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Beacon Hill, Boston, Massachusetts

Beacon Hill, Boston, Massachusetts

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Beacon Hill is a historic neighborhood of Boston
Boston
Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

, Massachusetts
Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

, that along with the neighboring Back Bay is home to about 26,000 people. It is a neighborhood of Federal-style
Georgian architecture
Georgian architecture is the name given in most English-speaking countries to the set of architectural styles current between 1720 and 1840. It is eponymous for the first four British monarchs of the House of Hanover—George I of Great Britain, George II of Great Britain, George III of the United...

 rowhouses and is known for its narrow, gas-lit
Gas lighting
Gas lighting is production of artificial light from combustion of a gaseous fuel, including hydrogen, methane, carbon monoxide, propane, butane, acetylene, ethylene, or natural gas. Before electricity became sufficiently widespread and economical to allow for general public use, gas was the most...

 streets and brick sidewalks. Today, Beacon Hill is regarded as one of the most desirable and expensive neighborhoods in Boston.

The Beacon Hill area is located just north of Boston Common
Boston Common
Boston Common is a central public park in Boston, Massachusetts. It is sometimes erroneously referred to as the "Boston Commons". Dating from 1634, it is the oldest city park in the United States. The Boston Common consists of of land bounded by Tremont Street, Park Street, Beacon Street,...

 and the Boston Public Garden and is bounded generally by Beacon Street on the south, Somerset Street on the east, Cambridge Street to the north and Storrow Drive
Storrow Drive
Storrow Drive is a major cross town expressway in Boston, Massachusetts, running south and west from Leverett Circle along the Charles River. It is a parkway—it is restricted to cars; trucks and buses are not permitted on it...

 along the riverfront of the Charles River Esplanade to the west. The block bounded by Beacon
Beacon Street
Beacon Street is a major thoroughfare in Boston, Massachusetts and several of its western suburbs. Beacon Street in Boston, Brookline, Brighton, and Newton is not to be confused with the Beacon Street in nearby Somerville, or others elsewhere.-Description:...

, Tremont
Tremont Street
Tremont Street is a major thoroughfare in Boston, Massachusetts.-Etymology:The name is a variation of one of the original appellations of the city, "Trimountaine," a reference to a hill that formerly had three peaks. Beacon Hill, with its single peak, is all that remains of the Trimountain...

 and Park
Park Street, Boston
This article refers to Park Street in Boston. For other Park Streets, please see the Park Street disambiguation page.Park Street is a small but notable road in the center of Boston, Massachusetts. It begins at the top of Beacon Hill, at the intersection of Beacon Street, where it is lined up with...

 Streets is included as well, as is the Boston Common itself. The level section of the neighborhood west of Charles Street, on landfill, is known locally as the "Flat of the Hill."

Because the Massachusetts State House
Massachusetts State House
The Massachusetts State House, also known as the Massachusetts Statehouse or the "New" State House, is the state capitol and house of government of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It is located in Boston in the neighborhood Beacon Hill...

 is in a prominent location at the top of the hill, the term "Beacon Hill" is also often used as a metonym in the local news media to refer to the state government or the legislature.

History


Like many similarly named areas
Beacon Hill
Beacon Hill is a name shared by many hills, suburbs, villages and other places around the world. Many are so called because they were historically the site of a warning beacon. Others are named after other places of the same name.-In the United Kingdom:...

, the neighborhood is named for the location of a former beacon atop the highest point in central Boston, once located just behind the current site of the Massachusetts State House
Massachusetts State House
The Massachusetts State House, also known as the Massachusetts Statehouse or the "New" State House, is the state capitol and house of government of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It is located in Boston in the neighborhood Beacon Hill...

. The hill and two other hills nearby, Pemberton Hill and Mount Vernon, were substantially reduced in height to allow the development of housing in the area and to use the earth to create land by filling the Mill Pond, to the northeast.
The entire hill was once owned by William Blaxton
William Blaxton
Reverend William Blaxton was an early British settler in New England, and the first European settler of modern day Boston and Rhode Island.-Biography:...

 (also spelled Blackstone), the first European settler of Boston, from 1625 to 1635; he eventually sold his land to the Puritans. The south slope of Beacon Hill facing the Common was the socially desirable side in the 19th century. Black Beacon Hill was on the north slope. Many famous black leaders, including Frederick Douglas, Harriet Tubman, David Walker and Sojourner Truth, spoke at the African Meeting House
African Meeting House
The African Meeting House, also known variously as First African Baptist Church, First Independent Baptist Church and the Belknap Street Church, was built in 1806 and is now the oldest black church edifice still standing in the United States. It is located in the Beacon Hill neighborhood of Boston,...

 on Joy Street. Rebecca Lee Crumpler, who lived for a time on Joy Street, was the first African American woman to become a physician in the United States. In 1860 she was admitted to the New England Female Medical College (which later merged with Boston University) to earn her M.D. degree. Her publication of "A Book of Medical Discourses" in 1883 was one of the first by an African American about medicine. The two Hills were largely united on the subject of Abolition
Abolitionism
Abolitionism is a movement to end slavery.In western Europe and the Americas abolitionism was a movement to end the slave trade and set slaves free. At the behest of Dominican priest Bartolomé de las Casas who was shocked at the treatment of natives in the New World, Spain enacted the first...

. Beacon Hill was one of the staunchest centers of the anti-slavery movement in the Antebellum era.

Beacon Hill's north slope was called "Mount Whoredom" as early as 1715 (see Judge Samuel Sewall's journal).

Beacon Hill's north slope being a poor Black and a prostitution neighborhood, it was undesirable, and Boston's most affordable neighborhood. Thus, during the 1800s and early 1900s, Boston's poorest immigrants would first live on the north slope. Those immigrants were mostly Irish, Italian, and Eastern European Jews.

In 1937 The Late George Apley
The Late George Apley
The Late George Apley is a 1937 novel by John Phillips Marquand. It is a satire of Boston's upper class. The title character is a Harvard-educated WASP living on Beacon Hill in downtown Boston....

