Posts About Boston

Posts About Boston: 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.

Inside the Mapparium

As a tour guide for Boston By Foot and Haunted Boston as well as other organizations, I walk around the city a great deal. I learned a lot about Boston’s history during my @BBF training to become a tour guide and I have read a lot more since then. As a blogger, I have written many posts about Boston and some comprise a series around a topic.

As I have read and written about Boston, walked through the city’s streets and poked into odd places, I have become even more interested in what it has to offer residents, visitors and tourists alike. To make it easier for readers of The Next Phase to access all the posts I have written about Boston in one place, this page collects them all. I updated this page regularly.

Boston’s Hidden Gems Series:

I define Boston’s Hidden Gems as largely unknown places in the city that ordinary folks can visit. Some can be found outside while some are inside and some bring the outdoors in. You can visit most of them for free although a few have admission charges. Some can be seen at any time while visiting others may require advance planning. Many residents don’t know about these little jewels but all are definitely worth a visit

  1. The Salada Tea Doors are not exactly hidden—hundreds of people walk past them every day—but most pedestrians just walk on by. Even though there’s a plaque explaining what they are and who made them, and the doors themselves are beautiful, folks are in too much of a hurry to stop and take a look. When they’re open during the workday it is more difficult to see them but when they are closed after business hours, the doors are on full display.

    The Salada Tea Doors

    Tenshin-en — Museum District

  2. The Mapparium — Back Bay
  3. Boston Public Library Courtyard –Back Bay
  4. The Ether Dome — West End
  5. The Tiffany Sanctuary — Back Bay
  6. The Salada Tea Doors — Back Bay
  7. Museum Restoration — Back Bay
  8. St. Francis Garden — Back Bay
  9. History Dioramas — Back Bay
  10. Exchange Staircase — Financial District
  11. Pru Garden — Back Bay
  12. Angel of the Waters — Public Garden
  13. The Ayer Mansion Lobby — Kenmore
  14. The Catalonian Chapel — Museum District
  15. The Vertical Garden on Merrimac Street — West End
  16. The Vilna Shul — Beacon Hill
  17. The Great Elm on the Boston Common — Boston Common
  18. The Copley Station Headhouse — Back Bay
  19. The Rose Kennedy Rose Garden — Waterfront
  20. The Province House Steps Connect 3 Centuries — Downtown
  21. Independence Wharf Observation Deck — Waterfront
  22. Boston Harbor Hotel Grand Observatory — Waterfront
  23. Building Boston — Scale-Model City — Waterfront
  24. The Boston Athenaeum’s Fascinating First Floor — Beacon Hill
  25. The Marriott Hotel in a Molasses Warehouse — Fort Point Channel

Boston’s Angels Series

Posts About Boston: The angel was sculpted by Daniel Chester French, the man who created the monumental president who sits in Washington’s Lincoln Memorial. He collaborated with Architect Henry Bacon on that structure as well as on this—the last thing they worked on together.

The angel of the waters

Every western city displays images of angels: big ones and small ones, cherubim and seraphim, paintings and sculptures, made of bronze and stained glass, found inside, outside, and on top of roofs and steeples. Boston has fewer angels as public art than many old cities, probably because of its Puritan heritage. This series about Boston’s angels starts with four angels worth finding.

  1. The BPL’s Frieze of Angels — Back Bay
  2. Cornelius and the Angel: A Tiffany Window — Back Bay
  3. The Angels of Holy Cross Cathedral — South End
  4. The Solitary Church Court Angel — Back Bay
  5. Angel of the Waters — Back Bay
  6. Thomas Gruchy’s Angels — North End
  7. Coletti’s Speedy Angels — North End
  8. Brattle Square Angels — Back Bay
  9. Martin Milmore and the Angel of Death — Jamaica Plain

Art Hiding in Plain Sight

  1. Boston’s Missing: 4 Lost Wyeth Murals
  2. Sol LeWitt on Cambridge Street
  3. N.C. Wyeth’s Banking Murals
  4. Robert Motherwell’s JFK Mural

