Back Bay – Item 1 of 7

G.W. Bromley & Co., “Part of Ward 11, City of Boston,” plate 13 from Atlas of the City of Boston, City Proper and Roxbury, 1890.

Providing the link between the Public Garden and the Emerald Necklace, the Commonwealth Avenue Mall was Boston’s answer to majestic Parisian boulevards.  Designed by architect Arthur Gilman, and incorporated into the park system in 1894, Commonwealth Avenue Mall was the centerpiece of the Back Bay’s widest and most manicured thoroughfare.  The Mall extends from the Public Garden to present-day Massachusetts Avenue.  To create a uniform and appealing space, strict building codes were enforced along the avenue.  The result is a grand spatial corridor comprised of stately homes and deliberate green spaces.

This map shows the extent of the Mall from Exeter Street to West Chester Park (now Massachusetts Avenue).