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|UNITED STATES OF AMERICA|
Boston is situated at the estuary of the Charles River into Boston Harbor, off Boston Bay. Boston is the county seat of Suffolk County. With a population of about 589,000 (2000) it is the largest city of Massachusetts. The Boston Metrolpolitan Area has a population of about 5.8 million.
Boston was founded on September 17, 1630, on a narrow peninsula called Shawmut by Native Americans who lived there. Boston is named after Boston, England, a town in Lincolnshire from which several prominent colonists originated.
Boston was birthplace of the American Revolution. The Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party, and several early battles of the Revolution, (such as the Battle of Lexington and Concord, the Battle of Bunker Hill, and the Siege of Boston) occurred in or near the city. During this period, Paul Revere made his celebrated midnight ride from Charleston, MA, to Lexington and Concord (see Revere Beach).
Following the Revolution, Boston became one of the world's wealthiest international trading ports. It was chartered as a city in 1822, and by the mid-1800s it was one of the largest manufacturing centers in the nation.
Much of the Back Bay, and South End are built on reclaimed landtwo and a half of Boston's three original hills were used as a source of material for the landfill. Only Beacon Hill, the smallest of the three original hills, remains partially intact.
The Boston Public Library [left, no. B16] was founded in 1848 as America's first major free municipal library.
The library building in Copley Square was built in 18871895 by Charles Follen McKim, William Rutherford Mead and Stanford White in a Renaissance Revival style. The building counts as a centerpiece of the collaborative work of the three architects and is currently used to store the library's research materials.
A modern addition, which holds the circulating collection and branch headquarters, was built by Philip Johnson in 1971.
Faneuil Hall [left, no. 1414: top picture; and right, no. B16] was built in 1742 by the French Huguenot merchant Peter Faneuil, who donated the building to the town.
A fire in 1761 destroyed the original Faneuil Hall, but the building was reconstructed in time to host Samuel Adams and his compatriots as they planned Boston's revolutionary activity; the political maneuverings here earned Faneuil Hall its long-standing nickname, "Cradle of Liberty." For over 250 years the first floor has served as a marketplace and the second floor as an open forum meeting hall.
By 1805, the Hall had become too small to serve the needs of the city, and Charles Bulfinch, one of America's foremost architects, was commissioned to design the expanded structure that remains virtually unaltered. Although an 1822 city charter ended government by town meeting, Faneuil Hall remained the center of Boston political debate until well into the 1900s. During the 1970s, the building underwent a major internal renovation.
The Massachusetts State House [left, no. B17; and above left, no. 1414: bottom picture] as built between 1795 and 1797 on Beacon Hill and overlooks the Boston Common. The site, a pasture owned by John Hancock was lowered 50 ft (15 m) for the construction of the State House.
The building was designed by self-taught architect Charles Bulfinch, who based his design on Somerset House in London. The building's front features an elevated portico with a series of Corinthian columns. The red brick facade was painted white in 1825 and remained painted until 1928 when the bricks were exposed again. The large gilded dome is topped with a lantern and pinecone, symbol of the forests of Massachusetts. The dome was originally made of wood shingles. These were replaced in 1802 with copper. In 1861, the dome was gilded and this remained so ever since, except during the second World War, when it was painted black. In 1895 the state house was expanded with a large, yellow-colored annex, and in 1917 marble wings were added. [Glass no. 1414, above left, shows the appearance of the State House of prior to 1895.]
[Other Capitol buildings depicted on items of this collection are the United States Capitol in Washington, DC, the Colorado State Capitol Denver, CO, the Indiana Staehouse in Indianapolis, IN, and the New York State Capitol in Albany, NY.]
Bunker Hill Monument [right, no. B16] commemmorates the battle of June 17, 1775, which took place on this site. It was the first major battle of the American Revolution.
The Bunker Hill Monument Association was incorporated in 1823 for the purpose of purchasing the battlegrounds and constructing on the site a suitable memorial. The Association appointed a Board of Artists to recommend a form for the monument. Construction, under the direction of architect Solomon Willard, began in 1827, but work was frequently halted as available funds were depleted. To bring the project to completion the Association in 1838 began to sell off the ten acres of the battlefield as house lots, eventually preserving only the summit of Breed's Hill as the monument grounds. On June 17, 1843, the completed 221-foot (67 m) granite obelisk was dedicated. Two hundred ninety-four steps lead up to the top of the monument, which offers a spectacular view of Boston.
The Bunker Hill Monument Association maintained the monument and grounds until 1919 when it was turned over to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In 1976 the monument was transferred to the National Park Service and became a unit of Boston National Historical Park.
Old South Meeting House (Old South Church) [left, no. B17] is located at Washington and Arch Streets.
The church, with its 183 ft (56 m) steeple, was completed in 1729. gained fame as the organizing point for the Boston Tea Party on December 16, 1773. Five thousand colonists gathered at the Meeting House, the largest building in Boston at the time.
The church was the meeting house of the United Church of Christ (Congregational), organized by dissenters from Boston's First Church in 1669, and from that time known as the Third Church in Boston. Members of the congregation have included Samuel Adams, William Dawes, Benjamin Franklin, and Phillis Wheatley, the first prominent African American author.