, a Pulitzer Prize winning novel, gave a satirical description of the upper-class white residents on Beacon Hill.

Until a major urban renewal
Urban renewal
Urban renewal is a program of land redevelopment in areas of moderate to high density urban land use. Renewal has had both successes and failures. Its modern incarnation began in the late 19th century in developed nations and experienced an intense phase in the late 1940s – under the rubric of...

 project of the late 1950s, the red-light district of Scollay Square
Scollay Square
Scollay Square was a vibrant city square in downtown Boston, Massachusetts. It was named for William Scollay, a prominent local developer and militia officer who bought a landmark four-story merchant building at the intersection of Cambridge and Court Streets in 1795...

 (an extension of "Mount Whoredom") flourished just to the east of Beacon Hill, as did the West End
West End, Boston, Massachusetts
The West End is a neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts, bounded generally by Cambridge Street to the south, the Charles River to the west and northwest, North Washington Street on the north and northeast, and New Sudbury Street on the east. Beacon Hill is to the south, and the North End is to the...

 neighborhood to the north.

Beacon Hill was designated a National Historic Landmark
National Historic Landmark
A National Historic Landmark is a building, site, structure, object, or district, that is officially recognized by the United States government for its historical significance...

 on December 19, 1962.


Notable residents


Beacon Hill has been home to many notable persons, including:
  • Louisa May Alcott
    Louisa May Alcott
    Louisa May Alcott was an American novelist. She is best known for the novel Little Women and its sequels Little Men and Jo's Boys. Little Women was set in the Alcott family home, Orchard House in Concord, Massachusetts, and published in 1868...

    , 10 Louisburg Square
  • John Albion Andrew
    John Albion Andrew
    John Albion Andrew was a U.S. political figure. He served as the 25th Governor of Massachusetts between 1861 and 1866 during the American Civil War. He was a guiding force behind the creation of some of the first U.S. Army units of black men—including the famed 54th Massachusetts Infantry.-Early...

  • William Blaxton
    William Blaxton
    Reverend William Blaxton was an early British settler in New England, and the first European settler of modern day Boston and Rhode Island.-Biography:...

    , original owner of Beacon Hill
  • Edwin Booth
    Edwin Booth
    Edwin Thomas Booth was a famous 19th century American actor who toured throughout America and the major capitals of Europe, performing Shakespearean plays. In 1869 he founded Booth's Theatre in New York, a spectacular theatre that was quite modern for its time...

    , 29A Chestnut Street
  • Peter Bent Brigham
    Peter Bent Brigham
    Peter Bent Brigham was a self-made American millionaire businessman, restaurateur, real estate trader, and director of the Fitchburg Railroad...

    , corner of Bulfinch & Allston
  • Charles Bulfinch
    Charles Bulfinch
    Charles Bulfinch was an early American architect, and has been regarded by many as the first native-born American to practice architecture as a profession....

  • John Cheever
    John Cheever
    John William Cheever was an American novelist and short story writer. He is sometimes called "the Chekhov of the suburbs." His fiction is mostly set in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, the Westchester suburbs, old New England villages based on various South Shore towns around Quincy,...

  • John Singleton Copley
    John Singleton Copley
    John Singleton Copley was an American painter, born presumably in Boston, Massachusetts, and a son of Richard and Mary Singleton Copley, both Irish. He is famous for his portrait paintings of important figures in colonial New England, depicting in particular middle-class subjects...

  • Michael Crichton
    Michael Crichton
    John Michael Crichton , best known as Michael Crichton, was an American best-selling author, producer, director, and screenwriter, best known for his work in the science fiction, medical fiction, and thriller genres. His books have sold over 200 million copies worldwide, and many have been adapted...

  • Robert Frost
    Robert Frost
    Robert Lee Frost was an American poet. He is highly regarded for his realistic depictions of rural life and his command of American colloquial speech. His work frequently employed settings from rural life in New England in the early twentieth century, using them to examine complex social and...

    , 88 Mount Vernon St., 1941
  • John Hancock
    John Hancock
    John Hancock was a merchant, statesman, and prominent Patriot of the American Revolution. He served as president of the Second Continental Congress and was the first and third Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts...

  • Chester Harding
    Chester Harding (painter)
    Chester Harding was an American portrait painter.-Biography:Harding was born at Conway, Massachusetts. Brought up in the wilderness of New York state, he was a lad of robust physique, standing over 6 feet 3 inches...

    , 16 Beacon Street
  • Teresa Heinz
  • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
    Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
    Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. was an American physician, professor, lecturer, and author. Regarded by his peers as one of the best writers of the 19th century, he is considered a member of the Fireside Poets. His most famous prose works are the "Breakfast-Table" series, which began with The Autocrat...

  • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
    Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
    Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. was an American jurist who served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1902 to 1932...

  • Julia Ward Howe
    Julia Ward Howe
    Julia Ward Howe was a prominent American abolitionist, social activist, and poet, most famous as the author of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic".-Biography:...

  • Abigail Johnson
  • Edward M. Kennedy
    Ted Kennedy
    Edward Moore "Ted" Kennedy was a United States Senator from Massachusetts and a member of the Democratic Party. Serving almost 47 years, he was the second most senior member of the Senate when he died and is the fourth-longest-serving senator in United States history...

  • John Kerry
    John Kerry
    John Forbes Kerry is the senior United States Senator from Massachusetts, the 10th most senior U.S. Senator and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He was the presidential nominee of the Democratic Party in the 2004 presidential election, but lost to former President George W...

  • Henry Cabot Lodge
    Henry Cabot Lodge
    Henry Cabot "Slim" Lodge was an American Republican Senator and historian from Massachusetts. He had the role of Senate Majority leader. He is best known for his positions on Meek policy, especially his battle with President Woodrow Wilson in 1919 over the Treaty of Versailles...

  • James Russell Lowell
    James Russell Lowell
    James Russell Lowell was an American Romantic poet, critic, editor, and diplomat. He is associated with the Fireside Poets, a group of New England writers who were among the first American poets who rivaled the popularity of British poets...

