Boston Blog Posts

May 3, 2018

Winthrop-Carter Building

At 7 Water Street is the Winthrop-Carter building Boston's first steel skyscraper. The Boston Landmark Commission calls it a "fine example of Second Renaissance Revival style."

The Winthrop-Carter Building is a 9-story steel frame building with steel external alls and brick terra cotta covering.

Winthrop Building

Nine Interesting things about the Winthrop-Carter Building

  • This was near the location of the John Winthrop home. John Winthrop was Boston's first Colonial Governor.
  • Current structure was created in 1893 at the request of the landowner - Timothy Harrington Carter. Clarence Blackall was the architect.
  • When the original designs were presented to the city for permits they didn't propose a steel frame, instead they proposed a seven-story brick building. However, the City complicated things by reducing the property size by widen Washington Street and straighten Water Street. Clarence Blackall had to go "back to the drawing board" to come up with a better solution.
  • When completed the building was assessed for $672,000. Today the building is assessed for $4,038,500
  • The Building was called Carter Building until 1899 when it was renamed Winthrop-Carter Building.
  • This wasn't the site of the Winthrop house, instead, this was the site of the Great Spring, which would have been next door to the Winthrop house.
  • The Great Spring was one of the main sources of fresh water for Boston. The Spring has not been visible since 1702.
  • The Devonshire Street Subway entrance is on the Winthrop-Carter property. It was put in 1903 - ten years after the building was completed.
  • Building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in December 1973, it took the City of Boston 43 years to designate the building as a Boston Landmark. (There are no signs around the building indicating that it's a Boston Landmark or on the National Register of Historic Places.)

Some Observations

When looking at the building, look at the Terra Cotta detail on the third and fourth floors. Also look at the stained glass on the Water Street side.

One thing I notice when walking down Spring Lane - it felt like a movie studio backlot. Just the small space and the window fire exits on the building.

Sign On the Building

Built in 1893, this was the first steel frame "skyscraper" constructed in Boston. It was the work of innovated local architect Clarence Blackall, who modeled this building on the early still commercial structures of Chicago. The office building received unprecedented attention in Boston, praised for its technological achievement and also for its graceful curved design and facade of colored brick and terra cotta. Originally built for businessman C. H. Cater, the structure was renamed in 1899 to recognize the location on the site of the home of the city's first colonial governor, John Winthrop.

Location of the Building

The Winthrop-Carter building is located near downtown crossing. It's located at the corner of Water Street and Washington Street - directly across the street from the Old Corner Bookstore.

April 26, 2018

World War II Memorial in Boston

Many people may not know that Boston has a rather large memorial for Bostonians that fought and died in World War II. The memorial is located in the Fenway area and called the George Robert White Veterans Memorial Park.

Did you Know: Massachusetts has 8 Memorials/Monuments to those that died in World War II and 20 Memorials/Monuments for those that died in World War I. (Source: MassVacations.com)

The Boston memorial is a large eclipse formed by granite structures, and include a winged figure in the center. Around the monument are seats which can accommodate an audience size of 500 people.

W W2 Memorial2

Thirteen Things interesting things I learned about the World War II Memorial

  1. Dedicated on October 30, 1949 (1,520 days after the official end of World War II)
  2. The memorial was Sculptor by John Francis Paramino and Tito Cascieri was the primary Architect
  3. The memorial was funded by a grant from the George Robert White Fund. (George Robert White was Boston's primary philanthropists.)
  4. In the center of the memorial is a "Winged Victory" statue that is 12-feet high. The statue was done by T.F. McGann & Sons Co. FDY of Somerville, Mass. You can see the artist inscription/signature on the bottom left of the statue.
  5. Behind the "Winged Victory" statue is a granite diamond-shape shaft of 22-feet and contain 48 stars. (Hawaii and Alaska didn't become a state yet)
  6. The names of 3,000 war dead are mounted in bronze behind the diamond-shape shaft.
  7. In The Memorial is named for U.S. Sergeant Charles A. MacGillivary - He was honored with a bronze plaque on the lectern which was added during a special dedication ceremony.
  8. Sergeant Charles Andrew MacGillivary was the only Medal of Honor, the only World War II vet from Boston to return alive with one. He died in 2000.
  9. The Korea and Vietnam Memorials were added in 1989 which were paid from a grant from the George Robert White Fund ($650,000)
  10. Above the names of the those that died it reads, "In memory of the men and women of Boston who lost their lives in World War II"
  11. Around the lectern stage is the phrase, "1949 From the Income of the George Robert White Fund"
  12. James W Sugden and Stanton H. Kelly are the only names added to the memorial since it was created in 1949.
  13. In 1946, James Michael Curley suggest that planting 2,400 trees in the Fenway would be a good tribute to the fallen. He suggested a shrine in the middle for religious services.

