Boston’s Hidden Gems: 4 Posts

Tenshin-en is best seen in the spring when the azaleas bloom but in the fall the cherry trees and Japanese maples add color to the dark green pines.This month I started a series of posts about Boston’s hidden gems. These are largely unknown places in the city that ordinary folks can visit. Some are outside and some are inside and some bring the outdoors in. Many are free while some have admission charges. Visiting them may require a little advance planning.

These places are little jewels that even many residents don’t know about but all are definitely worth a visit.

The September Gems

The Mapparium is an enormous stained glass globe that’s 30 feet wide and three stories tall. You walk through it on a glass bridge that gives you at 360° view from the center of the earth looking outward.

The world from inside

Here are the four posts that went up in September:

  • Tenshin-en: a Japanese garden at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts that is designed for meditation and contemplation (free)
  • The Mapparium: a walk-through stained-glass globe in the Mary Baker Eddy Library at the Christian Science Center (small admission fee)
  • The BPL Courtyard: a beautiful cloistered courtyard at the Boston Public Library that houses a scandalous statue (free)
  • The Ether Dome: an operating amphitheater on the fourth floor of the Bulfinch Building at Massachusetts General Hospital where ether was first used as a surgical anesthetic. (free)

These posts contain information on history, art, architecture, medicine, gardening and culture. If you missed any of them, just follow the links to each.

More to Come

At its center is a small plaza around a square fountain basin in which a circle of water jets plays around a granite plinth. Atop this is a statue of “Dancing Bacchante and Infant Faun” by Frederick William MacMonnies.

The fountain at night

I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them. And there’s more to come. Boston has a wealth of wonderful places to visit and my fellow docents at Boston By Foot have made some excellent recommendations.

And why not? @BostonByFoot docents learn a lot about the city and we lead tours into many places that are not well known but have a wonderful history.

3 thoughts on “Boston’s Hidden Gems: 4 Posts

  1. Enjoy the postings.

    There is a lovely park next to the Westin Seaport Hotel that is a cosmic, primordial gem, hearkening back to the “big bang.” It was commissioned by Edwin [?] Johnson [of the Fidelity Johnson’s]. After it was completed, Johnson wanted to relocate it to his home town of Hingham, but a the artist objected, arguing that it was created for this specific site. A legal battle ensued, and the artist prevailed!

    Keep up with your efforts.

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