  • Robert Lowell
    Robert Lowell
    Robert Traill Spence Lowell IV was an American poet, considered the founder of the confessional poetry movement. He was appointed the sixth Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress where he served from 1947 until 1948...

  • Mary Osgood, 8 Beacon Street
  • Harrison Gray Otis
    Harrison Gray Otis (lawyer)
    Harrison Gray Otis , was a businessman, lawyer, and politician, becoming one of the most important leaders of the United States' first political party, the Federalists...

  • Sylvia Plath
    Sylvia Plath
    Sylvia Plath was an American poet, novelist and short story writer. Born in Massachusetts, she studied at Smith College and Newnham College, Cambridge before receiving acclaim as a professional poet and writer...

  • William Prescott
    William Prescott
    William Prescott was an American colonel in the Revolutionary War who commanded the rebel forces in the Battle of Bunker Hill...

  • Eleanor Raymond
    Eleanor Raymond
    Eleanor Raymond was an American architect who built and designed the first occupied, solar-powered house in the United States.-Early life:...

  • C. Allen Thorndike Rice
    C. Allen Thorndike Rice
    Charles Allen Thorndike Rice was a journalist and the editor and publisher of the North American Review from 1876 to 1889.-Early life and family:...

  • Henry Rice
    Henry Rice (politician)
    Henry Rice was an American Army officer in the War of 1812, a leading Boston merchant, a member of the Boston City Council and a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives.-Biography:...

  • David Lee Roth
    David Lee Roth
    David Lee Roth is an American rock vocalist, songwriter, actor, author, and former radio personality. Roth was ranked nineteenth by Hit Parader on their list of the 100 Greatest Heavy Metal Singers of All Time....

  • George Santayana
    George Santayana
    George Santayana was a philosopher, essayist, poet, and novelist. A lifelong Spanish citizen, Santayana was raised and educated in the United States and identified himself as an American. He wrote in English and is generally considered an American man of letters...

    , 302 Beacon Street
  • Anne Sexton
    Anne Sexton
    Anne Sexton was an American poet, known for her highly personal, confessional verse. She won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1967...

  • Robert Gould Shaw
    Robert Gould Shaw
    Robert Gould Shaw was an American officer in the Union Army during the American Civil War. As colonel, he commanded the all-black 54th Regiment, which entered the war in 1863. He was killed in the Second Battle of Fort Wagner, near Charleston, South Carolina...

  • Carly Simon
    Carly Simon
    Carly Elisabeth Simon is an American singer-songwriter, musician, and children's author. She rose to fame in the 1970s with a string of hit records, and has since been the recipient of two Grammy Awards, an Academy Award, and a Golden Globe Award for her work...

  • Charles Sumner
    Charles Sumner
    Charles Sumner was an American politician and senator from Massachusetts. An academic lawyer and a powerful orator, Sumner was the leader of the antislavery forces in Massachusetts and a leader of the Radical Republicans in the United States Senate during the American Civil War and Reconstruction,...

  • Uma Thurman
    Uma Thurman
    Uma Karuna Thurman is an American actress and model. She has performed in leading roles in a variety of films, ranging from romantic comedies and dramas to science fiction and action movies. Among her best-known roles are those in the Quentin Tarantino films Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill...

  • David Walker
    David Walker (abolitionist)
    David Walker was an outspoken African American activist who demanded the immediate end of slavery in the new nation...

  • Gretchen Osgood Warren
    Gretchen Osgood Warren
    Gretchen Osgood Warren ; the wife of Fiske Warren was an actress, singer and poet. The daughter of Dr. Hamilton Osgood and Margaret Cushing Osgood of Beacon Hill, Boston, Massachusetts, her younger sister was Mary Alden Childers wife of writer and Irish nationalist Robert Erskine Childers.-Early...

    , 67 Mount Vernon Street
  • Fiske Warren
    Fiske Warren
    Frederick Fiske Warren was a hugely successful Paper Manufacturer, fine arts denizen and major supporter of Henry George's Single Tax system which he helped develop in Harvard, Massachusetts, United States in the 1930's. He was the son of Samuel Dennis Warren and Susan Cornelia Warren of Beacon...

    , 67 Mount Vernon Street
  • Daniel Webster
    Daniel Webster
    Daniel Webster was a leading American statesman and senator from Massachusetts during the period leading up to the Civil War. He first rose to regional prominence through his defense of New England shipping interests...

  • Jack Welch
    Jack Welch
    John Francis "Jack" Welch, Jr. is an American chemical engineer, business executive, and author. He was Chairman and CEO of General Electric between 1981 and 2001...


Sites of interest



Sites of interest in Beacon Hill include:
  • Massachusetts State House
    Massachusetts State House
    The Massachusetts State House, also known as the Massachusetts Statehouse or the "New" State House, is the state capitol and house of government of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It is located in Boston in the neighborhood Beacon Hill...

     (Beacon Street): Home of the state's government
  • The Unitarian Universalist Association
    Unitarian Universalist Association
    Unitarian Universalist Association , in full the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations in North America, is a liberal religious association of Unitarian Universalist congregations formed by the consolidation in 1961 of the American Unitarian Association and the Universalist Church of...

    : Headquarters of the international, liberal
    Liberal religion
    Liberal religion is a religious tradition which embraces the theological diversity of a congregation rather than a single creed, authority, or writing...

     religious denomination
    Religious denomination
    A religious denomination is a subgroup within a religion that operates under a common name, tradition, and identity.The term describes various Christian denominations...

    , next door to the Massachusetts State House
  • Louisburg Square
    Louisburg Square
    Louisburg Square is a private square located in the Beacon Hill, Boston, Massachusetts neighborhood of Boston. It was named for the 1745 Battle of Louisbourg, in which Massachusetts militiamen led by William Pepperrell, who was made the first American baronet for his role, sacked the French...