U.S. Sergeant Charles A. MacGillivary

Apparently there is a slight misprint on the bronze plaque on the lectern. I notice that U.S. Sergeant Charles A. MacGillivary is misspelled.

Check out the difference between his gravestone and the plaque on the memorial:

Mac Gillivary

What do you think? Is MacGillivary spelled correctly?

Finding the World War II Memorial

To find George Robert White Veterans Memorial Park, you can enter the Back Bay Fens from the south at the intersection of the Fenway and Forsyth Way just east of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Cross over the Agassiz Bridge and bear right when the path forks. A path leads to it on the right. (You'll see the memorial when you cross Fenway Parkway.)

April 19, 2018

Quaker Lane

Quaker Lane is one of the few streets in Boston that is U-shape. For a 100 years, it was center of the Quaker Cemetary

Quaker Lane

Eight Things I learned About Quaker Lane

  • Quaker Lane is called it because at one time it was the location of the Quaker Meeting House and Cemetery in downtown Boston.
  • The Quakers built a meeting house on Quaker Lane in 1708. The Church was severely damaged by the Great Boston fire in 1760. (The Great Boston fire of 1760 destroyed 349 building in downtown Boston)
  • The Quaker rebuilt the Meeting House and continued to worship there until 1808 when membership had declined and they decided to sell the property.
  • In 1826, the remaining members thought it was best to move the Quaker cemetery to Lynn where the Quaker society was thriving.
  • 109 bodies were moved to Lynn. Two bodies, who were sisters, were kept in Boston and reburied at the cemetery at King Chapel. (Mr. Joseph Hussey)
  • It wasn't until the 1930s that it became Quaker Lane - it has always been known as Congress Square. Paul Townsend put in a request to rename Congress Square to Quaker Lane. It officially became Quaker Lane on February 19, 1930.
  • Today Quaker Lane is closed due to construction. For many years it was an ugly service ally behind many historic buildings in the area. The new owners of the building are working to clean up Quaker Lane and make it an inviting venue with restaurants and festive lighting. The street will be closed to vehicle traffic.
  • Boston Landmarks Commission is currently consider it as a designation as a City landmark.

Locating Quaker Lane

Quaker Lane is located just a few steps from the Old State House.

The Quaker Lane Map
Map of the Area around Quaker Lane.

April 12, 2018

King Chapel Memorial

Next to the King Chapel is the King Chapel graveyard where some of Boston's most famous are buried.

Between King's Chapel and the graveyard is a special monument that many tourists may not notice - The Chevalier De Saint Sauveur monument.

This is a special monument in honor of Chevalier St. Sauveur, a French officer that was killed in Boston during a riot during the early days of the American Revolution.

