The Boston Common is an historical central public park located in downtown Boston, Massachusetts. It can be mistakenly called the Boston Commons, despite being in an entirely different location. This unique public park was designed and built by Benjamin Franklin as a center for gathering and debating government matters. Today, it serves as a great venue for weddings, conferences, outdoor concerts, parades, and many other civic events.
The Boston Common has a long history dating back to colonial times. As a colony, the British colonists had built numerous public parks or “improvements” across the city. Boston was particularly busy with public parks during this time due to the importance of these areas to the settlers. For example, Franklin Park was an important hub for both the settlers and Native Americans. A small park today still exists in the area as well as several historic buildings.
Today, the Boston Common continues to play an important role as a gathering place. It is often host to political conventions and gatherings, national holidays and festivals, as well as countless other activities. The park also features two public gardens that are open to the public and are open to a variety of uses. A national historic landmark, the Boston Common features a wide range of historical and educational exhibits, and features.
One of the most notable parts of the Boston Common, aside from all of the exciting events and gardens, is the actual memorial of Boston Massacre victims. Located in between Boylston and Commonwealth Avenues on the south side of the park, the Boston Massacre Site features three 18th-century gravestones. Two of the gravestones feature inscriptions commemorating those killed in the Massacre while one inscription commemorates the Boston Massacre victims as well as a description of how they died. Another striking piece of art is located in front of the gravestones at the Boston Massacre Site. On the ground is a granite slab with an inscribing American flag, which serves as a permanent fixture on the site.
Also located within the Boston Common area is the Freedom Trail, which travels through various public gardens in Boston. The Freedom Trail follows the path of the Boston Tea Party, providing a glimpse into the tumultuous year the colonists held out against King William. Many of the paths have paths made of glass, allowing the public to observe the spectacular view of Boston from a respectful distance. Some of the parks located near the Common include Boylston Common, the Common, and Cambridge Common. The Boylston Common area was home to Martin Luther King, Jr. during the time of the Boston Tea Party.
Just steps from the Freedom Trail is the beautiful Boston Common arbor, an amazing structure which adds character to the Boston Common Park Street. The great elm tree that resides on top of the arbor serves as a great symbol of peace and tranquility in the park. The beautiful and dramatic arbor was designed by noted arborist Daniel Sullivan, who are also responsible for the stately Old State House, and the National Trust for Trees at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. The tree that resides on top of the arbor is a mature elm, which is laden with beautiful leaves. This special elm was selected by the National Park Service to be included on the Boston Common arbor, which serve as a point of connection between the Freedom Trail, and the common public garden located on the Boston Common.
Another important historical landmark in Boston Common is the Boston Massacre Site. Located on Commonwealth Avenue between Boylston and Commonwealth streets, this historic memorial is one of the most important and best-preserved areas in all of Boston. At the site are two bronze heads, one of the shooters of the Boston Massacre, which was placed atop a large marble pedestal. The surviving shooter, Francis Bacon, is remembered on this pedestal as well. The advocacy group Citizens for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has placed an animal memorial near the Boston Massacre Site as well. This serves as a reminder of the brutal history of the Massacre, and the centuries of pain inflicted upon animals, by humans.
Boston Common, along with the neighboring city of Cambridge, is the home to one of the most popular professional sports teams in Massachusetts. The Boston Bruins is based in the city, and they play their games at the TD Garden, a 18-acre green facility which was built in 1923. A number of other professional teams call Boston home as well, including the Boston Red Sox, who plays at the famous Boston Red Sox Stadium. A number of festivals, and events occur throughout the year in both Boston and Cambridge, which make it an exciting place to live. Many people visit the cities each weekend, and some even take in the legendary Red Sox game at Fenway Park.
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