  • Nearby Acorn Street, a narrow lane paved with cobblestone
    Cobblestone
    Cobblestones are stones that were frequently used in the pavement of early streets. "Cobblestone" is derived from the very old English word "cob", which had a wide range of meanings, one of which was "rounded lump" with overtones of large size...

    s, often mentioned as the most picturesque
    Picturesque
    Picturesque is an aesthetic ideal introduced into English cultural debate in 1782 by William Gilpin in Observations on the River Wye, and Several Parts of South Wales, etc. Relative Chiefly to Picturesque Beauty; made in the Summer of the Year 1770, a practical book which instructed England's...

     (or the most frequently photographed) street in the United States.
  • Mt. Vernon Street: "The finest address in all America"
  • Bull and Finch Bar (Beacon Street): Source of inspiration and exterior shots for the Cheers
    Cheers
    Cheers is an American situation comedy television series that ran for 11 seasons from 1982 to 1993. It was produced by Charles/Burrows/Charles Productions, in association with Paramount Network Television for NBC, and was created by the team of James Burrows, Glen Charles, and Les Charles...

    television show.
  • Charles Street Meeting House
    Charles Street Meeting House
    The Charles Street Meeting House, is an early-nineteenth-century historic church in Beacon Hill at 70 Charles Street, Boston, Massachusetts. The church has been used over its history by several Christian denominations and is a good example of reuse and adaptive reuse, having recently been renovated...

  • The Club of Odd Volumes (Mount Vernon Street): Bibliophiles club, library, and archive
  • Suffolk University
    Suffolk University
    Suffolk University is a private, non-sectarian, university located in Boston, Massachusetts and with over 16,000 students it is the third largest university in Boston...

  • Suffolk University Law School
    Suffolk University Law School
    Suffolk University Law School, also known as Suffolk Law School or SULS, is one of the professional graduate schools of Suffolk University. Suffolk University Law School is a private, non-sectarian, law school located in downtown Boston, Massachusetts. Suffolk University Law School was founded in...

  • The Boston Bar Association
    Boston Bar Association
    The Boston Bar Association, which also goes by the acronym BBA, is a volunteer non-governmental organization in Boston, Massachusetts, United States...

  • The route taken by the fictional Mrs. Mallard
    Mallard
    The Mallard , or Wild Duck , is a dabbling duck which breeds throughout the temperate and subtropical Americas, Europe, Asia, and North Africa, and has been introduced to New Zealand and Australia....

     and her children, depicted in Make Way for Ducklings
    Make Way For Ducklings
    Make Way for Ducklings is a children's picture book written and illustrated by Robert McCloskey. First published in 1941, the book tells the story of a pair of mallard ducks who decide to raise their family on an island in the lagoon in Boston Public Garden, a park in the center of Boston,...

    ,
    a book for children
    Children's literature
    Children's literature is for readers and listeners up to about age twelve; it is often defined in four different ways: books written by children, books written for children, books chosen by children, or books chosen for children. It is often illustrated. The term is used in senses which sometimes...

     by Robert McCloskey
    Robert McCloskey
    Robert McCloskey was an American author and illustrator of children's books. McCloskey wrote and illustrated eight books, two of which won the Caldecott Medal, the American Library Association's annual award of distinction for children's book illustration.Many of McCloskey's books were set on the...

    . The story is commemorated every year in May by a parade through Beacon Hill to the Boston Public Garden
    Boston Public Garden
    The Public Garden, also known as Boston Public Garden, is a large park located in the heart of Boston, Massachusetts, adjacent to Boston Common.-History:...

    .
  • Robert Gould Shaw
    Robert Gould Shaw
    Robert Gould Shaw was an American officer in the Union Army during the American Civil War. As colonel, he commanded the all-black 54th Regiment, which entered the war in 1863. He was killed in the Second Battle of Fort Wagner, near Charleston, South Carolina...

     and 54th Massachusetts Regiment Memorial: Intersection of Beacon Street and Park Street, opposite the Massachusetts State House
  • Museum of African American History, New England’s largest museum dedicated to preserving, conserving and interpreting the contributions of African Americans, located at the African Meeting House
    African Meeting House
    The African Meeting House, also known variously as First African Baptist Church, First Independent Baptist Church and the Belknap Street Church, was built in 1806 and is now the oldest black church edifice still standing in the United States. It is located in the Beacon Hill neighborhood of Boston,...

    , adjacent to the Abiel Smith School
    Abiel Smith School
    Abiel Smith School, founded in 1835, is a school located at 46 Joy Street in Boston, Massachusetts, United States, adjacent to the African Meeting House. It is named for Abiel Smith, a white philanthropist who left money in his will to the city of Boston for the education of black children. The...

    . The meeting house is the oldest surviving Black church built by African Americans. The school was the first publicly funded schoolhouse for African American children in America.
  • Nichols House Museum
    Nichols House Museum
    Nichols House Museum is a museum in Boston, Massachusetts. It was designed by the architect, Charles Bulfinch, and built by Jonathan Mason, the politician, in 1804. The building was renovated in 1830...

    , a historic 1804 townhouse
  • Harrison Gray Otis House
    Harrison Gray Otis House
    There are three houses named the Harrison Gray Otis House in Boston, Massachusetts. All were built by noted American architect Charles Bulfinch for the same man, Harrison Gray Otis.-First Harrison Gray Otis House:...

    , 1796. The Otis House also houses Historic New England
    Historic New England
    Historic New England, previously known as the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities , is a charitable, non-profit, historic preservation organization headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. It is focused on New England and is the oldest and largest regional preservation...

    's headquarters.
  • The Francis Parkman
    Francis Parkman
    Francis Parkman was an American historian, best known as author of The Oregon Trail: Sketches of Prairie and Rocky-Mountain Life and his monumental seven-volume France and England in North America. These works are still valued as history and especially as literature, although the biases of his...

     House
  • The Vilna Shul
    The Vilna Shul
    The Vilna Shul is a synagogue in Boston, Massachusetts built for an Orthodox congregation in 1919 by immigrants primarily from Vilna, Lithuania. The building stands on what is known as the back side of Beacon Hill. The front of the hill has always been filled with stately homes and faces the...