Chevalierde Saint Sauveu

Some of the Things I learned about the Chevalier De Saint Sauveur Monument

  • After a treaty of alliance was signed between France and the United States on February 6, 1778, France sent a fleet of twelve ships and 5 frigates under the command of Count d'Estaing to aid the Americans in their fight against the British.
  • Chaevalier De Saint was a lieutenant on the boat named "Tonnant." His brother-in-law was Count de Breugnon one of Count d'Estaing "Chefs d'escadre." Chevalier was the first chamberlain of Count d'Artois, the brother of Louis XVI.
  • The fleet arrived in various cities, including New York and Philadelphia. On the way to Rhode Island, several vessels were damaged in a huge storm. They went to Boston to get the boats fixed.
  • On September 9, 1778, there was an attack by rioters at the fleet bakery, which was near the boats, Chevalier De Saint Sauveur was wounded by a blow to the eye in the face while trying to maintain order.
  • He died a week later on September 15. The next day, the Massachusetts Bay general council voted to put a memorial - They feared that the French would send back all their troops home because they were not welcome.
  • The French government refused any formal burial and accepted the offer to build a monument. They accepted that the death was not a threat to the remaining troops there.
  • D'Estaing drafted the inscription for the monument -- dated September 28th in the log book of the "Languedoc" -- and caused copies of it to be distributed in the fleet that every one of the words to be put on the monument.
  • He was buried in the basement of Kings Chapel in a private ceremony attended by his fellow officers.
  • Col. Thomas Dawes, a cousin of William Dawes, was in charge with the duty of erecting a monument.
  • The monument was completely forgotten until a researcher in 1912 discovered the Massachusetts Bay offer in a journal.
  • A monument was finally approved in June 1, 1916 for $1,000 monument in Chevalier De Saint Sauveur at the Kings Chapel.
  • The Text on the monument was written by Charles Henri Hector d'Estaing, French General, and Admiral. The next on the memorial is the same text the was written on September 28, 1778, by D'Estaing. (The top part was translated into English so the locals can read it.
  • Mr. A. W. Longfellow was the Memorial architect and was inspired other monuments that were popular when Chevalier De Saint Sauveur was alive.
  • The monument is made of concrete granite, fourteen feet high, and was made by Emerson & Norris of Boston
  • There are four cannon balls and green slates on all sides, only 2 sides have text. (Originally there was to be a full transcript of D'Estaing inscription, but that didn't happen.)
  • The monument is placed directly above where Chevalier De Saint Sauveur is buried in the basement of the King Chapel Church.

Memorial Text Translation

This officer, aide-major of the French squadron and Lieutenant [on the Tonnant] after having Had the happiness of risking his life for the service of United States, fulfilled its duty when it was the Victim of a tumult caused by malicious people: Death [15 September 1778] with the same attachment For America, the bonds of duty and inclination who are attaching his compatriots to the city of Boston in Have been more tight. May be so fruitless For all efforts what would dare to try to separate Frances and America. This is the prayer that will In the centuries to come to Almighty God, all French and all Americans who will cast their eyes on The mausoleum of a kidnapped young man has friends who do not Can console themselves for having lost. What about Like funerary flowers spread over his tomb.

This inscription has been prepared by the COUNT OF E STAING The admiral commander of the first French squadron Envoy speaks Roy from France to the United States of America

Celebration Toast of Friendship

A few days after the burial the men in command of the new country invited the men of the French Fleet to a celebration of friendship at Faneuil Hall. On September 22nd, 1778 the following toast was made:

The Memorial to the America.
The King of France.
Congress.
The French Fleet.
Gen. Washington and the American Army.
The Independence of America.
The alliance between France and America ; may it never be broken.
The French Minister to Congress.
Franklin, the American Minister at the Court of France.
Liberty and the Friendship of France.
Commerce, Art, and Agriculture.
M. d'Orvilliers and all his Army.
The Count d'Estaing and all the Officers of the French Fleet in Boston Harbor.

d'Estaing Toasted

The President of the Council and all Americans here present.
Monseigneur, the Duke de Chartres.
The Queen of France.
M. Du Chaff ault.
The Marquis de La Fayette.
American Ships and Sailors.
All the Women and Young Girls who have lost their Husbands and Sweethearts in the Good Cause.
The Duke de Choiseul.
M. de Sartine.
M. de Maurepas.

April 5, 2018

Endicott Statue

The John Endicott statue is located on Forsyth Way between the Fens gardens and the Museum of Fine Art.

John Endicott Statue

Six Interesting things about the Statue

  • Unveiled on June 15, 1937
  • Funded by George Augustus Peabody, a descendant of John Endicott
  • John Endicott Statue is Eight-feet tall and the backside is 10 feet wide and 17 feet wide. The entire statue is made in granite.
  • The original granite block weighed 12 tons, and after the statue was created it weighed 10 tons.
  • Ralph Wed Gray was the Architect
  • Carl Paul Jennewein was the sculptor - who's other worked include the Two Panels inside the White House and 50+ separate sculptures in the Justice Department Building
  • Quotes on the Statue

    Strong valiant John wilt thou march on, and take up the station first, Christ cal'd hath thee his soldier be, and faile not of thy trust. Edward Johnson 1654

    Bequest of George Augustus Peabody, Esquire of Danvers, Massachusetts.

