Walking Boston – Tremont Street

After venturing through the Boston Common and Public Garden, we passed by the Massachusetts State House.  We made our way down Park Street to Tremont Street.  On the corner of Park and Tremont is the Park Street Church.  This is one of the major landmarks along the Freedom Trail.

park street

The Park Street Church simply dominates the corner of Park and Tremont with it’s 217-foot tall white steeple.  It was built in 1809.  According to the TripAdvisor City Guide, it was “one of the most significant historical buildings for its major role in the abolitionist movement.”

Behind the Park Street Church is the Granary Burying Ground.  This cemetery is the resting place for many famous figures in American history – Paul Revere, John Hancock, Samuel Adams, and many more.  It was almost 6pm by the time we got there and the Burying Ground was already closed to the public.  I had to settle for photos from the outside looking in.

peering into the granary burying ground

Just past the Burying Ground where Tremont Street narrows and the streetscape is overshadowed on either side by tall buildings, there is a formidable ediface.  The Tremont Temple stands like a Venetian palace plucked in the middle of downtown Boston.  Above the giant stone entrance archway, is a tall flat wall decorated with a tile pattern.  A large balcony hangs above the archway.  I almost imagine the Merchant of Venice stepping out to look upon the flowing canal of traffic and pedestrians below.

Just past the Tremont Temple on the corner of School and Tremont is the Kings Chapel.  This tiny chapel was founded in 1686.  Presumably, this is where the King of England would have worshiped when visiting the colonies before the American Revolution.  The Chapel was closed just like everything else along our walk this late Saturday afternoon.  Luckily for us, somebody was moving things in and out of the building and we had a little sneak peek into the chapel itself.

Moving further down Tremont Street, we past a few boarded up shops on our way to Government Center.  There were a couple of neat things hanging above the sidewalk to grab people’s attention.  There was a neat old sign leftover from a former coin collectors shop.  Then there was a giant steaming kettle above the Starbucks, but I think the kettle was advertising for a business beside the Starbucks.

Then just at Government Center, there is Boston City Hall.  It’s an impressive, imposing example of Brutalism.  The large concrete slabs slapped together were built overlooking the square below.

I think this is one of the most unwelcoming city halls I have ever set my eyes upon.  The Brutalist style gives a sense of Big Brother imposing its will on the denizens below.  It’s also a very strange city hall for Boston.  Here is a city with such a rich history, but it’s city hall is post-modern brutalist monolith built to govern the town.

Thankfully, behind city hall and away from Tremont Street, is a building with a richer history and architecture – Faneuil Hall.

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