Former street names in Beacon Hill

  • Anderson Street - West Centre Street
  • Bulfinch Street
  • Irving Street - Butolph Street
  • Joy Street - Clapboard Street (between Cambridge and Myrtle Streets in 1735), Belknap Lane (between Myrtle and Mount Vernon Streets)
  • Myrtle Street - May Street
  • Phillips Street - Southac Street
  • Smith Court - May's Court
  • West Cedar Street - George Street

Notable addresses in Beacon Hill



Beacon Street

  • One Beacon Street
    One Beacon Street
    One Beacon Street is a modern skyscraper in the Government Center neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts. Built in 1972 and refurbished in 1991, it is Boston's 14th-tallest building, standing 505 feet tall, and housing 37 floors...

     - An eponymous office tower at the corner of Tremont Street; the 14th-tallest building in the city
  • 8 Beacon Street - late 19th/early 20th century home of the Osgood Family: Dr. Osgood, Margaret Osgood and daughters Gretchen
    Gretchen Osgood Warren
    Gretchen Osgood Warren ; the wife of Fiske Warren was an actress, singer and poet. The daughter of Dr. Hamilton Osgood and Margaret Cushing Osgood of Beacon Hill, Boston, Massachusetts, her younger sister was Mary Alden Childers wife of writer and Irish nationalist Robert Erskine Childers.-Early...

     and Mary
    Molly Childers
    Mary Alden Osgood Childers MBE was an American-born Irish writer and Irish nationalist. She was the daughter of Dr. Hamilton Osgood and Margaret Cushing Osgood of Beacon Hill, Boston, Massachusetts. Her older sister was Gretchen Osgood Warren and she was married to the writer and Irish...

  • 10½ Beacon Street - Boston Athenæum
  • 14 Beacon Street - Congregational House, site of the Congregational Library and City Mission Society
  • 16 Beacon Street - Chester Harding House
    Chester Harding House
    The Chester Harding House is an historic building located at 16 Beacon Street in Boston, Massachusetts, United States, across from the Massachusetts State House in Beacon Hill.-History:...

    , now home to the Boston Bar Association
    Boston Bar Association
    The Boston Bar Association, which also goes by the acronym BBA, is a volunteer non-governmental organization in Boston, Massachusetts, United States...

    , was home to the famous portrait painter Chester Harding
    Chester Harding (painter)
    Chester Harding was an American portrait painter.-Biography:Harding was born at Conway, Massachusetts. Brought up in the wilderness of New York state, he was a lad of robust physique, standing over 6 feet 3 inches...

     from 1826–1830
  • 22 Beacon Street - Amory-Ticknor House
    Amory-Ticknor House
    The Amory-Ticknor House in Boston, Massachusetts was built in 1804 by businessman Thomas Amory, and later owned by scholar George Ticknor. It sits atop Beacon Hill, across from the Massachusetts State House on Beacon Street and the Boston Common on Park Street...

    , built in 1804 by Charles Bulfinch
    Charles Bulfinch
    Charles Bulfinch was an early American architect, and has been regarded by many as the first native-born American to practice architecture as a profession....

    ; now houses the Beacon Hill studio for Fox 25 News (WFXT)
    WFXT
    WFXT is a television station owned and operated by the News Corporation-owned Fox Broadcasting Company, located in Boston, Massachusetts. The station's studio and office facility is in Dedham, Massachusetts, and its transmitter is located in Needham, Massachusetts...

    , with a strategic rooftop camera position
  • 25 Beacon Street - headquarters of the Unitarian Universalist Association
    Unitarian Universalist Association
    Unitarian Universalist Association , in full the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations in North America, is a liberal religious association of Unitarian Universalist congregations formed by the consolidation in 1961 of the American Unitarian Association and the Universalist Church of...

    , an international liberal
    Liberal religion
    Liberal religion is a religious tradition which embraces the theological diversity of a congregation rather than a single creed, authority, or writing...

     religious denomination
    Religious denomination
    A religious denomination is a subgroup within a religion that operates under a common name, tradition, and identity.The term describes various Christian denominations...

  • 33 Beacon Street - resident George Parkman
    George Parkman
    George Parkman , a Boston Brahmin , belonged to one of Boston's richest families...

    ; building designed by Cornelius Coolidge
    Cornelius Coolidge
    Cornelius Coolidge was a real estate developer in early 19th-century Boston, Massachusetts, who constructed buildings in Boston's Beacon Hill neighborhood, and elsewhere. Described variously as an architect, housewright, builder, designer, and real estate broker, Harvard-educated Coolidge brought...

  • 34½ Beacon Street - erstwhile headquarters of Family Service of Greater Boston, a private, nonprofit social service agency founded in 1835
  • 39-40 Beacon Street - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
    Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
    Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was an American poet and educator whose works include "Paul Revere's Ride", The Song of Hiawatha, and Evangeline...

     courted and married Fanny Appleton
  • 42-43 Beacon Street - painter John Singleton Copley
    John Singleton Copley
    John Singleton Copley was an American painter, born presumably in Boston, Massachusetts, and a son of Richard and Mary Singleton Copley, both Irish. He is famous for his portrait paintings of important figures in colonial New England, depicting in particular middle-class subjects...

     had a house on this site, as did David Sears II, whose house is now the home of the Somerset Club
    Somerset Club
    The Somerset Club is a private social club in Boston, Massachusetts, founded perhaps as early as 1826.The original club was informal, without a clubhouse. By the 1830s this had evolved into a group called the Temple. In 1851 the group purchased the home of Benjamin W. Crowninshield, located at...

  • 45 Beacon Street - 3rd Harrison Gray Otis
    Harrison Gray Otis (lawyer)
    Harrison Gray Otis , was a businessman, lawyer, and politician, becoming one of the most important leaders of the United States' first political party, the Federalists...

     house, now American Meteorological Society
    American Meteorological Society
    The American Meteorological Society promotes the development and dissemination of information and education on the atmospheric and related oceanic and hydrologic sciences and the advancement of their professional applications. Founded in 1919, the American Meteorological Society has a membership...