    On a separate plaque:
    "Ralph Weld Gray, architect/Carl Paul Jennewein, sculptor/1936."

    Eight Interesting things I learned about John Endicott

    • John Endecott is regarded as one of the Fathers of New England. He was the longest serving Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
    • Born on March 15, 1588, in Devon, England. He came to the New World (Salem Massachusetts) in 1628 to help bring some order to the New World
    • There isn't much known about John Endicott life in England.
    • John Endecott and John Winthrop, were the first two governors of Massachusetts Bay Colony. Between xx and xx they alternated governorship responsibilities.
    • In 1636, John Endecott lead a group of colonial volunteers against the Pequots on Block Island - Part of Rhode Island. This military action started the Pequot War. The resulting war killed 700 Pequots - virtually extinguished the tribe.
    • He gave the final orders to have Mary Dyer executed because she didn't listen to the court. The court had asked her multiple times to stay away from Boston.
    • Died March 15, 1665 (Age 77) and is buried in tomb 189 in Boston's historic Granary Burying Grounds.
    • For many years people thought he was buried at the nearby Kings Burying Grounds. It wasn't until xxx that the records were set.

    Finding the Statue

    The statue is located on Forsyth Way near the Museum of Fine Arts. If you take the Green Line and get off at the Northeastern University stop.

March 29, 2018

Boston Bricks

Just off of Arch Street, just a few blocks from Downtown Crossing, is a shortcut alley to Otis St. Look closely on the ground as you walk by to get a glimpse of Boston History.

Boston Bricks Street

Ten Things I learned about the Boston Bricks Alley

  1. Officially created in 1985.
  2. Alley was formally was named Snow Place.
  3. There are 100 bronze bricks that highlight the past and present life in Boston
  4. Funded by the Edward Ingersoll Browne Fund - which has funded many Boston beautification projects.
  5. Other projected that the foundation funded includes: Law Enforcement Memorial Foundation at the State House, Goody Memorial, Soldiers And Sailors Monument in the Boston Commons and the Fountain in Franklin Square to name a few...
  6. Alley was designed by CBT/Childs, Bertman, Tseckares & Casendino Inc. Architects.
  7. There's no sign that it is "Boston Bricks Alley." The only indicator is a single brick located at both entrances. Near-by Pi Alley has lots of signs to indicate the name of the Alley. There is a large in-ground plaque thanking those that help make the 1985 restoration possible - see below.
  8. There hasn't been any new brick added to the alley since 1985
  9. Kate Burke and Gregg Lefevre were responsible for many of the designs. Both are still active in the art community.
  10. The Artwork was made copper so that as people walk over them it keeps them nice and shiny. They can't be raised too high off the ground otherwise people may trip over the artwork.

Boston Brick Markers2
Some of the markers on the ground - including a recipe on how to make the best Boston Baked Beans. (You can learn a lot of things on the Streets of Boston.)

Ground Plaque

There is a plaque by the entrance which briefly describes the lane.

Winthrop Place, originally known as Snow Lane, was restored in 1985 through support from the Browne Fund Commission Mayor Raymond L. Flynn, Chairman City Councillor Christopher Iannella, Treasurer George A. Russell. This fund was made possible by the generous legacy of Edward Ingersoll Browne (1833 - 1901)

33 Years Later

It's been 33 years since Winthrop Lane has gotten updated. There's has been a lot going on in the City of Boston since then. Here are my thoughts on new bricks that should be added to the street:

  • City of Champion - Red Sox, Bruins, Patriots, Celtics
  • Mass Pike Toll Booths
  • Johny Most Microphone
  • Duck Boats
  • Big Dig - Central Artery Project, Ted Williams Tunnel
  • 9/11 Memorial
  • Boston Strong

What do you think? Are there any special bricks that should be added to the street?

Finding the Boston Bricks Alley

Winthrop Lane is located next to the St. Anthony Shrine on Arch Street. The nearest T station stop would be the Downtown Crossing. The alley is located at the second crosswalk on Arch Street (When you walk from Downtown Crossing)

March 22, 2018

Salada Tea Doors

In the Back Bay there is a unique set of decorated brown doors. These doors are a reminder of how the building once played an important part of the growth of the Commercial Industry in Boston.

