Main Streets 2016: Massachusetts
Tremont Street begins in the shadow of Boston’s Government Center, which includes City Hall and the John F. Kennedy Federal Building. From here it’s a short walk across City Hall Plaza and Congress Street to reach Faneuil Hall Marketplace. This popular attraction, also known as Quincy Market, has a marketplace and gathering hall that date to 1742. From here, it’s not far to Boston’s Old State House, which, like Faneuil Hall, was the site of many dramatic events in the lead-up to the American Revolution.
Heading down Tremont Street, pedestrians can make several stops along the Freedom Trail, including the King’s Chapel Burying Ground, which is the resting place of Mary Chilton, the first woman to step off the Mayflower. A little farther down is the Granary Burying Ground, which contains the grave sites of many notable Revolution-era patriots, including Paul Revere, Samuel Adams and John Hancock.
Tremont Street then forms the eastern edge of Boston Common, the oldest city park in the United States. Here you can look up to see Beacon Hill and the gold dome of the current State House, which dates to 1798. Boston Common is home to the Robert Gould Shaw Memorial, a famed relief sculpture by Augustus Saint-Gaudens that commemorates the Civil War heroism of the U.S. Army’s first all-black regiment and its commander, Robert Gould Shaw. Bordering Tremont Street and the Common are the Boston Public Garden, Emerson College and the Boston Theater District.
Heading toward the city’s South End, Tremont Street passes near the Boston Center for the Arts and the Boston Children’s Theatre along with several community libraries, parks and gardens. In the South End, Tremont turns into a restaurant row at the heart of a diverse neighborhood that has fine restaurants, bars, art galleries and boutiques.
Tremont Street continues on to Mission Hill, a neighborhood known for single-family homes, plentiful restaurants, shopping and racial diversity. More than half of “The Hill’s” residents walk, bike, or take public transit to work. It is close to the Longwood Medical and Academic Area, which contains 21 health care, research, and education institutions. Tremont Street comes to an end at Brigham Circle, just past Kevin W. Fitzgerald Park, a popular community recreation and gathering spot where you can sit back on a bench, relax and enjoy dramatic views of the Boston skyline.
Parklet photo courtesy of Richard Rouse – Mission Hill Gazette