View the Exhibition
The Gilded Age – the era from the late 1860s to the late 1890s – was a period of significant growth and transformation in Boston. Ingenious engineering projects allowed the city to expand, and a devastating fire led to swift and progressive redevelopment of the commercial district. Designed to document Boston’s radically changing geography, this exhibition focuses on the evolving street pattern and emerging park system, developed for the City’s growing population.
This story begins with the Boston Common and Public Garden. Moving west, the exhibition examines the growth of open spaces in Back Bay, then south to Frederick Law Olmsted’s Emerald Necklace, finishing with the development of Copley Square – the permanent home of the Boston Public Library.
Click on the thumbnails below to view the maps.
Filling in the Back Bay, 1858-1882
|George W. Boynton, New Map of Boston, 1857||Boston, Massachusetts. View of Back Bay, 1857|
|George W. Boynton, New Map of Boston, 1860||Back Bay, 1895|
|Oakley H. Bailey and James C. Hazen, The City of Boston, 1879||Albert E. Downs, Boston, 1899|
The Great Boston Fire, 1872
Boston Common and Public Garden
|John Bachmann, Bird’s Eye View of Boston, 1850||G. W. Bromley & Co., Plan of Boston Common and Public Garden, 1888|
|No. 13 Public Garden, Boston, Mass., 1880||Tremont Street Mall, Boston Common, 1880|
|Boston (Mass.) Park Department, Map of Boston …, 1886||Geo. H. Walker & Co., Arnold Arboretum …, 1900|
|G. W. Bromley & Co., Part of Ward 23 …, 1896||Charles H. Woodbury, Boston Park Guide, 1896|
|G. W. Bromley & Co., Part of Wards 11, 17 & 18 …, 1883||Copley Square, 1909|
|Louis H. Ruyl, Public Library – Copley Sq., 1908|