The building was once the United States Headquarters for the Salada Tea Company. They not only had executive offices in the building but the building also had a warehouse where tea bags were manufactured.

Tea Doors Boston

Ten Things I Learned About the Tea Doors and the Building

  • Building was constructed in sections, first was done in 1917 and the second in 1927.
  • The building was once known as the largest in the world devoted exclusively to the merchandising of tea.
  • Peter Larkin, the founder of the Salada Tea Company, was found of the Boston office and decorated the building with beautiful works of art that some people thought that it "resembled a museum more than a business office."
  • The bronze doors were installed in 1928 - where executives would enter the building.
  • The bronze doors show 10 scenes from the tea trade. Each panel tells the historic story of the tea "as it was planted and exported years ago and of the culture associated with this product on the faraway island of Ceylon."
  • The doors were designed by English sculptor Henry Wilson. His only other United States work was the Brozen doors at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, New York. Most of his architectural works were around London.
  • Peter Larkin, died on February 3, 1930 in London.
  • The Salada Tea Company merged into Salada-Shirriff-Horsey Inc. in June 1957.
  • In 1958, the newly formed company acquired the "Junket" dessert product company in Little Falls, NY. The company headquarters was moved to New York.
  • The building is currently now known as "Berkeley Place."
  • The Tea doors are not registered as Boston Landmark. (Should it be?)

Tea Doors Sign

A sign next to the door reads...

English sculptor Henry Wilson was commissioned to design these doors by the Salada Tea Compay founder Peter Larkin.

Cast by The Gorham Company in 1926, the bronze panels depict the 1920's Ceylon tea industry from planting through harvest and export. Figures representing Indian deities frame the bronze panels. The bronze door was awarded the highly distinguished silver medal at the Paris Salon of 1927.

The Marble surrounding the door consists of reliefs executed by French sculptor M. Caesar Caira and show Demeter, Triptolemus, and Persephone; Greek gods associated with agriculture and harvest. Projecting elephant heads form the capitals of the pilasters and profiles of elephants form the frieze above the doors. Salada Tea Company moved its headquarters from this building and Liberty Mutual owns the building today.

Finding the Tea Doors

The Tea Doors is located at 300 Stuart Street, Boston Ma. It's located between the Berkeley Street intersection and the Stuart St Pedestrian overpath. Next to the Grill 23 & Bar.

March 15, 2018

Boston Sign

As you walk through the city of Boston looking for landmarks for selfie pictures, one place you should visit is the Boston City Hall Plaza. You’ll see the largest ‘Boston’ sign in the city of Boston.

Boston Sign

This sign is sponsored by BerkshireBank and has been on the City Hall Plaza since 2016. (Actually not too difficult to miss the sponsor)

The sign is part of the “Boston Seasons” event and showcases seasonal events including an ice skating rink in the early winter and concerts in the summer.

The sign is available all year round. At night the sign is lit up to Red and Green in the Winter Months, and white in the summer months.

Getting There

The best way to see the sign is to take the Green line to Government Center. Head upstairs and look for the big City Hall Building, and you'll see the Boston sign right under it.

The sign is in the middle of the plaza, so it doesn't matter what time of the day you take pictures. I found that noontime is the best chance to have fewer shadows.

Finding Out More

You can find out more about the events going on as part of the Boston Season on their official website. There's also a Twitter account to follow and a Facebook page to like to keep up with events.

March 8, 2018

Boston Spring 2018

Spring is just around the corner, it’s time to look at when various venues are opening up because of the warm weather.

Here’s an updated calendar on when things are opening in Boston:

Boston Springsm
Click on image for a larger version.

Duck Boats March 21
Boston Green Way March 24
Red Sox Opening Day April 5
Swan Boats April 13
Boston Marathon April 16
City Of Boston’s Outdoor Pools And Family-Friendly Beach June 17

March 1, 2018

Boston Marathon Memorial

The Boston Marathon is oldest and one of the most known marathon. Many runners set goals to one day run the Boston Marathon.

In Copley Square, there is a monument to all those that run the Boston Marathon.

