Term Paper: History of Boston

Pages: 5 (1481 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 4  ·  Topic: Architecture  ·  Buy This Paper

¶ … Architecture of Boston

Boston is a city that represents the very heart of what it means to be American. Filled with rich historical significance, Boston serves as a reminder of what America used to be and what it is yet to be. Boston is unique in that it is dear to the heart of America's history. One of America's oldest cities, Boston was founded on November 17, 1630 by Puritans and still retains much of that original Puritan architecture and design. The architecture falls into colonial, federal, Victorian, and contemporary (ihistroy.org 2008). These phases of architecture represent the life of not only Boston but also America in a way that is truly unique. From lifelike statues to its intricate subway system, Boston is a living piece of history that proves that life, through architecture, is art.

From the earliest beginning of the Boston Massacre, we see elements of architecture that illustrate signs of the times. Colonial architecture is represented in the most obvious structures. The Old State House is the oldest building in the city. The building is a tall, symmetrical building with a gambrel roof. It is decorated with ornate adornments, including elaborate windows and lion statues. The Declaration of Independence was first read to Bostonians from the east balcony of the Old State House on July 18, 1776. (storyofboston.com 2008) the building remained in use for decades after that. We read that after the American Revolution, the structure "served as the first state house for the newly-formed Commonwealth of Massachusetts" (bostonhistroy.org). After that, it was used for a "variety of purposes in the 19th century, including shopping arcade, city hall, post office, merchants' exchange, and offices" (bostonhistroy.org). The building has served as a museum since 1881. Other interesting structures from the era are the churches. The Old North Church illustrates fine English architecture. The church is immortalized in Henry Longfellow's poem, "The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere." King's Church is significant because it was the first church of England in Boston. While it is a historical landmark, it is still used for church services today.

Boston's architecture is closely connected to its history and an important aspect of that history is learning. Despite religious intolerance, Boston flourished and encouraged higher learning.

A structure worth mentioning in this regard is the Old Corner Bookstore. While the town might have endured oppression from religious groups, the human spirit lives on and the Old Corner Bookstore is an illustration of this. The bookstore is "notable as the launch pad for publishing in the Americas" (iboston.org). It is also interesting to note that the building sits on where Anne Hutchinson's existed before it was torn down. The building is significant is its "lasting literary significance as the publishers of Hawthorne, Longfellow, Stowe, Emerson, Thoreau and other prominent American and British authors, who often gathered here" (historyofboston.com). These colonial structures allow us to step into history and they become even more significant when we realize that we are not just looking at building from a long time ago - we are looking at buildings wherein our country was shaped and molded.

One of the most elaborate structures from the Federal era is the Massachusetts State House. We are told, "The elevated portico, use of string courses, iron work, classical elements like Corinthian columns and brick construction are representative of federalist design"(iboston.org). Created by architect Charles Bullfinch, the building's "second floor's large square windows draw the eye upward to this piano nobile" (iboston.org). This building is glorious in its design. It shines even on the dreariest days and the inside is just as ornate and beautiful. Quincy Market is significant because it was Boston's first "major project" (iboston.org) after it became a city. "In a single sweep, Quincy Market enhanced city-life and commerce, caused the redesign and addition of six new streets, and established the City Docks in still deeper waters" (iboston.org). Quincy Market is a Historical landmark because "this site possesses exceptional value in commemorating and illustrating the history of the United States" (storyofboston.com). These structures illustrate the growing city, marked by innovation and taste that is rarely outdone.

An example from the Victorian era is the Old South Church built in 1871. The architecture is magnificent and it represents a true amalgamation of what American history mean. The church is "One of the most beautiful basilicas in North America" (storyofboston.com). The church is unique to Boston architects in that it… [END OF PREVIEW]

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https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/history-boston/113739.