Boston blog postings

Boston Postings - Page 3

Earliest: March 16, 2003Latest: December 31, 2020Total: 359
August 13, 2020

Paul Revere Statue

One of the most popular shots in Boston is the Paul Revere Statue in the North End. Tourist from around the world come and learn about Paul Revere's history.

Paul Revere Desktop This view of the Paul Revere Mall with the Paul Revere statue is one of the most popular photo spots along the Freedom Trail.
Paul Revere Mobile This view of the Paul Revere Mall with the Paul Revere statue is one of the most popular photo spots along the Freedom Trail.

Fun Facts about the Paul Reveue Statue

The statue was created in 1886 by Cyrus Dallin.

The statue won first prize against other notable designers - Daniel Chester French (Concord Minuteman) and Thomas Ball (George Washington Equestrian Statue in the Public Gardens).

However it took 54 years for the City of Boston to buy and install it.

The clay model of the statue was completed in 1935 After that the statue was on display in the Caproni Galleries on Washington Street and for a while it was exhibited on the Esplanade.

The delays for Boston to purchase it was "for one reason or another." Some people say the delays were intentional because Cyrus Dallin was only 22-years old at the time he won against other famous designers.

Officially set up on the Paul Revere Mall on Thursday, September 19, 1940. The dedication ceremony was on the following Sunday, September 22nd at 2:30 pm.

Speakers at the dedication ceremony included Joseph F. O'Connell, Henry L. Shattuck, and Raymond Kelly. The great-great-great-grandson of Paul Revere was at the ceremony. About 10,000 people were at the ceremony.

The statue cost nearly a half-million dollars. The funding was controlled by the George White Fund

The statue is known as heroic, which basically means it is about one and half life-size.

Orginally some people suggested putting the statue in Copley square, at the foot of Mount Vernon Street - looking west towards Lexington and Concord. Another location some suggested was at the statehouse on the opposite side of the equestrian statue of General Hooker.

The statue base is Milford granite. It comes from Dennis F. McLaughlin. He won the bid at $7,930

Locals still call the Paul Revere Mall the original name: ?The Prado." The official name was changed when the Paul Revere Statue was dedicated.

According to city expenditures documents, to get the Paul Revere Mall up and running, it cost: $382,390.48 for the Land and Construction, the Tablets on the walls cost $16,293.26 and the statue cost $37,424.91.

Quote from the Dedication

Henry L. Shattuck, the orator of the day, said this at the Dedication:

?It is well we should honor and celebrate the achievements of Paul Revere and of our other heroes. It is just and fitting that we should sing their praises and take pride in their deeds.

But that is not enough.

We must not stop there. Nations do not live, progress, and prosper on memories of past glories. These patriots did not live for their country and die for their country in order that we might live softly. They looked to us, their descendants, to pick up and carry on the torch of liberty. They knew, and we should remember, that the price of liberty is eternal vigilance and that liberty is the heritage of the strong, not of the weak."

Parody Poem

Mr. Dallin had a sense of humor of the whole ordeal of getting the statue in the proper place. He wrote a parody on Longfellow's famous poem. This is what the sculptor wrote to Mayor Maurice J. Tobin:

?Listen. my children and you shall hear Of the ignoble failure of Boston to rear
The greatest creation of my long career. 
The Equestrian Statue of Paul Revere.
A citizens? committee of well-known men 
Selected my model from a competition of ten.
On July the fourth, eighteen hundred and eighty-five.
The committee of which no one now is alive
Made a contract with me all legally signed
To erect in Copley Souare my designed
To honor the hero whose cry of alarm
Aroused every Middlesex village and farm
For the country folk to be up and to arm
Alas! no statue now graces Copley Square
?T is enough to make even an angel swear
But being only human I refuse to despair.
And J hope that means will be found somewhere
So after the lapse of many a year
Due honor be paid to Paul Revere.?
--Cyrus E. Dalbn.

Finding the Statue

The statue is located at the Paul Revere Mall in the North End of Boston. It's located just off of Hanover Street.

August 6, 2020

Appeal to the Great Spirit Statue

In front of Boston's Museum of Fine Arts is a statue of an Indian on a horse. This equestrian statue is called the "Appeal to the Great Spirit."

