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.
Ten Things I learned about the Boston Bricks Alley
- Officially created in 1985.
- Alley was formally was named Snow Place.
- There are 100 bronze bricks that highlight the past and present life in Boston
- Funded by the Edward Ingersoll Browne Fund - which has funded many Boston beautification projects.
- 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...
- Alley was designed by CBT/Childs, Bertman, Tseckares & Casendino Inc. Architects.
- 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.
- There hasn't been any new brick added to the alley since 1985
- Kate Burke and Gregg Lefevre were responsible for many of the designs. Both are still active in the art community.
- 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.
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.)
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)