Walking Boston – Copley Square

Copley Square

With a four-day conference behind us, our little troupe of coworkers only had one evening together to do something touristy in Boston.  I had always heard that Boston was a great walking city.  It really lives up to that reputation.

Flags at the Boston Public Library

We set out from our hotel at Copley Place and walked over to nearby Copley Square.  There are two big landmarks at Copley Square.  One is the Boston Public Library’s McKim Building.  It is a grand old building that fronts onto Dartmouth Street and the Copley Square across the street.  It was built in 1895 and it was meant to be a “Palace for the People.”  Even now in the 21st Century, it is a very impressive edifice.


The steps of the library are flanked by two statues of women seated in giant granite seats.  These women are the personification of “Science” and “Art”.  Each giant seat is inscribed with the names of the giants of each field.  According to the Boston Public Library website, the statues were sculpted by Bela Pratt and were set in place in 1912.  100 year old statues!

Entrance Hall of Boston Public Library

As luck would have it, our conference sessions ran well into the middle of the afternoon and our shuttle buses from the convention center were snarled in traffic.  So we didn’t even get out and about until around 5pm.  The library had already closed and they were shooing out the last of the patrons when we got into the Entrance Hall of the McKim Building.  That’s as far into the building as we got on that Saturday afternoon.  For architecture buffs, it would definitely be worthwhile to spend more time in the Boston Public Library.

lights at the Boston Public Library

Across Dartmouth Street from the Library is Copley Square and the grand Trinity Church. It is acclaimed as a great example of “Richardsonian Romanesque.”  H.H. Richardson was the architect and this building helped to establish his reputation as an architect.  The current Trinity Church was completed and dedicated in 1877.

Trinity Church

Beside the church is the gigantic glass face of the John Hancock Tower.  It simply towers over the grand old church.  The building does reflect back the image of the church to those walking below on the ground.

Trinity Church with the John Hancock Tower just behind it

If you love old, heritage buildings, then Boston is full of them.  Two of the greatest examples can be found just around tiny Copley Square.


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