  • 54-55 Beacon Street - resident William H. Prescott
    William H. Prescott
    William Hickling Prescott was an American historian and Hispanist, who is widely recognized by historiographers to have been the first American scientific historian...

     had William Makepeace Thackeray
    William Makepeace Thackeray
    William Makepeace Thackeray was an English novelist of the 19th century. He was famous for his satirical works, particularly Vanity Fair, a panoramic portrait of English society.-Biography:...

     as a houseguest
  • 84 Beacon Street - Cheers Beacon Hill. Formerly known as the Bull & Finch Pub
    Bull & Finch Pub
    thumb|300px|right|Cheers Beacon Hill on Beacon Street in Boston.Cheers Beacon Hill, formerly the Bull & Finch Pub, is a bar/restaurant located on Beacon Street in the Beacon Hill neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts, across from the Boston Public Garden...

    , this pub was the inspiration for the classic television show, Cheers
    Cheers
    Cheers is an American situation comedy television series that ran for 11 seasons from 1982 to 1993. It was produced by Charles/Burrows/Charles Productions, in association with Paramount Network Television for NBC, and was created by the team of James Burrows, Glen Charles, and Les Charles...

    , and was shown during the opening credits of the sitcom.

Bowdoin Street

  • 35 Bowdoin Street - Church of Saint John the Evangelist
  • 122 Bowdoin Street - nominal resident, John Fitzgerald Kennedy (registered voting address)

Brimmer Street

  • 30 Brimmer Street - Church of the Advent (official site)
  • 44 Brimmer Street - resident Samuel Eliot Morison
    Samuel Eliot Morison
    Samuel Eliot Morison, Rear Admiral, United States Naval Reserve was an American historian noted for his works of maritime history that were both authoritative and highly readable. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1912, and taught history at the university for 40 years...


Cambridge Street

  • Massachusetts General Hospital
    Massachusetts General Hospital
    Massachusetts General Hospital is a teaching hospital and biomedical research facility in the West End neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts...

     - Bulfinch Pavilion and Ether Dome
  • 100 Cambridge Street, Upper Plaza - Garden of Peace
  • 131 Cambridge Street - Old West Church
    Old West Church, Boston, Massachusetts
    The Old West Church at 131 Cambridge Street, is a historic church located in the West End of Boston, built in 1806 to designs by architect Asher Benjamin...

  • 141 Cambridge Street - 1st Harrison Gray Otis
    Harrison Gray Otis (lawyer)
    Harrison Gray Otis , was a businessman, lawyer, and politician, becoming one of the most important leaders of the United States' first political party, the Federalists...

     house, architect Charles Bulfinch
    Charles Bulfinch
    Charles Bulfinch was an early American architect, and has been regarded by many as the first native-born American to practice architecture as a profession....


Charles Street

  • 44A Charles Street - Mary Sullivan, last victim of the Boston Strangler
    Boston Strangler
    The Boston Strangler is a name attributed to the murderer of several women in Boston, Massachusetts, United States, in the early 1960s. Though the crimes were attributed to Albert DeSalvo, investigators of the case have since suggested the murders were not committed by one person.-First Stage...

    , murdered here

Chestnut Street

  • 6 Chestnut Street - Beacon Hill Friends House
    Beacon Hill Friends House
    Beacon Hill Friends House is a cooperative community of about twenty residents located in the Beacon Hill neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts. The house was acquired by the Religious Society of Friends in 1957, and focuses on community living in the context of Quaker values...

  • 13, 15, 17 Chestnut Street - architect Charles Bulfinch
    Charles Bulfinch
    Charles Bulfinch was an early American architect, and has been regarded by many as the first native-born American to practice architecture as a profession....

     designed row-houses for Hepzibah Swan
    Hepzibah Swan
    Hepzibah Swan lived in Boston, Massachusetts in the late 18th century/early 19th century. She was prominent in the social life of Federal-era Boston. Lifelong friends included revolutionary war heroes Henry Knox and Henry Jackson....

  • 18 Chestnut Street - birthplace of poet Robert Lowell
    Robert Lowell
    Robert Traill Spence Lowell IV was an American poet, considered the founder of the confessional poetry movement. He was appointed the sixth Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress where he served from 1947 until 1948...

  • 50 Chestnut Street - resident Francis Parkman
    Francis Parkman
    Francis Parkman was an American historian, best known as author of The Oregon Trail: Sketches of Prairie and Rocky-Mountain Life and his monumental seven-volume France and England in North America. These works are still valued as history and especially as literature, although the biases of his...

    , historian; building designed by Cornelius Coolidge
  • 57A Chestnut Street - Harvard Musical Association
    Harvard Musical Association
    The Harvard Musical Association is a private charitable organization founded by Harvard University graduates in 1837 for the purposes of advancing musical culture and literacy, both at the University and in the city of Boston. Though initially a spin-off of the Pierian Sodality, the Association...


Grove Street

  • 28 Grove Street - Resident Rev. Leonard A. Grimes, prominent black clergyman associated with the Underground Railroad
    Underground Railroad
    The Underground Railroad was an informal network of secret routes and safe houses used by 19th-century black slaves in the United States to escape to free states and Canada with the aid of abolitionists and allies who were sympathetic to their cause. The term is also applied to the abolitionists,...

     and Abolitionist movement. Noted for being one of the men who bought the freedom of Anthony Burns
    Anthony Burns
    Anthony Burns was born a slave in Stafford County, Virginia. As a young man, he became a Baptist and a "slave preacher"...

     after his arrest.

Irving Street

  • 58 Irving Street - Birthplace of Charles Sumner
    Charles Sumner
    Charles Sumner was an American politician and senator from Massachusetts. An academic lawyer and a powerful orator, Sumner was the leader of the antislavery forces in Massachusetts and a leader of the Radical Republicans in the United States Senate during the American Civil War and Reconstruction,...

    , abolitionist, U.S. Senator.

Joy Street

  • 46 Joy Street - African Meeting House
    African Meeting House
    The African Meeting House, also known variously as First African Baptist Church, First Independent Baptist Church and the Belknap Street Church, was built in 1806 and is now the oldest black church edifice still standing in the United States. It is located in the Beacon Hill neighborhood of Boston,...

