The construction in the early 19th century of the Mill dam
and Cross Dam west of Beacon
caused the creation of a large swamp. It was
considered a health hazard and the filling of the swamp
was started in 1857. This project, which took almost
thirty years to complete, was the start of a new popular
district: Back Bay.
The plan by the architect Arthur Gilman was approved
in 1856. It is based on the French model and has a strict
street grid, unique for Boston at the time. The mostly
3 to 4 story brownstone houses were designed by different
architects but thanks to the strict regulations, they
all integrate nicely. The houses had every amenity and
were of high quality. It attracted many rich
who moved from the South End
to this new fashionable district. Even today,
Back Bay is a popular and wealthy district.
Some houses have not survived the demolition frenzy of the
seventies, but overall the district has survived relatively
interesting streets in the neighborhood are Newbury
street and Commonwealth Avenue. Newbury is a very attractive,
European style shopping street where you can buy the
latest fashion or have lunch in a trendy café.
Back Bay seen from Cambridge
Commonwealth Avenue, a.k.a. 'Comm. Ave.' is a Parisian
style wide boulevard with expensive townhouses.
is the district's small, but prominent central square. Despite
its lack of size, it boasts several landmarks: among
the most famous are the 1877 Trinity
, the 1895 Public Library and the 1975 John