential Area

Beacon Hill in Boston is a neighbourhood that consists primarily of a large number of residential structures occupied by the city’s rich and wealthy. Most of these buildings, that include rowhouses, mansions, apartment complexes and other houses, along with the overall area, are known for their unique architectural features such as red-brick construction, the gaslit narrow streets, brick and cobblestone streets, ornately decorated doors, beautiful iron work etc.

Acorn Street, Louisburg Square, the Harrison Gray Otis House, the Francis Parkman House, Nicolas House Museum along with others are some of the many structures in this neighbourhood that attract visitors. Besides being home to residential buildings, Beacon Hill is lined with small antique stores, bars, restaurants, churches and historic monuments and is thus perfect for permanent residents as well as outsiders.

The History of One of the Most Picturesque Neighbourhoods of Boston

It was in 1625 when William Blaxton became the first European settler after he built a house and an orchard (a preformal arrangement) in Beacon Hill, on the south slope. Five years later, the Massachusetts Bay Company established their settlement here and began using the southernmost part for military drills as well as grazing animals. When a signal beacon was set up on the hill and the north slope began attracting sailors and British soldiers, the area became undesirable for residents.

There were a few developments in the 18th century, with Beacon Street being constructed, the Massachusetts State House being designed and built, the trimount area being established to accommodate the area’s growing population, the hills being levelled, houses being built and the overall development of Beacon Hill taking place.

The 19th century saw the construction of more buildings like mansions, rowhouses and other residential structures while the 20th century saw the establishment of better transportation facilities, an increase in the city’s economy, building renovations and constructions, the establishment of the Beacon Hill Civic Association and the introduction of bars, restaurants and industries. Today, Beacon Hill is largely occupied by wealthy families and is a popular tourist destination owing to its architecture and proximity to some of the city’s main attractions.

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