Well that is probably not the best heading for this post because a single post could not cover all that Downtown Boston has to offer. Here I am going to talk about one lovely sunny weekend that I spent walking around that area. I am actually working on Bolystn street, so walking during lunch time had made me familiar with the area. Right next to our office building was the gorgeous Trinity Church. I was so fascinated by its exterior I knew that I had to come and visit it. And right next to the US Heritage site of Trinity Church is the shimmering glass building of John Hancock tower – the tallest building in New England Imagine the contrast!
I planned my day in such a way that I would cover Trinity Church, The Boston Commons and Gardens and the Brattle Book shop ( talked about it earlier).
The Trinity Church – Founded in 1733, this is one of the more treasured heritage churches in the US. I was lucky enough to make it in a time for a free guided tour. I learned a lot about the history and making of the church some of which I will share in this post.
The man behind Trinity Church was primarily Phillips Brooks. A Rector by calling, he had travelled the world and was influenced by the elaborate Eurpeon and middle-easter religious structures. He wanted to the buildings to have domes, arches and lots of colors.The man who helped turn his vision into reality was Henry Hobson Richardson. Richardson’s first major achievement was the Trinity Church and his architetural style came to be known as ‘Richardsonian Romansque’ characterized by use of colors in interiors and multiple patterns of arches.
That was for the facts. When we walked inside the sanctury my jaw literally dropped. Yes I know I impress easily but this was by far the most beautiful church that I saw. It was also different. Lots of color, lots of gold and lots of stained glass windows.
As the Trinity Church was constructed , the windows were ordered from various European artists. The seven windows in the Chancel are all by Clayton & Bell of London and depcit the various stages in Christ’s life. There are 6 more, each on the north and south side of the church.And the south walls have some ten or more. All-in-all there are 36 stained glass windows. Well almost. One of the most significant works of art here are the glass windows created by La Farge – these were just not stained glas windows ie to say they were not created by painting over glass. The colors and images were created using a proces of layering opalescent glasss. An entire windows was made of thousands of pieces of glass to create one coherent image ! The three main glass windows with this work are currently undergoing cleaning – a process that has taken nearly a year and cost the church a couple of million dollars !!
After grabbing a sandwhich I decied to walk towards the Boston Common gardens.The weather was perfect – sunny but not warm. I picked up a couple of leaflets from the tourist information center on the way. Boston Commons is a vast garden today with a smallish pond which is popular with visitors in summers. Lots of kids playing in the water. Boston gardens is also the place where the famed ‘freedom trail’ starts – Its basically a walking trail across boston that covers monuments of significant history in the freedom movement of America. Its something that I wanted to do but never got around to doing it.
Boston common and the Boston Public garden are separated by a street and both appear popular. However, Boston Public gardens is definitely more well -maintained. The Boston Public garden is famous for two things – The Swan Boats and the ‘Make way for the duckings’ sculptures. The Swan boats sail through the lagoon that runs across the public gardens. I did not take it simply coz I thought this was more of the tourist hype ( also the long waiting line) – but I did take a lot of photos.
Some of the memories that stayed behind from Boston Public gardens – brilliantly colored flowered beds, the bridge over the lagoon that gives such a lovely view of the boats, the willows on the bank , the statue dedicated to the discovery of ether as an aneasthetic with the words’ Neither shall there be any more pain’ and the craze for taking photographs with ducks ( wtf!!).
Now about the ducks. Boston Public gardens has both – the real ones that are really people friendly and keep hopping on and off on the lagoon banks and the bronze ducks. The bronze ducks are actually the reproduction of the illustrations of the award winning children’s story ‘Make way for the ducklings’ by Robert McCloskey , about a family of ducks that tries to make their home in the lagoon at the Boston Public gardens. Well for some reason the statues are really famous. Everyone from 5 to 50 was taking snaps next to them in various poses. A 55+ yr man saw my amusement and came to me and said ‘ I read this story as a kid. I really did. I had no idea they were this famous!’
By the time I walked around Boston Public gardens I was exhausted and hungry and just ready to go home.
For more photos on of the above places please visit my album at http://picasaweb.google.com/vipula.gupta/Boston_Weekend1#