[gallery] Originally one of three peaks located in the western section of Boston, Beacon Hill was initially used for grazing and for military drills. As the residential areas surrounding the peaks became more crowded, a group known as the Mount Vernon Proprietors formed and purchased 19 acres of land, many from the painter John Singleton Copley, with the idea of creating a new, prestigious residential district. Construction began in 1799, and through the early to mid-1800s many of the buildings lining the hilly streets of Beacon Hill were constructed. As the house lots became more desirable and scarce, lots were subdivided and made into attached homes. The centerpiece of Beacon Hill is the Charles Bulfinch designed Massachusetts State House. The design was much admired across the United States, and made Bulfinch a major influence in early American architecture. One of the most prestigious addresses in Boston is in the block known as Louisburg Square. Located at the top of Mount Vernon Street in Beacon Hill, the houses on the Square surround a small, private park and feature brick houses with bow fronts. Famous residents of Beacon Hill in the 19th century included Charles Bulfinch, painter John Singleton Copley, and Louisa May Alcott. Current day Beacon Hill features a mix of stately townhouses, fashionable shops and tempting cafes.
With winter in full swing, there are loads of great activities in Downtown Boston. Now that the holidays are over maybe exercise was one of your New Years resolutions? Exercise doesnt need to be exercise for exercise sake. Have some fun while you are at it, and get yourself limbered up just in time for the Olympics. A great opportunity to get some fresh air and get the muscles moving is going for a skate at the Frog Pond on Boston Common. A wading pool in the warmer months, The Frog Pond is transformed from mid-November to mid-March each year into a skating rink. Youll find every level of skater here, so dont feel self- conscious if you are a beginner. You may even like it so much that youll sign up for skating lessons from the Skating Club of Boston which runs the rink in co-operation with the Boston Parks Department. Located right between Beacon Hill and the Back Bay, the open air rink is open from 10am daily (closing times vary). If you are coming by car, parking in the Boston Common Garage right under the Common is a good option. By T, take the Green Line to Park Street Station and by the Red Line exit at either Park Street or Boylston Street. Adult admission is only $5, and kids under age 13 skate for free. Locker and skate rentals are available, and if you come with your own skates, sharpening is available for $8. The Frog Pond Caf is right on site and offers a heated area for you to relax post-skate and enjoy a hot chocolate or one of their other treats including Belgian waffles. Admittedly you may be keeping one resolution (exercise), while breaking another (diet), but least youll be getting some fresh air! For more information, daily hours and inclement weather notices please see www.bostonfrogpond.com or call (617)635-2120.
May is a month where our weather really starts to warm up and our thoughts turn toward summer. In the spirit of looking forward, while at the same time looking back, May is also National Historic Preservation Month. In order to celebrate and promote Bostons rich history, architecture and historic neighborhoods, Mayor Walsh recently released a schedule of events taking place in May, across the city. Some of the highlights for the coming month include the following:
14 | WED | 6:00 PM | GALA AND SILENT AUCTION Boston Preservation Alliance Gala and Silent Auction The Alliance's annual Spring Auction is being held at the Liberty Hotel. The hotel is one of Boston's most unique historic spaces previous being the Charles Street Jail. Bid on our silent auction items and support the ongoing work of Boston's leading advocate for historic preservation. The Liberty Hotel, 215 Charles St. $150 per ticket, $75 for young professionals under 40. Presented by: Boston Preservation Alliance | www.bostonpreservation.org Contact: Alison Frazee | firstname.lastname@example.org | (617) 367-2458
15 | THURS | 6:00 PM | FUNDRAISER Taste of West Roxbury Annual fundraiser for West Roxbury Main Streets featuring tasty treats from local businesses. The Irish Social Club, 119 Park Street, West Roxbury. $25 in advance, $30 at the door. Presented by: West Roxbury Main Streets | www.wrms.org Contact: Michael Iceland | email@example.com | (617) 325-6400
If you are looking for some exercise, consider a walking tour. Whether you have lived in Boston for all of your life, or you are new to the area, a walking tour is a great way to appreciate some of the great history all around us.
Affordably priced, there many tours offered all over the city. On Thursday, May 15 at 4:00pm the Boston Landmarks Commission presents a walking tour entitled, The Christian Science Church Complex: In and Out of the City. Designated a City of Boston Landmark in 2010, the Christian Science Church campus in Bostons Back Bay features an amazingly sprawling group of plazas and buildings. According to the Commission, this walking tour will look at the development of the campus, its buildings and open spaces as they relate to each other and to the city at large. The tour will be led by Boston Landmarks Commission staff architect, Elizabeth Stifel.
Meeting place confirmed at time of reservation. Free and open to the public. As space is limited, pre-registration is required. Presented by: Boston Landmarks Commission | www.cityofboston.gov/landmarks
Also offering several different walking tours is the non-profit, Boston By Foot. Tour titles include The Heart of the Freedom Trail, Beacon Hill, The North End: Gateway to Boston, Road to Revolution Walking Tour, and the Victorian Back Bay. One of this weeks tours is of the Flat of Beacon Hill. Offered Thursday, May 15 from 5:00-6:30pm, the description states:
The Flat of Beacon Hill is built on 19th century made-land along the Charles River. This intimate patch of real estate soon acquired carriage houses and horse stables owned by the wealthy families living on Beacon Hill. Today, many of these edifices have been converted into charming residences and seamlessly blend among the notable landmarks such as the Charles Street Meeting House, the Church of the Advent, and the Sunflower Castle. Meet your guide outside the entrance to the Charles/MGH MBTA station on the Red Line. $15 per person, $5 for Boston By Foot members.
For information about this or any of their other walking tours, contact Boston By Foot at firstname.lastname@example.org, (617) 367-2345 or at www.bostonbyfoot.org.
For the full calendar of events celebrating National Historic Preservation Month please see www.cityofboston.gov.