Back Bay, Boston, Massachusetts

Back Bay is an officially recognized neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts. It is famous for its rows of Victorian brownstone homes, considered one of the best-preserved examples of 19th-century urban design in the United States, as well as numerous architecturally significant individual buildings and important cultural institutions such as the Boston Public Library. Back Bay is also a fashionable shopping destination and home to some of Boston’s tallest office buildings.

Prior to a colossal 19th-century filling project, what is now the Back Bay was an actual bay. Today, along with neighboring Beacon Hill, it is one of Boston’s two most exclusive residential neighborhoods. The Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay considers the neighborhood’s boundaries to be “Charles River on the North; Arlington Street to Park Square on the East; Columbus Avenue to the New York New Haven and Hartford right-of-way (South of Stuart Street and Copley Place), Huntington Avenue, Dalton Street, and the Massachusetts Turnpike on the South; Charlesgate East on the West.”

Prominent cultural and educational institutions in the Back Bay include: the Berklee College of Music, The Boston Architectural College, The New England College of Optometry (the oldest optometry school in the U.S.), The New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston’s Goethe Institute and The Alliance Française.

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