Kimon Papageorgiou

Back Bay Fens Walking Tour

Boston’s has changed dramatically over the past years; some mind-blowing landscapes that we get to visit might have not been not present, some were altered, while some were completely demolished. The Back Bay Fens has maintained itself as a beautiful park we know it now, but has added some of the deep history of United StatesI. If one were to visit the Back Bay Fens right now, they will see an open welcoming park that encompasses 86 acres. ​Back Bay Fens is a link in the Emerald Necklace Park System and one of the six parks designed by Olmsted. ​The park consists of The Mothers Rest playground, the Kelleher Rose Garden and the Fenway Victory Gardens.

While the parks values have remained, ​numerous sites and landmarks have been added to the Fenway area that have developed the growth of the area, including ​the Museum of Fine Arts, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and Fenway park as well as places of commerce such as the Prudential Center and Boylston Street. Such development of growth has gained its reputation as a great tourist area among people from different nationalities, and has altered the type of people that visit the area. Such an increase in development has also raised the cost of living for those in the Fenway neighborhood.

The Back Bay Fens has an abundance of memorials present. Some of our historic sites include but are not limited to : World War II, Vietnam, and the Korean War.

Back Bay Fens, established by Fredrick Law Olmsted in 1879, was once a tidal marsh. Olmsted, a landscape architect who also worked as a journalist, bookkeeper, farmer, gold mine manager, is widely regarded as the father of American landscape architecture. In the late 1800s, Boston was a rapidly expanding city with a swampy landscape. The city had widely used its outlying areas for the disposal of sewage and various waste. After growing public health concerns, city leaders looked for Olmsted for solutions. He proposed creating a string of linked parks within the city. This plan consisted of a well thought engineered but natural look to accommodate for the sanitation crisis.He was able to successfully restore the dirty marsh and make it an ecologically sound place by reclaimed it from the Charles River This visionary plan provided a draining system that also gave residents a place to get away from the dismay surrounding the city. The Back Bay Fens is a very popular site for Northeastern University students. It is one of the most popular park among Northeastern students as it is located across campus, making it easily accessible. Students typically go there to stroll around and have good discussions, to appreciate the refreshing nature, look at geese, and some go to play some ball. These students add to the parks young adult population as well as to its diversity.

A big portion of the areas development can be attributed to the abundance of commerce on Boylston Street. Boylston Street is a significant contributing factor to the Fens and the Emerald Necklace as a whole as it connects the Fens to Fenway and down onto the Boston Commons and Boston Public Garden. As early as 1722, Boylston Street, then a short road on the outskirts of the town of Boston, was known as Frogg Lane It was later renamed for

Ward Nicholas Boylston (1747–1828), philanthropist and benefactor of Harvard University. Boylston, who was a descendant of Zabdiel Boylston, was born in Boston and spent much of his life in it. Boylston Market, and the town of Boylston, Massachusetts, were also named after him. Prudential Center, being at the heart of it, is a very popular and prestigious shopping mall that contributes heavily to the commerce within the area.

Fenway Park contribution to the neighborhood may include some rather shocking facts to what we think of now, home to the Boston Red Sox. T​he ballpark has been the home of three professional football franchises.Fenway Park was built in 1912 because owner of the Red Sox, John Taylor, wanted a new ballpark for his team. It was named that way due to its location in the Fens. home of the Red Sox until the Boston Redskins moved to the ballpark in 1933. he Redskins played four seasons at Fenway Park before moving to Washington after the 1936 because of low fan support.Eight years after the Redskins moved to Washington, the Boston Yanks began playing at Fenway Park.Because of several losing season and financial problems, the Yanks folded after the 1948 season. An Interesting fact about Fenway park is that it used to be home to what is now regarded as the best football team, the Patriots.For six seasons the Patriots played at Fenway Park, before moving to their current stadium in Foxborough. The Red Sox have continued to play at Fenway Park since 1968. Although the ballpark has grown in capacity it still looks similar as when it opened. Today, Fenway Park has a seating capacity of 38,805. The prominent feature today at this marvelous park is the Green Monster, a 37 foot high wall in left field. After the widespread success experienced by the Boston Red Sox, the

current owners of the team are committed to keeping the team at Fenway Park. ​However, the fans in the stadium have been accused as racist and this could be attributable to because the franchise was owned by Yawkey, a renowned racist man who wanted to maintain the clubs roster as white and even rejected some African Americans due to their race.

The Back Bay Fens has experienced numerous changes to its community; the numerous developments around and in the area have made the neighbourhood more commercial. This has led to an increase in the cost of living, limiting the neighborhood to high class citizens. Nevertheless, the Back Bay Fens has done a great job at maintaining its deep and rich history with the Emerald Necklace Visitors Center being at the heart of the park​. ​Many memorials are present there to acknowledge and serve important figures who served the nation during hard periods. However, after the raise in price within the area, many poor people have fled. Since Boston is deemed to be considered a racist city, it may be less welcoming to minorities to do not feel they belong there.

Karim Safadi & Kimon Papageorgiou