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Becoming Back Bay

Learn why Boston's Back Bay is considered a marvel of 19th Century engineering

Boston Public Library

Tour Description

Take a trip through the Back Bay neighborhood and learn where Back Bay started, how it evolved, and where it is today. Discover why and how the Bay was filled, and hear about the homes of its Victorian residents and their servants. Learn what made Back Bay such an engineering marvel in its time.

On this tour, explore why the filling of the bay was considered the most ambitious civil engineering achievement in nineteenth-century America, and uncover how it was a landmark event of urban planning in every sense of the term.

Tour Information

Public Tour Calendar

Private Tours

This tour is not currently available as a private tour.

Starting Location

Meet your guide in the Public Garden in front of the George Washington statue facing Arlington Street. Note: The Public Garden by the George Washington Statue is under construction through June 2024. While the statue is blocked off, please meet your guide in front of the Arlington Street Church, intersection of Arlington Street and Boylston Street.

Finding Your Guide: All guides carry an 8×11 sign that says “Boston By Foot Walking Tours.”

Nearest Accessible MBTA Station: Arlington (Green Line)

Ending Location

This tour ends in the general area of 191 Commonwealth Ave.

Nearest Accessible MBTA Station: Copley (Green Line)