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The Back Bay neighborhood of Boston 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. It’s home to numerous architecturally significant buildings and important cultural institutions such as the Boston Public Library. Back Bay offers some of the best shopping in the city between Newbury and Boylston Streets, the adjacent Prudential Center, and Copley Place, is home to some of Boston’s tallest office buildings, the Hynes Convention Center, and numerous major hotels.
Prior to a colossal 19th-century filling project, what is now the Back Bay was a literal bay. Today, along with neighboring Beacon Hill, it is one of Boston’s two most expensive residential neighborhoods. The Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay considers the neighborhood’s bounds 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.
The plan of Back Bay, by Arthur Gilman of the firm Gridley James Fox Bryant, was greatly influenced by Haussmann’s renovation of Paris, with wide, parallel, tree-lined avenues unlike anything seen in other Boston neighborhoods. Five east-west corridors — Beacon Street (closest to the Charles), Marlborough Street, Commonwealth Avenue (actually two one-way thoroughfares flanking the tree-lined pedestrian Commonwealth Avenue Mall), Newbury Street and Boylston Street are intersected at regular intervals by north-south cross streets: Arlington, Berkeley, Clarendon, Dartmouth, Exeter, Fairfield, Gloucester, and Hereford.
Prominent cultural and educational institutions in the Back Bay include the Berklee College of Music, which occupies a number of older and newly built Back Bay buildings. Others are The Boston Architectural College, on Boylston Street, The New England College of Optometry, the oldest optometry school in the US, located on Beacon Street, The New England Historic Genealogical Society, whose archive and research center is at 99 Newbury Street, Boston’s Goethe Institute, on Newbury Street, and The Alliance Française, on Marlborough Street.
Travelling to or from the Back Bay? For business or leisure? Need a ride to or from the Back Bay? We provide Back Bay Minibus Transportation, Back Bay Limobus Transportation, Back Bay Car Service, Back Bay Limo Service and just about any other service you can think of!