Back Bay – Item 5 of 7

Charles Davenport, Proposed Charles River Park, 1880.
Boston was home to numerous manufacturing companies in the late 19thcentury, where jobs tended to be sedentary and performed in closed, dirty spaces.  To provide relief to factory workers from daily stresses, open spaces such as the Charles River Park were proposed.An 1880 broadside depicts the plan for an esplanade parallel to Commonwealth Avenue. This park, a literal “breathing place,” provided fresh air from the river in an attempt to cleanse the mind and body of not only Boston’s burdened factory worker, but of all citizens in the densely populated metropolis.