Description of the Art:

The statue message is of a North American Indian on horseback with arms outstretched and face uplifted in the last appeal to the Great Spirit for and strength in the battle which his race had been waging for centuries with the white man.

Appeal Spirit Desktop
Appeal Spirit Mobile

Interesting Facts about the Statue

Created by Cyrus Edward Dallin who also did the equestrian figure of Paul Revere in Boston's North End.

The statue was created in Paris for the 1909 Paris Salon - an art show in Paris France. It won a a gold medal.

It cost $12,000 ($333,442.67 in 2019) to secure the art work for Boston. A special fun was setup to raise the money.

The Boston Park Commission wanted the statue was to be placed at the corner of Boylston and Charlesgate West - otherwise known as Gaston Square.

On January 23, 1912, it was installed outside the main entrance to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

The pedestal was designed by Charles Howard Walker.

Some call have called it, "One of the best known equestrian statues in the world."

Cyrus Edward Dallin died on November 14, 1944. He is buried at Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Arlington, Massachusetts.

Cyrus Dallin Art Museum

You can learn a lot more about Cyrus Dallin work at the Cyrus Dallin Art Museum in Arlington, Massachusetts. (The museum is currently closed because of COVID-19)

Public tours cost $5 per person requested donation.

July 30, 2020

Boston 2024

On January 8, 2015, the City of Boston won the right to represent the United States Olympic Committee recommendation hosting city for the 2024 Olympics.

This came a surprise to many as Los Angels seemed to be the favorite city, considering they hosted the summer games before and have the facilities in place.

Not everyone in Boston was happy about being selected as a potential hosting city. About six months later the City requested to be removed from the United States Olympics committee recommendations.

Boston2024 Believe Window

If you look around Boston, you may still see some signs of the push to bring the Olympics to Boston. This sticker was recently spotted on a window on Columbus Ave.

What Happened?

One of the reasons that Boston withdrew from being a hosted city was because of the underestimate of cost to transform the City from an ordinary city to a world-class Olympic hosting city.

Some Key Points

  • While the Mayor of Boston gave it a lot of support, the newly elected Massachusetts Governor - Charlie Baker had some doubts about how it would get pulled off.
  • The winter of 2015 was brutal on public transportation in the Boston area. The city was hit with record snowfall and caused serious delays for many days. Some experts felt that the MBTA would need to have a serious upgrade in order to host the Olympic Games. A quick fix was not a realistic option.
  • An independent audit was requested by the Baker Administration and found that many expenses were underestimated by millions of dollars.
  • The public opinion in Boston started to go down once people understood the cost of the project and the magnetite of the change. In six months the public support for the bid went from 51% to only 40%. (wbur poll)
July 23, 2020

Martin Park

One of the youngest victims in the 2013 Boston's Marathon bombing was 8-year old Martin Richards. In 2019, a special children's playgound opened as a special tribute to him.

Marting Park Desktop
Martin Park Mobile

Five Things I Learned

Offical name is Martin's Park at Smith Family Waterfront.

The park opening day was on June 15, 2019 - 2,252 days after the 2013 Boston Marathon.

The park cost $13 million to plan and build. Most of the money came from private donations. The city did contribute some funds but it was a "standard" contribution.

The park is about one acre.

There is a stone leftover from the Boston Public Library renovation.

Park Video

Juliana spending an hour at the park on a cold November day. She enjoyed the different playareas and how open it was.

Location

Located at 64 Sleeper Street on the South Boston waterfront, just steps away from the Boston Children's museum.

July 16, 2020

Captain Jeremiah O'Brien

Captain Jeremiah w was one of the key players in the American Revolutionary war. He holds the honor of being the first Revolutionary Captain to win the first Navel engagement against the British forces. This was an important event as it gave hope to the Colonial Navy forces that they could win against a strong navy.

Three months after the battle at Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts, the first American naval battle of the American Revolution was fought off Machias, Maine. The Americans, using pitchforks and handmade weapons managed to get on the British armed warships and brought the war to the seas. The five O'Brien brothers, Gideon, John, William, Dennis and Joseph overpowered the British and managed to kill Lt. James Moore.

This later became known as the Battle of Machias.