Posts About Boston: The City

  1. Ray Donovan Returns to Boston
  2. Navigating Boston’s Architecture
  3. Boston’s Missing French-Canadian Restaurants
  4. How to Keep Trucks from Being Storrowed
  5. Boston’s Streets and Common Occupations
  6. Boston Photos: Outtakes from the Archives: 
  7. Boston’s Neon: Big, Bright and Missing
  8. Boston’s Streets: Food and Cooking
  9. Boston’s Privately Owned Public Spaces
  10. Boston’s Five First Events
  11. Looking for Boston’s Homeless People
  12. Boston’s Egyptian Revival: Part 2American Sphinx, Martin Milmore, Joseph Milmore, Mount Auburn Cemetery
  13. Boston’s Egyptian Revival Monuments: Part 1
  14. Pope Night: An Old Religious Hatred
  15. Boston’s Missing: The Pewter Pot Muffin House
  16. When Back to School = Getting Storrowed
  17. Lost Buildings: Does Bias Affect Preservation?
  18. Architectural Art: Demolition and Salvage
  19. Boston’s Not-So-Public Spaces
  20. Boston Street Names: Who, What, Where? 
  21. Wigglesworth Street on Mission Hill
  22. Boston’s Popcorn Man
  23. Boston: America’s Third Snobbiest City?
  24. Can “Boston Strong” Mean Innovation Leader
  25. Does a Century-Old Attitude Still Influence Boston?
  26. We Are All Boston Strong
  27. Nowhere to Go

Beacon Hill

  1. Boston’s Streets: Temple Street
  2. The Hotel Bellevue on Beacon Hill
  3. Boston’s Doors: The John Hancock Mansion
  4. Benedict Chambers: The Boarding House on Beacon Hill
  5. Derne Street: William Eaton from the Shores of Tripoli to Beacon Hill
  6. The Many Homes of Nixon Black
  7. The Chester Harding House on Beacon Street
  8. The Sunflower Castle on Beacon Hill Flat
  9. The Congregational House Bas-Relief Sculptures
  10. The Boston Athenaeum’s Fascinating First Floor
  11. A Beacon Hill with a Boo Halloween


  1. Three Building Facades on Essex Street
  2. The Boston Medical Dispensary’s Good Samaritan

Downtown / Financial / Commercial Districts

  1. Liberty Square and Three Rebellions
  2. The Bedford Building: Red, White and Gothic
  3. Where Somerset Street Meets Sudbury Street
  4. The Steaming Kettle’s Invisible Creator
  5. St. Paul’s: Boston’s First Greek Revival Church
  6. Boston’s Streets: Bosworth Street
  7. The Richardson Block: A Phoenix from the Ashes
  8. The Tunnel Col. Perkins Built in the  Ladder District
  9. The International Trust Company Building 
  10. The Transcript Building on Newspaper Row
  11. The City Hall Annex on Court Street
  12. The Brewer Fountain on Boston Common
  13. The Lead Works Shot Tower

    The Chadwick Lead Works

  14. Boston’s Streets: Pearl Street
  15. Boston’s Streets: Water Street
  16. Boston’s Streets:  Milk Street
  17. Boston’s Streets: Winter and Summer Street
  18. Boston’s Missing: Helion and the Giant Lollipops
  19. Christmas Magic in Department Store Windows
  20. Boston’s Doors: The Dickens Door
  21. Pieroni’s Sea Grill: Gone but Not Forgotten
  22. The Niles Building: Hub of a Financial Scandal
  23. Boston’s Missing: The Horticultural Goddesses
  24. Washington Street Before George Washington
  25. Arch Street and the Mystery of the Missing Arch
  26. Solved: Hemenway Building = 10 Tremont Street
  27. The Mystery of 10 Tremont Street
  28. Batterymarch Street: Who Goes There?
  29. The Great Spring on Boston’s Spring Lane
  30. A Not-So-Spooky Tour at King’s Chapel
  31. Pemberton Square and the John Adams Courthouse
  32. Inside the John Adams Courthouse

Theater District and Piano Row

  1. Steinway sign, Piano Row, M. Steinert and Son, Steinway agentThe Buildings of Piano Row: Part 1
  2. The Buildings of Piano Row: Part 2
  3. The Buildings of Piano Row: Part 3 and Steinert Theater
  4. Piano Row: Carver Street and Poe Square
  5. Boylston Place: Education, Art, Football
  6. The Boston Young Men’s Christian Union
  7. The Emerson Colonial Theater: Gilded Glory Returns
  8. LaGrange Street: Connecting Centuries
  9. The Cutler Majestic: A Gilded Renovation
  10. The Little Building’s Arcade and Murals

The North End

  1. Hanover Street and the Prince of Hanover
  2. Salutation Street: The Long and Short of It
  3. Boston’s Streets’ Sun Court and Moon Streets
  4. The Great Molasses Flood: Anniversary Lessons
  5. Movies and Mobsters in Boston’s North End
  6. Charles Ponzi’s House on the Market
  7. Learning from a History of Violence in Boston
  8. Revisiting Copp’s Hill Burying Ground

The South End

  1. Boston’s Tuscan Fire Lookout Tower
  2. The Calf Pasture Pumping Station
  3. Boston’s Fountains: The Statler Fountain
  4. Boston’s Two Suffolk County Mortuaries
  5. The Boston Medical Dispensary’s Good Samaritan

