Boston Common

From Academic Kids

View of the Water Celebration, on Boston Common, October 25th 1848
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View of the Water Celebration, on Boston Common, October 25th 1848

Boston Common is Boston, Massachusetts' most famous public park and the oldest city park in the United States. It is 50 acres (202,000 m²) in size. The Common is bounded by Tremont St., Park St., Beacon St., Charles St., and Boylston St.

Its purpose has changed over the years. Originally it was owned by William Blackstone until it was bought off of him by the city. It was used as a camp by the British before the Revolutionary War, and was where they left from for the Battle of Lexington and Concord. Up until 1830, it was used for cattle grazing. It was also used for public hangings up until 1817.

Today it serves as a public park for all to use for formal or informal gatherings, or just to enjoy the park and its surroundings. Events such as concerts, protests, softball games, and ice skating (on Frog Pond) often take place in the park. Famous individuals, such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Pope John Paul II, have also held speeches at the Common.

The Central Burying Ground is found on the Boylston Street side of Boston Common. There one can find the burial sites of the artist Gilbert Stuart and the composer William Billings. A visitors' center can be found on the Tremont Street side of the park.

Notable features of the Common

  • The Massachusetts State House stands across Beacon Street from the north edge of the Common.
  • The Common forms the south foot of Beacon Hill.
  • The Boston Public Garden lies to the west of the Common, across Charles Street, and was originally considered an extension of the Common.
  • Frog Pond, a public ice-skating rink in winter months
  • Park Street Station, the first subway station in America, stands at the northeast corner of the park.
  • Likewise, Boylston Station at the southeast corner is America's second subway station.
  • A Civil War monument stands in the north central part of the park.
  • Boston Common is the south end of Boston's Freedom Trail.
  • Parkman Bandstand, in the east part of the park, is commonly used in musical and theatrical productions in the park.
  • The softball fields lie in the southwest corner of the Common.
  • A grassy area forms the west part of the park, and is most comonly used for the park's largest events. Most visitors to Boston do not realize that a parking garage underlies this part of the Common.

External links


Boston Common was also a short-lived tv series on NBC that ran from 1996 to 1997.

External links

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