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This blog is a place for dialogue on issues and actions relating to Boston's unique built environment and the preservation and continuing evolution of historic resources within it. My goal, as the Executive Director of the Boston Preservation Alliance, is to post timely, relevant and thought-provoking intelligence, ideas, and insights that will engage conversations, inform our actions, and broaden perspectives on preservation.

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Greg Galer, Executive Director, Boston Preservation Alliance

GREG GALER
Executive Director

AllianceViews Blog

A Russian, A Tower, and the 4th of July

July 4th, 2017  |  Posted by: Boston Preservation Alliance

Only in Boston

In every city, there is a sentiment that binds the bones of its history with the growth of its people and the development of its landscape. In Boston, it is our physical fabric—brimming with reminders of patriotic rebellion—that heightens the enduring pride we feel toward our city and our country on Independence Day. These buildings remind us of the delicate interplay between Boston’s history and continued growth.

Tonight, Boston’s skyline will stand tall in the background of the spectacular illumination, enveloped by the intrigue of Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture.” As we celebrate two hundred forty-one years since the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, we thought it fitting to take a look at the built environment that shapes this awe-inspiring show…

John Hancock Tower

When Boston Pops started the 1812 Overture tradition in 1974, the supreme John Hancock Tower was in the process of being built.

John Hancock Tower and Prudential Center (1976)

 

Citgo Sign

Mid-century pop art was already on the scene. The 1965 Citgo sign (originally a Cities Service sign, 1940-1965) welcomed visitors for miles.

Massachusetts State House

Charles Bulfinch, renowned architect and designer of the State House, watched the Battle of Bunker Hill from his boyhood home on Bowdoin Street. Today, the State House, Old North Church, and Custom Tower still catch the eye, ground the skyline, and contextualize the city’s history.

A patriot spy group devises a plan

Here, on April 18, 1775, two lanterns signaled how the British would reach Lexington and Concord, igniting the American Revolution.

 

Custom House Tower

Now a Boston Landmark, the 16-story tower would become Boston’s first skyscraper. Look for it at tonight’s firework display.

 

Photo credits: Ed Jenner (Hancock Tower); Steve Dunwell (Old North Church); Susan Cole Kelly (fireworks night)

 

 

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