    .
  • 67 Joy Street - Resident Rebecca Lee Crumpler, prominent physician, considered to be the first black woman to receive a medical degree in the U.S.

Louisburg Square

  • 4 Louisburg Square - resident William Dean Howells
    William Dean Howells
    William Dean Howells was an American realist author and literary critic. Nicknamed "The Dean of American Letters", he was particularly known for his tenure as editor of the Atlantic Monthly as well as his own writings, including the Christmas story "Christmas Every Day" and the novel The Rise of...

     while editor of the Atlantic Monthly
  • 10 Louisburg Square - residents Bronson Alcott and Louisa May Alcott
    Louisa May Alcott
    Louisa May Alcott was an American novelist. She is best known for the novel Little Women and its sequels Little Men and Jo's Boys. Little Women was set in the Alcott family home, Orchard House in Concord, Massachusetts, and published in 1868...

     and family
  • 19 Louisburg Square - residents John Kerry
    John Kerry
    John Forbes Kerry is the senior United States Senator from Massachusetts, the 10th most senior U.S. Senator and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He was the presidential nominee of the Democratic Party in the 2004 presidential election, but lost to former President George W...

     and Teresa Heinz Kerry
    Teresa Heinz Kerry
    Maria Teresa Thierstein Simões-Ferreira Heinz , known as Teresa Heinz, is an American businesswoman and philanthropist, the widow of former U.S. Senator H. John Heinz III , and the wife of U.S...

  • 20 Louisburg Square - singer Jenny Lind
    Jenny Lind
    Johanna Maria Lind , better known as Jenny Lind, was a Swedish opera singer, often known as the "Swedish Nightingale". One of the most highly regarded singers of the 19th century, she is known for her performances in soprano roles in opera in Sweden and across Europe, and for an extraordinarily...

     married Otto Goldschmidt
    Otto Goldschmidt
    Otto Moritz David Goldschmidt was a German composer, conductor and pianist, known for his piano concertos and other piano pieces...

     here

Mount Vernon Street

  • 5 Mount Vernon Street - former site of Dr. Park
    John Park (educator)
    John Park was an educator and newspaperman in Boston, Massachusetts, in the 19th century. He established The Repertory newspaper. In 1811 he founded the Boston Lyceum for the Education of Young Ladies located on Mount Vernon Street in Beacon Hill, and attended by Margaret Fuller and Frances...

    's "Boston Lyceum for the Education of Young Ladies"
  • 8 Mount Vernon Street - home of Fiske Warren
    Fiske Warren
    Frederick Fiske Warren was a hugely successful Paper Manufacturer, fine arts denizen and major supporter of Henry George's Single Tax system which he helped develop in Harvard, Massachusetts, United States in the 1930's. He was the son of Samuel Dennis Warren and Susan Cornelia Warren of Beacon...

     and Gretchen Osgood Warren
    Gretchen Osgood Warren
    Gretchen Osgood Warren ; the wife of Fiske Warren was an actress, singer and poet. The daughter of Dr. Hamilton Osgood and Margaret Cushing Osgood of Beacon Hill, Boston, Massachusetts, her younger sister was Mary Alden Childers wife of writer and Irish nationalist Robert Erskine Childers.-Early...

  • 32 Mount Vernon Street - residents Dr. Samuel Gridley Howe
    Samuel Gridley Howe
    Samuel Gridley Howe was a nineteenth century United States physician, abolitionist, and an advocate of education for the blind.-Early life and education:...

     and his wife Julia Ward Howe
    Julia Ward Howe
    Julia Ward Howe was a prominent American abolitionist, social activist, and poet, most famous as the author of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic".-Biography:...

  • 41 Mount Vernon Street - home of Beacon Press
    Beacon Press
    Beacon Press is an American non-profit book publisher. Founded in 1854 by the American Unitarian Association, it is currently a department of the Unitarian Universalist Association.Beacon Press is a member of the Association of American University Presses....

    , a department of the Unitarian Universalist Association
    Unitarian Universalist Association
    Unitarian Universalist Association , in full the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations in North America, is a liberal religious association of Unitarian Universalist congregations formed by the consolidation in 1961 of the American Unitarian Association and the Universalist Church of...

    , that published the Senator Mike Gravel
    Mike Gravel
    Maurice Robert "Mike" Gravel is a former Democratic United States Senator from Alaska, who served two terms from 1969 to 1981, and a former candidate in the 2008 presidential election....

     edition of the Pentagon Papers
    Pentagon Papers
    The Pentagon Papers, officially titled United States – Vietnam Relations, 1945–1967: A Study Prepared by the Department of Defense, is a United States Department of Defense history of the United States' political-military involvement in Vietnam from 1945 to 1967...

     in 1971
  • 45-47 Mount Vernon Street - site of Portia School of Law, founded for and by women in 1908
  • 51-57 Mount Vernon Street - architect Charles Bulfinch
    Charles Bulfinch
    Charles Bulfinch was an early American architect, and has been regarded by many as the first native-born American to practice architecture as a profession....

  • 55 Mount Vernon Street - home of Rose Standish Nichols
    Rose Standish Nichols
    Rose Standish Nichols was an American landscape architect from Boston, Massachusetts. Perhaps the first professional landscape architect in the U.S., Nichols worked for some 70 clients in the United States and abroad. Collaborators included David Adler, Mac Griswold, Howard Van Doren Shaw, and...

    , now the Nichols House Museum
  • 57 Mount Vernon Street - residents Daniel Webster
    Daniel Webster
    Daniel Webster was a leading American statesman and senator from Massachusetts during the period leading up to the Civil War. He first rose to regional prominence through his defense of New England shipping interests...

     and later Charles Francis Adams
    Charles Francis Adams
    Charles Francis Adams may refer to:* Charles Adams , grocery magnate and founder of the Boston Bruins* Charles Francis Adams, Sr. , grandson of John Adams, son of John Quincy Adams, U.S. congressman, ambassador...