Boston Marathon Memorial

Nine Things I learned about the Boston Marathon Monument

  1. Ground breaking was on November 2, 1995
  2. The monument was revealed in time for the 100th Anniversary of the Boston Marathon. There is an inscription that mentions the 100th Running of the Boston Marathon - April 15, 1996.
  3. John Handcock Mutual Life was a major financial contributor to the monument
  4. The monument was revealed when the finish line was moved from the Prudential building to the Boston Public Library.
  5. 15-foot circular granite medallion was designed by Mark Flannery and sculptured by Robert Shure and Robert Lamb.
  6. 21-foot high arch was originally proposed, but drew strong opposition from Back Bay residences. They felt the arch would block the view of Copley Square.
  7. Around the Medallion is 8 posts with the seal of the communities on the race course. Each post highlights some of the challenges of running the marathon.
  8. The name of all the champion runners, as well as the finish times, are on the outer ring. New names are added each year. Since the Monument has been put up, six circular rows have been added to the winner's circle. There are four new entries each year - Which means that 88 names have been added to the memorial since 1996.
  9. If you look carefully at the medallion, you can see the top part shows the course elevation changes, and the bottom shows all the city and towns that the route takes you through.

2013 Boston Marathon Bombing Memorial

At one of the sites where a bomb exploded, people have left special messages to commemorate those that lost their lives at the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombings.

Occasionally the city will remove the memorabilia so the street doesn't get cluttered with flowers and makeshift monuments.

This year marks the 5th Anniversary of the Bombing. Next Month, the City of Boston will be putting two monuments marking the location of the acts of terror on Boylston Street.

Training for the Boston Marathon?

Check out sport-fitness-advisor.com for some great advice in Marathon Training.

The site is packed with expert tips on getting ready to have a great marathon day. The articles are useful even if you're just starting out a coach to 5k program.

Finding the Boston Marathon Memorial

The Boston Marathon Memorial is located in Copley Square near the intersection of Boylston Street and Dartmouth Street. It's located near the John Singleton Copley Statue.

February 15, 2018

Declaration of Independence Tablet

As you walk around the Boston Public Garden's you may encounter a large bronze tablet on granite - its a replicate of the Declaration of Independence.

Boston Independence Tablet

Seven Things that I learned about the Tablet on the Boston Commons

  • Created by John Francis Paramino (Died on October 5, 1956)
  • The tablet design mimics the painting done be John Trumbull's which is hung in the Rotunda of the Capitol building.
  • The Board of Park Commissioners allocated funds for this commemorative tablet.
  • Dedicated on July 4, 1925 in a large ceremony near the site.
  • The tablet was created to celebrate the 250th anniversary of American independence.
  • The tablet was unveiled by Miss Evelyn Cumming, a descendant of one of the signers of the Declaration of Independance - Robert Trat Paine.
  • The tablet was actually placed on the Lafayette Mall path sometime later.

Artist Signature

John Paramino

You can see John Paramino "signature" on the bottom right of the tablet. It also looks like a number appears after his name. Can't really read it well, looks like it says - 1915.

Finding the Tablet

The tablet is located in the Boston Public Commons along Tremont Street. H&R Block is directly across the street.

Check it out what you think the number after John Paramino says. This would make a great scavenger hunt item:

What is the number to the right of the artist who made the Declaration of Independence tablet in Boston?

If you found out, please comment below!

February 8, 2018

Boston in the Winter

There's plenty of reasons for visiting Boston during the summer - Red Sox Baseball, Dinner Cruise on the Harbor, Duck Boat tours and so much more.

Did you know that there's still plenty of things to do around the city in the winter?

It's a quiet time of the year for the City of Boston. Some of the Boston Best Hotels offer incredible discounts. Check out The Westin Copley Place, Boston , Fairmont Copley Plaza , Inn at St. Botolph , Omni Parker House and others. This is your chance to stay at some historical places without paying a premium price.