Captain Jeremiah Tablet
This Tablet is located in the Massachusetts State House in the Nurses Hall area.

Tablet Text

In Commermoration of his distinguished services in winning the first naval engagement in the war of the revolution and of his subsequent exploits in said such war as the first regularly commissioned naval officer and commander of the revolutionary Navy of Massachusetts

A grateful Commonwealth has erected this tablet

1937

Five Things I Learned

Tablet was created by John Paramino, who also created other work around the Boston - including the World War 2 Memorial, Declaration of Independence Tablet and more.

The tablet was unveiled on Saturday, June 12, 1937, in a small ceremony. It was the 162nd anniversary of the Battle of Machias.

Former Representative Joseph F. O'Connell gave a speech about why the tablet was important - early historians of America ignored how the Irish were a big part of the Navy.

Jeremiah O'Brien died on September 5, 1818 in Machias, Maine - while it was still part of Massachusetts. Maine didn't become a state until March 15. 1820.

Along with this tablet, there were five ships in the United States Navy has been named USS O?Brien for him and his brothers. You can tour the SS Jeremiah O'Brien at Pier 45 at Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco.

Parts of Joseph F. O'Connell Speech

Here are some parts of the speech that we put in the records of the First Session of Seventy-Fifth Congress:

Massachusetts’ has determined that, in the march of time, the achievements of her heroes shall not be lost in the oblivion of the past, and today dedicates in enduring bronze this tablet to the memory of Capt. Jeremiah O’Brien, a Massachusetts naval hero of the Revolution, who won the first battle of the sea, on June 12, 1775; who captured the first enemy flag in battle on either land or sea; and who was the first naval commissioned officer and commander in chief of the Navy of Massachusetts in the War for Independence and of the Revolution.

She proclaims to the world, on this anniversary of the Battle of Machias, that she celebrates the day by recalling, through this official action, her proud claim that it was a native-born citizen of Massachusetts who first challenged England’s power of the sea.

This State is proud of the fact that it was off her shores that an English flag was first hauled down, after a sea battle in which the might of the British Empire had been successfully resisted.

Cooper, in his Naval History of the United States, called the battle off Machias the Lexington of the seas, and so it has been accepted by critical historians, and it is most appropriate that O’Brien’s success should be thus known. The Battles of Lexington «id Machias are much alike. In each Instance the regular force of the British had gone to attack the citizens of Massachusetts; in Lexington to destroy the supplies of the patriots; at Machias to intimidate and to secure the furnishing of lumber for the entrenchment of the British troops in Boston. The British were beaten in both battles—on land by the embattled farmers, and on the sea by Jeremiah O’Brien and his intrepid crew, after a bloody battle.

O’Brien’s victory—not alone in the personal odds against him— was graphically described by former Secretary of the Navy John D. Long, when he said: “It was the first challenge of the infant American Navy to the giant, and almost omnipotent, naval power oi Great Britain.”

it is quite fitting that this tablet to Capt. Jeremiah O'Brien should be placed in this beautiful setting with those whose work portrays the Revolutionary spirit; with Otis defying me might of Britain before the Supreme Council; with Paul Revere carrying the news of the approach of the British to Lexing¬ ton; and the citizens of Boston, under the leadership of Sam Adams, casting the offensively taxed tea into the waters of Boston Harbor.

....

May the enduring bronze of this memorial be a symbol of the courage and faith that brought into being our Commonwealth and Nation.

July 9, 2020

William-Loyd Garrison

William Lloyd Garrison (1805-1879) was an American Journalist and crusader. His writing focused mostly on Woman's Suffrage and civil rights and was a strong abolitionist.

On October 21, 1835, he was a victim of a mob attack after he gave an abolitionist speech. The mob plan to carry him from the Old State House to the Boston Commons. Once there they were going to tar and feather him. The Mayor and his aids were able to come to William Loyd Garrison's rescue and take him to the city jail to keep him away from the mob. He escaped the city.

Many years later the city felt really bad for the way William Garrison was treated and decided to honor him with a statue on Commonwealth Ave.