  • 67 Mount Vernon Street - home of Samuel Dennis and Susan Cornelia Warren, paper manufacturer and one time president of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
    Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
    The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts, is one of the largest museums in the United States, attracting over one million visitors a year. It contains over 450,000 works of art, making it one of the most comprehensive collections in the Americas...

  • 72 Mount Vernon Street - erstwhile site of the Boston University School of Theology
    Boston University School of Theology
    Boston University School of Theology is the oldest theological seminary of American Methodism and the founding school of Boston University, the largest private research university in New England. It is one of thirteen theological schools maintained by the United Methodist Church...

  • 76 Mount Vernon Street - home of Margaret Deland
    Margaret Deland
    Margaret Deland was an American novelist, short-story writer, and poet. She also wrote an autobiography in two volumes.-Life:...

  • 77 Mount Vernon Street - resident Sarah Wyman Whitman and later the clubhouse of the Club of Odd Volumes
  • 85 Mount Vernon Street - 2nd Harrison Gray Otis
    Harrison Gray Otis (lawyer)
    Harrison Gray Otis , was a businessman, lawyer, and politician, becoming one of the most important leaders of the United States' first political party, the Federalists...

     house, architect Charles Bulfinch
    Charles Bulfinch
    Charles Bulfinch was an early American architect, and has been regarded by many as the first native-born American to practice architecture as a profession....

  • 87 Mount Vernon Street - architect Charles Bulfinch
    Charles Bulfinch
    Charles Bulfinch was an early American architect, and has been regarded by many as the first native-born American to practice architecture as a profession....

  • 127 Mount Vernon Street - home of The Real World: Boston
    The Real World: Boston
    The Real World: Boston is the sixth season of MTV's reality television series The Real World, which focuses on a group of diverse strangers living together for several months in a different city each season, as cameras follow their lives and interpersonal relationships. The Boston cast lived in a...

    and Spenser: For Hire
    Spenser: For Hire
    Spenser: For Hire is a mystery television series based on Robert B. Parker's Spenser novels. The series, developed for TV by John Wilder, differs from the novels, mostly in its lesser degree of detail....

    , former Boston Fire Department
    Boston Fire Department
    The Boston Fire Department provides fire protection services for Boston, Massachusetts, USA. In addition to fire protection, the Boston Fire department also provides basic emergency medical services and respond to a variety of emergencies such as, but not limited to, motor vehicle accidents,...

     station

Myrtle Street

  • 109 Myrtle Street - resident Lysander Spooner
    Lysander Spooner
    Lysander Spooner was an American individualist anarchist, political philosopher, Deist, abolitionist, supporter of the labor movement, legal theorist, and entrepreneur of the nineteenth century. He is also known for competing with the U.S...

    , an American individualist anarchist.

Phillips Street

  • 2 Phillips Street - Resident John Coburn
    John Coburn
    John Coburn was an Australian painter. He is also known for his tapestries.Coburn served in the Navy during World War 2 and later enrolled at the National Art School.He won the Blake Prize for Religious Art twice....

  • 18 Phillips Street - The Vilna Shul
    The Vilna Shul
    The Vilna Shul is a synagogue in Boston, Massachusetts built for an Orthodox congregation in 1919 by immigrants primarily from Vilna, Lithuania. The building stands on what is known as the back side of Beacon Hill. The front of the hill has always been filled with stately homes and faces the...

    , now the Center For Jewish Culture]
  • 41 Phillips Street - Erstwhile site of the Northeast Institute of Industrial Technology
  • 66 Phillips Street - Hayden House, associated with the Abolitionist movement and the Underground Railroad
    Underground Railroad
    The Underground Railroad was an informal network of secret routes and safe houses used by 19th-century black slaves in the United States to escape to free states and Canada with the aid of abolitionists and allies who were sympathetic to their cause. The term is also applied to the abolitionists,...

  • 83 Phillips Street - Resident John Sweat Rock, prominent black dentist, attorney, and abolitionist activist

Other residents

  • Writers Brad Meltzer
    Brad Meltzer
    Brad Meltzer is a bestselling American political thriller novelist, non-fiction writer, TV show creator and award-winning comic book author.-Early life:...

     and Judd Winick
    Judd Winick
    Judd Winick is an American comic book, comic strip and television writer/artist and former reality television personality...

     lived in a tiny apartment in Beacon Hill in 1993 before they achieved success. While living there, Winick developed his first successful comic strip
    Comic strip
    A comic strip is a sequence of drawings arranged in interrelated panels to display brief humor or form a narrative, often serialized, with text in balloons and captions....

     and Meltzer worked at Games Magazine
    GAMES Magazine
    Games magazine is a United States magazine devoted to games and puzzles, and is published by Games Publications, a division of Kappa Publishing Group.-History:...

    by day while working on his first novel
    Novel
    A novel is a book of long narrative in literary prose. The genre has historical roots both in the fields of the medieval and early modern romance and in the tradition of the novella. The latter supplied the present generic term in the late 18th century....

     at night.

Further reading

  • The Book of Boston, 1916 by Robert Shackleton
    Robert Shackleton
    Robert Shackleton CBE was an English French language philologist and librarian.Shackleton was born in Todmorden, now in West Yorkshire. He was educated at Oriel College, Oxford and taught French at Brasenose College, Oxford from 1946 to 1966. He also served as college librarian from 1948 to 1966...

    , text and photos online
  • Joy Street Frances Parkinson Keyes, 1950, fiction.
  • Area Preservation and the Beacon Hill Bill. Old-Time New England. v.46, no.164, Spring 1956.
  • Beacon Hill: A Walking Tour, A. McVoy McIntyre, 1975. ISBN 0-316-55600-9
  • The Mount Vernon Street Warrens, Martin Green, Simon & Schuster, 1989 ISBN 0684191091
  • Beacon Hill: The Life & Times of a Neighborhood, Moying Li-Marcus, 2002. ISBN 1-55553-543-7
  • Colonial Society discussion of the development of Beacon Hill.

External links