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Change and Response: Boston’s Architecture

Take an in-depth look at the people, trends and events that led to Boston's architectural evolution

Boston Harbour viewed from above the custom house

Tour Description

This tour tracks Boston’s development in chronological order on a walk that’s just a half-mile long. Along the way, we’ll be paying special attention to what Robert Campbell, the Boston Globe’s long time architectural critic, calls the encoded information that is present when we look closely at buildings. Things like:

  • The moment they were built: Boston responding to local and national events
  • The men (as it turns out) who built them and their profession
  • The (mostly) European design precedents that inspired their work
  • The new building systems, materials, and regulatory trends that informed them.

Tour Information

tour duration
DURATION

90 minutes

tour distance
DISTANCE

0.75 mile

tour terrain level 1
TERRAIN

mostly flat surfaces and little to no inclines

Public Tour Calendar

Private Tours

This tour can be scheduled as a private tour with advance notice. Call 617.367.2345 or use our private tour webform to learn more.

Starting Location

Meet your guide at the Custom House steps (corner of India and State Streets opposite 1 India Street).

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

Nearest Accessible MBTA Station: Aquarium (Blue Line)

Ending Location

This tour ends in the general area of Post Office Square.

Nearest Accessible MBTA Station: Aquarium (Blue Line), 0.3 miles

“Wow! Oh My! What a great tour of the Freedom Trail, best tour I ever had! Your guide was great. He was 5 star! He was the best! We would like to take him home with us to Atlanta to give us tours there! He was cheerful, spoke very well, and knew what he was talking about. All of us will always remember our great Boston By Foot tour. A great tour and a great guide! You are great people!”
— Atlanta, GA