When I was a student at Northeastern University, I walked through Boston a lot. Really. A lot. I worked my way through school after my freshman scholarship ran out and held on to every quarter I could find. Some of these quarters would have saved me a lot of time by riding the MBTA but, instead, I walked.
I passed buildings in the Back Bay without knowing what they were, who had built them, or when they had gone up and why. I didn’t even know that the Back Bay had once been a stinking mud flat that three entities converted into the Millionaire’s Mile. That meant I paid these structures little attention, even though I would have enjoyed knowing more. (Note to Northeastern University: How about an orientation lecture on this?)
Training with Boston By Foot
Fortunately, I began making up for that lack when I took Boston By Foot’s course for Guides in Training. I started reading books on history and architecture. I found that I could no longer see just a building because now I knew more. After graduation, I went on to give tours of the Back Bay, among others, and learning even more. To paraphrase Tyrion Lannister: That’s what I do. I read and I know things. It’s a good motto for a tour guide.
Then I began writing this blog and added posts about Boston on a fairly regular basis. Some fit into a series: Hidden Gems, Angels in Boston, Animal Statues, Doors, etc. Other posts did not match a pattern—they stood on their own. I did, however, group them by their part of Boston.
You might have seen these posts or you might be a new reader for whom they have not been visible.
36 Back Bay Posts
Today, I’m am publishing a list of all the posts I have written about the Back Bay—36 plus. I define the Back Bay thusly: From Arlington Street west to Massachusetts Avenue and from the Charles River south to Copley Square.
The posts appear in rough alphabetical order and I have added the series, if applicable.
- Angel of the Waters – Angels (Has been restored since this was posted)
- The Back Bay: The Once (and Future?) Body of Water
- The Back Bay from the Ground Up
- The Bagheera Fountain — Fountains
- The Berkeley Building: Shining Bright in the Back Bay
- The Berklee College of Music
- Boston’s Horses: Paint and Henry – Animal Statues
- Boston Police Headquarters
- Boston’s Popcorn Man
- Boston Public Library Courtyard –Hidden Gems
- The BPL’s Bronze Portals — Doors
- The BPL’s Frieze of Angels – Angels
- Brattle Square Angels — Angels
(Currently behind scaffolding for restoration)
- The Church Court Angel — Angels
- The Copley Station Headhouse – Hidden Gems
- Cornelius and the Angel: A Tiffany Window – Angels
- The Ether Monument’s Good Samaritan”
(Fountain not currently functioning)
- The Frog Pond’s Whimsical Frogs – Animal Statues
- Haddon Hall: Tall in the Back Bay
- The Haberstroh Building
- History Dioramas – Hidden Gems
- Make Way for Ducklings Statue – Animal Statues
(Might be wearing sports jerseys for a Boston team)
- The Mapparium – Hidden Gems
- The Kakas Fur Company Polar Bear — Missing
- Museum Restoration – Hidden Gems
- Phillips Brooks and the Christmas Carol
- Pru Garden – Hidden Gems
- “Quest Eternal” at the Pru — Missing
- The Salada Tea Doors – Hidden Gems
- Small Treasures of Boston’s Back Bay
- Spiritual Temple or Movie Theater?
- St. Francis Garden – Hidden Gems
(Currently torn up for construction)
- The Tiffany Sanctuary – Hidden Gems
- The Tortoise and the Hare and the Boston Marathon – Animal Statues
- Why So Few Skyways for Boston?
More in the Future
I’m sure I will write more in the future. I find the Back Bay fascinating and can always come up with new things to interest me. In the meantime, this list should keep you busy, at least for a little while.
If you have suggestions for something you would like me to write about, please put them in the Comments section. I check it daily and I’m always looking for good ideas.