Garrison Desktop
Garrison Mobile

Seven Things I Learned

  1. The Quincy granite pedestal is six feet high designed by John M. Wells. The entire statue weights two thousand six hundred pounds.
  2. The part of the statue that shows William-Loyd Garrison sitting was created by Olin Levi Warner, best known for the bronze portals on the doors of the Library of Congress.
  3. Installed on May 13, 1886, at 6 pm with about 50 people attending a very informal ceremony.
  4. The statue was to be displayed on October 21, 1885 - the fiftieth anniversary of the Boston Mob attack but due to unforeseen delays in the casting, the work wasn't finished until May 13, 1886.
  5. The statue shows Mr. Garrison as he appeared around the age of 63. Note the overcoat that is thrown over the chair as a decorative effect.
  6. The face of William Loy Garrison was taken from an actual mask that John Rogers had.
  7. At the base of the statue is the words "I will be Heard" is from the anti-slavery newspaper "The Liberator"

William Loyd Garrison Statue Location

The statue is located on the Commonwealth Ave. Mall, between Dartmouth St. and Exeter Street

Lesson from William Loyd Garrison

John Stuart Mill, British Philosopher pointed out two lessons from Mr. Garrison's career:

The first lesson is: Aim at something great; aim at things which are difficult (and there is no great thing which is not difficult). Do not pare down your undertaking to what you can hope to see success in the next few years, or in the years of your own life...

July 2, 2020

St. Francis of Assisi Garden

Just behind the Old North Church gift shop is the St. Francis of Assisi Garden.

The Chapel of St. Francis was created to meet the needs of Italian immigrants who were members of the Waldensian Reform movement. Once the movement left the area the Old North Church used the building as a gift shop.

The garden was created as a special area to remember the Waldensian Reform movement.

Francis Desktop
Francis Mobile

Four things I Learned about the Garden

The St. Francis of Assisi statue was placed in the garden on August 17, 1902.

The St. Francis of Assisi Garden is a sitting area, whereas the 18th Century Garden is where you'll find all sorts of plants and shrubs taken care of by members of the congregation.

St. Francis of Assisi is the patron saint of animals and ecology, making him the perfect companion for the outdoor garden - you can find similar statues on eBay and some garden shops.

St. Francis Feast Day is October 4 = I wasn't able to find any information that the Old North Church does in the garden on that day.

June 25, 2020

Ayer Mansion

On Commonwealth Avenue, there are a lot of special homes. The Ayer Mansion is one such place that is overlooked by tourists.

Tours of the home are available on very limited bases. They are held one Saturday and one Sunday a month. Visit their website for tour dates and time.

Ayer Mansion Desktop
The stain glass above the door at the Ayer Mansion
Ayer Mansion Mobile
The stain glass above the door at the Ayer Mansion

Five Things I learned

  • The house was built between 1899 - 1902 for patent medicine and textile entrepreneur Frederick Ayer. It was designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany.
  • The Ayer Mansion sole example of a house designed from its inception by[Louis Comfort Tiffany](http://www.biography.com/people/louis-tiffany-9507399). This is the only surviving house over which Mr. Tiffany had complete control, which allowed him to integrate themes and details both insideand outside.
  • Listed on the National Historic Mansion. This is the only house on CommmonWealth Ave that is listed on the National Historic Landmark.
  • When Ayer died in 1918, at the age of 95, the Boston Globe described him as New England?s richest man, and the New York Times sketched his rise from a poor shopkeeper to a titan of industry.
  • There is a missing Tiffany Vase from the Ayer Mansion. It may have been missing for decades and a collector may have it without knowing that it is stolen from the Ayer Mansion. The vase is supposed to be in the hands of a Tiffany collector from the MidWest. The Ayer Mansion preservation believes the previous owner of the house took it when it was sold in 1964.

Finding The Ayer Mansion

The Ayer Mansion is located at 395 Commonwealth Ave - between Massachusetts Ave and Charles Gate East.

YouTube Tour

Someone that took the tour in 2018 recorded it. It might be interesting to watch to learn more about the house and a chance to see the inside.

June 18, 2020

Emancipation Group

There has been a lot of talks lately of a famous Lincoln Statue near the Boston Commons. This statue featured President Lincoln and a slave.

Many people think the statue is racist and suggest taking it down.

