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History Of The Back Bay – A District In Boston

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Back Bay is a district in Boston, the capital of Massachusetts state, famous for its series of brown stone houses. It is considered as one of the best-preserved examples of nineteenth-century urban design in America, on top of having multiple individual buildings of great architectural and cultural interest, such as the Boston Public Library. It is also a commercial destination in Boston, especially Newbury Street and Prudential Center, and is also home to some of Boston’s tallest office buildings, such as the Hynes Convention Center, and some large hotels. The Back Bay Neighborhood considers that the boundaries of the area should be the Charles River to the north; which equals to 340 acres. But, before becoming a colossal nineteenth-century embankment project, what is now the Back Bay neighborhood was just a bay.

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Before being transformed into building land by a nineteenth-century urbanization project, Back Bay was literally a bay, across Boston Harbor between Boston and Cambridge, Charles River entering from the west. According to the Back Bay Association, this bay was subject to the tides: the water rose and fell several meters during the day, and at low tide the bed of the bay was swampy. The abundance of water in the middle ages avoids any problem of management and quality; since water is a natural resource. We witness on one hand its domestication and on the other hand, its mystification, which creates an ambivalence between the understanding and the mastery of hydraulics. However, the water of the Middle Ages is precious because it is really at this time that the great river navigation routes develop and allows pilgrims to export and import goods more easily. From a technical and economic point of view, water plays an essential role because at the heart of the pilgrims’ economy are the plantation fields and the fish used to provide food for the people. Shand-Tucci and Douglass found in their study from 5200 BC, the native Americans built fish dams, which were discovered during the construction of the metro in 1913.

The American Revolution was an armed conflict that lasted for eight long years. It also constituted a civil war between British and American subjects, as well as a rebellion against the colonial authorities and an insurrection against the King of England (George III) and the monarchical regime. It was finally a war of ‘national liberation’, the first in modern history. If the American Revolution had a major impact on the North American continent, we could clearly determine the causes. Boston played a central role before and during the American Revolution against Britain. On March 5, 1770, the Boston Massacre fueled the resentment of the Bostonians: eight British soldiers cornered by an aggressive crowd shoot and shoot five men. The same day, the Parliament cancels the taxes levied by the Townshend Acts, except that on tea. Samuel Adams and Joseph Warren founded the first committee of correspondence, to facilitate the flow of ideas of resistance between cities and between colonies. In 1773 Parliament passed the Tea Act, which exempted the East India Company from all taxes on tea from India. The British trading company therefore has a privilege that seems unbearable to the settlers. A group disguised as Indians then attacked the cargo of a British ship in December 1773: the Boston Tea Party is one of the most famous episodes of the American rebellion. In 1774, the British government blocked the port of Boston and sent soldiers to reinforce. The war began in 1775 with the Battle of Lexington and Concord taking place about thirty kilometers from Boston. On June 17, 1775 commits the Battle of Bunker Hill (Charlestown) which results in the defeat of the American insurgents. In 1776, George Washington conquered Boston, held by the troops of British General William Howe, forced to retreat to Halifax, Canada. The siege lasts from April 20 to March 17, 1776. During this period, Paul Revere, the son of a Huguenot (his birth name was Paul Rivoire), made his famous ride. As a result, Boston is called the cradle of Liberty and many of its historic sites remain popular tourist attractions to this day. The war ends in 1783 with the Treaty of Paris and the birth of the United States. Massachusetts became a federated state of the Union in 1788 and its governor now sits in Boston.

The war began in 1775 with the Battle of Lexington and Concord taking place about thirty kilometers from Boston. On June 17, 1775 commits the Battle of Bunker Hill (Charlestown) which results in the defeat of the American insurgents. In 1776, George Washington conquered Boston, held by British General William Howe, forced to retreat to Halifax, Canada. The siege lasts from April 20 to March 17, 1776. During this period, Paul Revere, the son of a Huguenot (his birth name was Paul Rivoire), made his famous ride. As a result, Boston is called the cradle of Liberty and many of its historic sites. The war ends in 1783 with the Treaty of Paris and the creation of the United States of America. Massachusetts became a federated state of the Union in 1788 and its governor sits in Boston. Although today rich families whose ancestry goes back to the Pilgrims and Puritans remain powerful in the city, from the 1840s, many new European immigrants have begun to settle there, in particular many Irish, fleeing famine in their country. They are employed in the textile industry, and Italians, giving the city a large Catholic population. With the economic boom and the influx of immigrants, the agglomeration has continued to expand: the backfilling of swamps throughout the nineteenth century allows to develop Back Bay. The firm Goss and Munson built an additional railway whose tracks started at Needham quarries at a distance of 14 kilometers. Twenty-five trains of 35 cars arrived every 24 hours with gravel and other materials, at a rate of one train every 45 minutes. The completion of the Charles River Dam in 1910 transformed the former Charles Estuary into a freshwater pond. The Esplanade has since undergone several changes, including the construction of Storrow Drive.

In 2010, the population of the district was 18 088 habitants against 17 952 in the 2000, a very small increase of 0.8%. This population is overwhelmingly white (82.3%), Asians are the second group (10%), and blacks the third (4.1%). We find more than 18,000 houses and this number is growing exponentially as the economy of the area increases. Average income in 2009 was $ 83,485, with 9.4% of the population earning less than $10,000 and 20.1% above $ 200,000; which shows an important inequality.

The Back Bay plan, by Arthur Gilman of the Gridley company James Fox Bryant, was greatly influenced by Haussmann’s Paris refurbishment works, with wide, tree-lined parallel avenues unlike anything seen in the past. other neighborhoods of Boston. Five east-west – Beacon Street, Marlborough Street, Commonwealth Avenue (actually two one-way streets flanking Commonwealth Avenue Mall pedestrian), Newbury Street and Boylston Street – are cut at regular intervals in the north direction -sud by cross streets: Arlington, Berkeley, Clarendon, Dartmouth, Exeter, Fairfield, Gloucester and Hereford. Back Bay is serviced by the Boston Underground Green Line at Arlington, Copley, Hynes Convention Center and Prudential stations and the Orange Subway Line from Boston to Back Bay Station.

10 Jun 2021

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