State House Winter

Ten Things to do in Boston in the Winter Months

  • Boston Beanpot - The first two Monday nights in February are reserved for the famous Beanpot, an annual hockey tournament that featues Boston College, Boston University, Harvard and Northeastern. It's the official battle for the best hockey team in Boston.
  • Northend Restaurants - Avoid the long wait times and enjoy some great Italian food. Try La Summa Cucina Italiana, Bacco Ristorante and Bar, North Square Oyster and Strega Ristorante just to name a few popular restaurants.
  • Broadway Shows - Lover Never Dies, Disney on Ice: Dare to Dream, Anderson Cooper & Andy Cohen are just some of the shows coming to Boston this February.
  • World-Class Museums - Museum of Fine Arts , Museum of Science , The Institute of Contemporary Art and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum are all world-famous museums that are easily accessible via public transportation.
  • Do it Yourself Tours - Take tours of some historical places such as the Boston Athenaeum, The State House, The Gibson House, The Nichols House Museum and Vose Galleries.
  • Phantom Win and Food Phest - Try some great Wine and Food brought to you by the folks at Phantom Gourmet - they know a thing or two about food in the Boston Area.
  • Amazing Photo Opportunities - During a snow storm places around Commonweath Avenue and the Boston Public Garden are great spots to take pictures.
  • Ski Train to Wachusett Mountain - For $11.50 one-way commuters can catch the train to Wachusetts Mountain. It's a chance to get some real New England skiing without having to rent a car for the day.
  • Wrentham Outlet Village - A Boston Common Luxury Coach takes you to Wrentham Village Premium Outlets where everyday discounts on designer and name brands let you save 25%-65%, and sometimes even more. (Cost $45 per person Round Trip - Includes a VIP coupon book)
  • Weston Ski Track - Catch the Green Line to Riverside some of the best Cross Country Skiing in the Boston Area. Don't worry about carrying your skis. For about $18 you can rent some good skis to have a great time. Never Cross County ski before? You can take lessons from their Ski School.

February 1, 2018

Massachusetts Law Enforcement Memorial

There are two memorials to law enforcement in Boston; the Boston Police Memorial and the Massachusetts Law Enforcement Memorial.

The Boston Police Memorial is located at the Boston Police Headquarters (1 Schroeder Plaza, Roxbury Crossing, MA.). The Boston Police Memorial commemorates the founding of the police department in 1834, the professional successor to the Boston Watch which protected Boston since the Colonial Days. An eternal-flame illuminated by a blue light reminds visitors that the police department is on duty at all hours of the day or night.

The Massachusetts Law Enforcement Memorial is located at the Massachusetts State House. The 400-square-foot memorial to all those that lost their lives protecting the citizens of Massachusetts. Next to the Massachusetts State House, on the east side, is the Mass. Law Enforcement Memorial, which is in the shape of a badge and has names carved around it and a blue light.

Massachusetts Law Enforcement Memorial

Eight Things I Learned about the Massachusetts Law Enforcement Memorial

  • Ground breaking was on Monday, May 20th, 2002.
  • Officially opened on May 21, 2004, with 282 names. 88 officers names have been added in the past 14 years.
  • Chief Paul Doherty and David B. Balfour Sr. did a lot of work to make the memorial happen.
  • Project was funded by the Massachusetts Law Enforcement Memorial Foundation. They raised $1 million for the project, some money came from art grants.
  • Memorial was designed by Michael Kenney, a US Postal Service architect. There was a bit of controversy over the design selection process as the Massachusetts Law Enforcement Memorial Foundation rushed to get a design so they could qualify for $150,000 grant from the Ingersoll Browne Fund.
  • Opening ceremony featured bicyclists who travel from the National Fallen Officer Memorial in Washington DC.
  • New names are added to the third week of September. When new names are added, they place a red rose over the name on the memorial.
  • Massachusetts Law Enforcement Memorial Day is celebrated on May 27th. It started on May 27, 1985.

Notable Names

  • Ezekiel W. Hodsdon - First Boston Police officer to be killed in the line of duty ( October 18, 1857)
  • Jonathan Houghton - First Boston Watch Police officer to be killed in the line of duty (December 12, 1825)
  • David Estes - Last Boston Watch officer to be killed in the line of duty (April 27, 1848)

Finding the Memorial

The Massachusetts Law Enforcement Memorial is located at the Massachusetts State House grounds. Walk down Bowdoin Street at the corner of Ashburton Pl and Bowdoin St you'll see the entrance to the memorial.

January 25, 2018

House of Blues

This year our company annual Holiday party was at the House of Blues, which is directly across Fenway Park.

