Beacon Hill, Boston
Beacon Hill has traditionally been the home of Boston's upper class or well to do community known locally as "Brahmin." As well, on the more modest north side of the hill, African Americans have lived here since the early 19th century. Many of the houses here are three or four-story brick brownstones in the Federal style. The streets and sidewalks are often made of brick and lend to its English-style atmosphere. The neighborhood is roughly bordered by Cambridge Street in the north, Tremont Street in the east, Boylston Street in the south and the Esplanade in the west.
Boston African American National Historic Site
The Boston African American National Historic Site consists of 15 pre-Civil War buildings that give a clear picture of the 19th C Boston African American community. The buildings consist of the homes, businesses, schools, and churches.
First opened in 1807, the Boston Athenaeum was one of the first private lending libraries in the country. The founders wanted "an establishment similar to that of the Athenæum and Lyceum of Liverpool in Great Britain; combining the advantages of a public library [and] containing the great works of learning and science in all languages." Some of its holdings were donated to the Museum of Fine Arts towards the end of the 19th century. The comprehensive collection contains around 750,000 volumes and works of art. Some of the most notable pieces include numerous works on Boston history, New England State and local history, biography, English and American literature, and the fine and decorative arts. The Athenaeum has a well-established art gallery and it sponsors regular concerts, lectures and special events.
Address: 10 1/2 Beacon Street, United States
Opening hours: 8:30am-5:30pm; Mon: 8:30am-8pm; Wed: 8:30am-8pm; Sat: 9am-4pm; Closed: Sun
Always closed on: New Year's Day (Jan 1), Martin Luther King's Birthday - USA (3rd Monday, Jan), President's Day - USA (3rd Monday, Feb), Memorial Day - USA (last Monday, May), American Independance Day (Jul 4), Labor Day - USA (1st Monday, Sep), Columbus Day - USA (2nd Monday, Oct), Thanksgiving - USA (4th Thursday, Nov), Veteran's Day - USA (Nov 11), Christmas - Christian (Dec 25)
Useful tips: Call ahead to check for accessibility.
Disability Access: Partial facilities for persons with disabilities.
Museum of Afro American History
The Museum of Afro-American History operates the African Meeting House and the Abiel Smith School. Both locations are historically significant and are located in what once was the heart of Boston's 19th-century African American community.The African Meeting House is the oldest church in the U.S. built by and for Black Americans. Constructed in 1806, it served as a church and school as well as political organization. It has been restored to its 1854 appearance.The Abiel Smith School was built in 1834 as the first public grammar school in the country for African American children. Restoration of the school was completed in February 2000.Displays at both locations include artifacts, films, art and sculpture related to the black experience in Boston and New England.
Address: 14 Beacon Street, Suite 719, Boston, MA 02108, United States
Opening hours: 10am-4pm; Closed: Sun
Always closed on: New Year's Day (Jan 1), Thanksgiving - USA (4th Thursday, Nov), Christmas - Christian (Dec 25)
Entrance fee in USD: Adult $5.00, Child 17 & under $3.00, Senior over 62 $3.00, Child 12 & under FREE
Guides: Interpretive sessions sometimes available.
Facilities: Gift shop
Typical Visit: 1 hour
Harrison Gray Otis House
In 1796, noted architect Charles Bullfinch designed and built this English Adamesque style house for Harrison Gray Otis, Boston's third mayor. Today the house has been restored to its early 1800's appearance and contains period furnishings and historical exhibits about the occupants. Since 1916, it has been the headquarters of the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities.The building is a National Historic Landmark.
Hatch Memorial Shell
Since its construction in 1940, Hatch Memorial Shell, an outdoor, Art Deco music shell has become a Boston landmark. The shell hosts a regular program of concerts, performances and other special events. It is especially famous for hosting the Boston Pop's yearly presentation of the 1812 Overture on July 4th. Audiences sit on the 2-acre field in front of the shell with commanding views of Cambridge, Back Bay, and Beacon Hill.
Institute of Contemporary Art
The Institute of Contemporary Art was founded in 1936 as the Boston Museum of Modern Art, making it the oldest non-collecting contemporary arts institution in the United States. The Institute hosts regularly changing exhibits of contemporary art from around the U.S. and around the world. Visitors can expect to see various forms of media including visual arts, sculpture, film, photography, painting, and literature.
Address: 100 Northern Avenue, Boston, MA 02210, United States
Opening hours: 10am-5pm; Thu: 10am-9pm; Fri: 10am-9pm; Closed: Mon
Always opened on: Martin Luther King's Birthday - USA (3rd Monday, Jan), President's Day - USA (3rd Monday, Feb), Memorial Day - USA (last Monday, May), Labor Day - USA (1st Monday, Sep), Columbus Day - USA (2nd Monday, Oct), Veteran's Day - USA (Nov 11)
Always closed on: New Year's Day (Jan 1), American Independance Day (Jul 4), Thanksgiving - USA (4th Thursday, Nov), Christmas - Christian (Dec 25)
Entrance fee in USD: Adult $15.00, Students $13.00, Senior $10.00, Child 17 & under FREE
Useful tips: Free for all on Thursdays after 5:00 pm. Free for families on the last Saturday of each month, excluding December. Call for information about guided tours.
Disability Access: Full facilities for persons with disabilities.
Facilities: Gift shop, Restaurant or food service
Transit: T: Hynes Convention Center-ICA
Louisburg Square is a private square located in the posh Beacon Hill neighborhood. It was named for the battle of Louisburg, in which Massachusetts Militiamen sacked the French Fortress in 1745. The Greek Revival houses around the square reflect the rarefied privilege enjoyed by the 19th century upper class in Beacon Hill. Author Louisa May Alcott lived here from 1880 to 1888.
Nichols House Museum
Nichols House Museum is a Federal Style home built by famous Boston architect, Charles Bulfinch. The degree of luxury enjoyed by the Beacon Hill upper class residents is the focus of the museum. Author and world traveler, Rose Standish Nichols, owned the house and it is filled with her collection of 16th to 19th century furnishings and decorative arts.
Address: 55 Mount Vernon Street, Boston, MA 02108-1330, United States
Opening hours: Apr 1 to Oct 31: 11am-4pm; Closed: Sun, Mon
Nov 1 to Mar 31: 11am-4pm; Closed: Sun, Mon, Tue, Wed
Nov 1 to Mar 31: 11am-4pm; Closed: Sun, Mon, Tue, Wed
Always closed on: American Independance Day (Jul 4), Thanksgiving - USA (4th Thursday, Nov), Christmas - Christian (Dec 25)
Entrance fee in USD: Adult $7.00, Child 12 & under FREE
Transit: T: Park Street
Typical Visit: 30 minutes
Cheers (Bull and Finch)
The Bull and Finch, established in 1969, inspired the popular television program, Cheers. It is open for business, but one stool at the end of bar is reserved for "Norm".
More Beacon Hill Pictures