Emancipation Group Boston
Emancipation Group Statue (Courtesy of Google Maps)

Note: I don't have a personal picture in my collection and resorted to a picture on Google Maps.

Four Things I Learned

The official title of the statue is: Emancipation Group

Statue was created by Thomas Ball. He created many other statues in Boston such as the Equestrian Statue of George Washington, Josiah Quincy, and Charles Sumner.

Statue was created in 1874

This casting of the Emancipation Group the City of Boston in 1877 by Moses Kimball of the Boston Museum.

The head of the slave is modeled from a photograph of Archer Alexander, the last slave to be recaptured in Missouri under the Fugitive Slave Act.

The original casting of the statue is in Washington DC. It was commissioned by the Freedman's Memorial Society in Washington D.C. It cost $17,000 ($389,462.51 in 2019) raised by Washington D.C. black community.

Charlotte Scott, a former slave from Marietta, Ohio, gave the initial donation of five dollars - her first earning as a freed person to help commission a statue for Lincoln.

A plaque near the statue in Washington DC reads: "Freedom's Memorial, in Grateful Memory of Abraham Lincoln: This monument was erected by the Western Sanitary Commission of St. Louis, MO, with funds contributed solely by emancipated citizens of the United States declared free by his Proclamation January 1, A.D. 1863. The first contribution was made by Charlotte Scott, a freed woman of Virginia, and consecrated by her suggestion and request on the day she heard of President Lincoln's death"

The statue in Boston was last restored by the Boston Park Plaza Hotel and Towers.

Staute Resolve and Order

The City of Boston resolve for the statue in 1879:

Whereas, a communication has been received from Hon. Moses Kimball, in which he tenders to the City of Boston the gift of a colossal group in bronze, emblematical of Emancipation, upon conditions that it be placed upon the lot of land at the junction of Columbus Avenue, Park square and Pleasant street, and that the city will cause the area to he suitably enclosed and annually cultivated with flowering plants and shrubs; it is therefore hereby

Resolved, That the thanks of the City Council, in behalf of the citizens of Boston, be conveyed to the Hon. Moses Kimball for the public spirit displayed in his costly and substantial gift to the city, which is hereby gratefully accepted upon the conditions attached to his offer.

Ordered, That the triangular lot of land situated at the junction of Columbus avenue. Park Square and Pleasant street be and the same is hereby assigned for the location of the group.

Ordered, That the Committee on Common and Public Grounds be requested to take such action as may be necessary to cause the said lot to be put in order and enclosed with a suitable fence, in accordance with the terms of the gift.

June 11, 2020

Queen Elizabeth II Plaque

In Boston's Old North Church, there is a plaque to commemorate when Queen Elizabeth II said a prayer during her visit to Boston in July 1976.

Thousands of people came to watch the Queen visit sites around Boston on her Bicentennial visit to the United States.

Queen North Church Desktop
Queen Mobile Large

Fun Facts about the Queen's Visit to Boston

Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip, her Mistress of the Robes, her Lady-in-Waiting, her Equerry-in-Waiting, her secretaries - a total of 52 arrived in Boston on July 11, 1976. She arrived on her royal yacht HMY Britannia escorted by the USS Constitution.

The Queen's visit to Boston was the first time a reigning monarch visited the city of Boston.

Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth first stop was a morning prayer at the Old North Church.

At the Old North Church on April 19, 1975, President Ford lit a third lantern dedicated to America's third century of freedom. Upon seeing the lantern, the Queen remarked, "May the light never be dimmed."

After the Church they headed over to the Old State House where 200 years earlier the Declaration of Independence was read to the citizens of Boston.

Queen Elizabeth was quoted saying, it was here "that it all began."

The queen was dressed in a white and red print dress and a white and red straw hat.

They started the historic Bicentennial visit in Philadelphia on July 6 on her boat the Britannia. She attended a state dinner at the White House, toured the nation's capital, spent a day in New York, visited Thomas Jefferson's home near Charlottesville, and had a special dinner party on the Britannia in Newport Rhode Island. Boston was the last stop on her Bicentennial visit to America.

The queen was given a tour of the city by Gov. Michael S. Dukakis and Boston's Mayor Kevin H. White.

She left Boston late in the day on the HMY Britannia heading North to Nova Scotia.