Quick Facts about the House of Blues

  • First House of Blues Opened in Harvard Square on November 23, 1992
  • Maximum Capacity was 150 people
  • Closed in September 2003 as the popular chain was looking for a new location to handle larger audiences.
  • The current location opened on February 20, 2009 (First Act: Gipsy Kings).
  • The Maximum capacity of the current Boston's House of Blues is 2,500 people

House Blues

Nine things I learned at the House of Blues

We had a company party last night, we reserved the entire venue. Here are some notes about the event specific to it being hosted at the House of Blues:

  • Nothing like seeing the company name in bright lights on the stage. It was a great backdrop for photo opportunities.
  • Load Music - The music was loud no matter where you were in the main room. The only place that was fairly quiet was the restrooms and the area by the coat check in.
  • Coat Check - In order to check your coat, you have to enter your cell phone number. To pick up your coat you show them the text message - which has the hanger number. ( The actually take a picture of your jacket. )
  • If you need to check a coat, Don’t arrive on time, either arrive early or a few minutes late. The coat checking process takes a few minutes and the line will quickly back up as people arrive.
  • The food was plenty and good! There were lots of appetizers going around. Most people didn’t know that dinner was coming out shortly and some told me they were stuff from the appetizers. I liked the sliders and the ribs.
  • There was only one beer that was available on tap, everything else was in cans. They had bars going on both sides of the stage. There was another bar stand in the back but it wasn’t open.
  • There was a second floor, so if your company has a lot of people it’s an option. Maybe we’ll need it next year? The first floor seems plenty for about 300 people. We weren’t crowded.
  • There were a lot of employees working at the House of Blues. Trash cans were available everywhere and were never full.
  • The bathrooms were nice and clean. I thought it was a bit odd that the bathroom near the coat rack was much larger than the ones in the main hall.

January 18, 2018

John Endicott Resident Plaque

There are three states in the United States that don't offer residence to the sitting Governor: Arizona, Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

Massachusetts Once Set the President

When Massachusetts Bay Colony was originally founded, the forefathers thought having a Governor residence was a necessity. It was so important, that they made it the second item mentioned in the Massachusetts Bay Colony Record in 1655 (336 Years ago).

The founders did this because the locals complained that the current Governor, John Endicott, wasn't spending enough time in Boston.

Massachusetts Bay Colony Record

Here is the entry from the Record of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Vol III (May 23, 1655). (This is unedited in the original Old English spelling)

It is ordered by this Court, that who sour shale chosen Gounor from yeare to yeare shall, wth the first oppertunity, make his abode in Boston, or some adjacent town or place within fowre or fire miles of Boston, & shall there contynue his abode dureing the tyme of his government, that so he may be the more serviceable to the country in general, both in respect of straungers & otherwise ; & it is further order, that wither now or next sessions suteable acomodation may be pvided, which may encorage the same for the future, & for present doe desire the Governor to reside at Boston, or neere thereunto, as much as his own necessary occasions will pmitt.

Ask and You Shall Receive

Once Massachusetts Bay Colony adopted the rules, John Endicott moved to Boston where he spent the last year of his life serving the people of Massachusetts Bay Colony. He died a year after moving to Boston.

John Endicott contributed a lot to the Massachusetts Bay Colony. He had a very impressive resume:

  • Governor, 1629-30, 1644-45, 1649-50, 1651-54, 1655-65
  • Court of Assistants, 1630-34
  • Conducted expedition against l'equot Indians, 1630
  • Deputy Governor, 1641--14, 1650-51, 1654-55
  • Major-general colonial troops, 1645

Residence Requirement Update: Not Important

When Massachusetts became a State, the need for a residence for the Governor was no longer an issue and was left out of the Constitution of Massachusetts.

Today, those that argue for a Governor's Mansion, have brought up the above rule of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. They argue that it makes sense to have a nice secure location near the Governor office. "It makes just as much sense today than it did 336 years ago."

Plaque Commemorating House Location

In Pemberton Square, just behind the Center 3 Plaza, near Government Center is a plaque to remember where John Endicott house once stood.

John Endicott Plaque

The plaque was done by John Francis Paramino. It was placed in 1930 by the City of Boston.

John Francis Paramino other Artwork include:

  • Declaration of Independence Tablet (1925) - Boston Commons at Tremont Street.
  • Founders Memorial (1930) - Boston Commons at Beacon St and Spruce Street
  • Commodore John Barry (1949) - Boston Commons at the corner of Tremont St and Temple Street.