November 10, 2016

Charles Hilgenhurst Medallion

How the recent renovation at the Government Center MBTA station killed a view of a Boston landmark.

Between King Burial Grounds and Granary Burying Ground is a small medallion on the sidewalk pavement. The medallion is a bit hidden and is probably missed by many tourists walking between King Burial Grounds and Boston Commons.

Here is a picture of the medallion that is in front of the Omni Parker House:

Charles Hilgenhurst

The inscription reads:

Friend - Look Up And See The North Church Tower Where Were Shown Two Lantern Lights On The Night Of April 18, 1775, To Send Paul Revere On His Famous Ride And Begin The American Revolution. This View Preserved For All Future Generations By Charles Hilgenhurst And Colleagues Of The Boston Redevelopment Authority In The Year 1960

March 21, 2016

Today when you look up towards the King Burial Grounds, to see The North Church Tower, this is what you see:

North Church Tower

When the MBTA redesigned the Government Center back in 2014, they added a 40-foot glass structure. However, didn't take into account blocking the North Church Tower. You can still see part of the church through the glass structure, but the view is definitely blocked. At night, the glass structure is blue, which would completely prevent you from seeing the Church tower.

I wasn't able to find any information on why Charles Hilgenhurst wanted the view to be visible from the Omni Parker House. There isn't any document online or at the Boston Public Library about installing the medallion.

Locating the Marker

The medallion is located 3,580.80 feet (1091.43 meters) from the The North Church.

The medallion is located on Boylston Street, near the intersection of School Street. The GPS coordinates is: 42.357675, -71.060633

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