The Old South Meeting House was almost destroyed in the Great Fire of Boston in 1872. The congregation then built a new church, the "New" Old South Church, at Copley Square (see below). Restored after the Revolution, Old South Meeting House remained an active church until 1872. Threatened with demolition, a determined group of local activists saved the building from the wrecker's ball and established a museum in 1877.
The Old State House [right, no. B16] the oldest surviving public building in Boston. It was built in 1713 to house the government offices of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. It stands on the site of Boston's first Town House of 1657/58, which burned in 1711.
The Council Chamber of the Royal Governor was located upstairs at the east end of the building, looking toward Long Wharf and the harbor. This room was the setting for many stirring speeches and debates by dedicated patriots against the British crown. The central area of the second floor was the meeting place of the Massachusetts Assembly, one of the most independent of the colonial legislatures. This Assembly was the first legislative body in the colonies to call for sectional unity, and the formation of a Stamp Act Congress. The building's west end was home to the Courts of Suffolk County and the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court for many years. The Supreme Judicial Court is the longest seated court in the nation (over 300 years old) was also involved in the drafting of the Massachusetts Constitution, upon which the United States Constitution is based. The area beneath the balcony was the site of the Boston Massacre on March 5, 1770, when a handful of British soldiers fired into a taunting crowd, killing five men. Today a circle of paving stones marks the spot of the Massacre. On July 18, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was first proclaimed from here, to the jubilant citizens of Boston.
The Old State House continued as the seat of Massachusetts government until the new State House (see above) was built on Beacon Hill. On January 11, 1798, all government functions left the building. From 1830 to 1841, the building was used as Boston's City Hall. In 1841, the building returned to commercial use. During the mid-nineteenth century, the building entered a period of decline.
In 1879, a group of determined citizens formed the Boston Antiquarian Club to save the building from being moved to Chicago for the World's Fair. Two years later, the group reorganized themselves as The Bostonian Society, and began to operate a museum of Boston history in the Old State House.
The Equestrian Statue of George Washington [left, no. 963] is located in Boston Public Garden.
Created in 1869 by Thomas Ball, it was the first statue of Washington astride a horse. Ball, then an unknown artist from Charlestown, MA, had worked alone on the plaster cast for four years. Ball’s inspiration for the horse is said to have been an equestrian statue in Venice, Italy.
The First Church of Christ, Scientist [left, no. B051] is the legal title of The Mother Church and administrative headquarters of the Christian Science Church. The complex is located in a 14-acre plaza alongside Huntington Avenue. The church itself was built in 1894, and an annex larger in footprint than the original structure was added in 1906. It boasts one of the world's largest pipe organs, built by the Aeolian-Skinner Company of Boston.
The Church of Christ, Scientist, often known as the Christian Science church, is a Christian denomination that arose in New England in the late nineteenth century. It has about 2,000 branches (local churches) in over 70 countries, with The First Church of Christ, Scientist in Boston, MA, being the denomination's headquarters. The church was founded by the American, Mary Baker Eddy, in 1879 following a personal healing in 1866, which she claimed resulted from reading the Bible.
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, is widely known for its publications, especially the Christian Science Monitor, a daily newspaper published internationally in print and on the Internet. Some consider the Church to be controversial due to its emphasis on healing through prayer when others might choose modern medicine. There have also been periodic tensions with other Christian denominations who reject the idea that Christian Science is a Christian denomination because of what some consider to be unorthodox tenets.
The New Old South Church [left, no. B051] was built in 18721875 in Venetian Gothic style at 645 Boylston Street on Copley Square. Construction of the New Old South Church began in 1872 under Boston architect Charles Amos Cummings.
Exterior ornament is executed in Roxbury puddingstone, with striped arches, tracery, and ironwork. The interior is of plaster with Italian cherry woodwork. The screen of wooden arches behind the choir was adapted from the Doge's Palace in Venice. The stained glass windows were made in 15th century English style. The church's organ was built in 1921 for the St. Paul, Minnesota Municipal Auditorium, and brought to the church in 1982 when that building was demolished; it has 183 ranks and 8,672 pipes. The church's interior was originally stencilled in 1875. In 1905, the congregation commissioned Louis Comfort Tiffany to renovate the interior, and he covered the stained glass windows with deep purple Tiffany glass and redecorated the walls in a gold and purple pattern. The walls were in turn painted a pale gray in the 1950s. An extensive renovation was performed in 1984 to restore the interior to something like its original decor.
Kings Chapel [left, no. B051] was organized as an Anglican congregation at a meeting in Boston's Town House, the city hall of the day, in 1686. Its first house of worship was a small wooden meeting house at the corner of Tremont and School Streets, where the church stands today, that was dedicated in 1689. The congregation grew and its building was in a bad state of repair as the middle of the 18th century approached. Peter Harrison of Newport designed the new, larger building and construction began in 1749. The stone building, made of Quincy granite, was opened in 1754. A bell that was made in England was hung in 1772. It cracked in 1814 and was recast by Paul Revere and rehung in 1816. It is still rung before every service.
Tumbler no. B009 [below] shows the same views as tumbler no. B016 [above right], in different colors.
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