The Back Bay

  1. The Fairmont Copley Plaza: Boston’s Grande Dame
  2. The New England Mutual Life Insurance Company
  3. Obnoxious Noises Around Boston Common
  4. The Hancock Building’s Weather Beacon
  5. The New Riding Club Near the Back Bay Fens
  6. Finding Cornelia Wells Walter
  7. Boston’s Missing: Two Statues Find a New Home
  8. Potions, Parking and Profits in the Back Bay
  9. Boston’s Fountains: The Bagheera Fountain
  10. Boston’s Doors: The BPL’s Bronze Portals
  11. The Berkeley Building: Shining Bright in the Back Bay
  12. Boston’s Missing: “Quest Eternal” at the Pru
  13. Boston’s Missing: The Kakas Fur Company Polar Bear
  14. Spiritual Temple or Movie Theater?
  15. Arthur Bowditch and the Berklee College of Music
  16. The Ether Monument’s Good Samaritan
  17. The Haberstroh Building in the Back Bay
  18. Overnight Guests at Boston Police Headquarters
  19. Why So Few Skyways for Boston? 
  20. Small Treasures of Boston’s Back Bay
  21. Boston’s Back Bay: The Once (and Future?) Body of Water
  22. On the Tour: The Back Bay from the Ground Up
  23. Walking Through Boston’s Back Bay
  24. Phillips Brooks and the Christmas Carol
  25. Haddon Hall: Tall in the Back Bay

The West End

Fenway / Kenmore / Museum District

  1. Boston’s Neon: The White Fuel Sign
  2. Boston’s Missing: Charlesgate Park
  3. Remembering the Old Knight Children’s Center
  4. Veterans Memorial Park in the Back Bay Fens
  5. The Charlesgate: Haunted or Just Haunting?
  6. Louis Prang Street and Christmas Cards

The Waterfront / Seaport / Fort Point Channel Districts

  1. Boston Ignores Its Maritime History
  2. The Army Supply Base/Innovation Design Building
  3. Lincoln Wharf:: From Steamships to Condos 
  4. Battery Wharf’s Maritime Pocket Museum
  5. Boston’s Missing: Partisans and Starved Horses
  6. Sleeper Street in the Fort Point Channel District
  7. Boston’s Russia Wharf: From Tea Party to Tower
  8. The Boston Wharf Company Sign on Boston’s Skyline
  9. Boston’s Innovation District Scales Up
  10. On the Nantucket Lightship LV-112

The Bronze Menagerie Series

As in many cities, statues and other types of public art fill the streets, squares, parks and buildings of Boston. The majority, however, memorialize what have been called, “dead white men.” You can find a few statues of women but, surprisingly, there are far more statues of animals.

The lions came to flank the front door in 1899 and remained in place for nearly 70 years. A third lion prowled the roof above the front door. They were created by Boston sculptor and painter Alexander Pope Jr. and the two seated beasts stood six and a half feet high. Mr. Pope modeled them on a pair of African lions, using a real lion named Wallace who resided in the old Boston zoo. Mr. Pope cast them in cement, which was then colored to match the brownstone of the building.

The King of the Jungle on a cold winter day

This collection of posts includes animals large and small, wild and domestic, walking and swimming, fierce and friendly. You can find them fairly easily because they are scattered all over the city but it helps if you know where to look. These posts include maps to help you find Boston’s Bronze Menagerie.

  1. Boston’s Bronze Rhinos
  2. Boston’s Animal Statues: Codfish
  3. Boston’s Horses: Paint and Henry
  4. Boston’s Bronze Teddy Bear
  5. Boston’s Kensington Lions
  6. Boston’s Political Animals: Democratic Donkey
  7. Boston’s Political Animals: Jumbo the Elephant
  8. The Fenway’s Pronghorn Antelope
  9. The Lotta Fountain
  10. The Tortoise and the Hare and the Boston Marathon
  11. Cats and Dogs Together on Huntington Avenue
  12. Make Way for Ducklings Statue
  13. The Frog Pond’s Whimsical Frogs
  14. Legal Sea Food’s Scientific Fish
  15. Boston’s Dearth of Dragons
  16. The Fed’s Scrap Metal Giraffe

Outside the City

Docent Doings

  1. Boston By Foot, @BostonByFoot, Back Bay

    Starting the Back Bay Tour

  2. Questions for Boston Tour Guides
  3. What Tour Guides Do Without Tourists
  4. Become a Boston By Foot Docent
  5. Getting Boston Strong One Step at a Time
  6. Walking Tour Withdrawal
  7. Tour Season’s Over
  8. Good Weather Needed
  9. Boston By Foot Docents Know