Beacon Hill is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the United States and exclusive area in Boston, approximately only one square mile in size and home to many notable Americans. The neighborhood received its name from a beacon that stood atop its hill to warn locals about foreign invasion. Bound by Beacon Street, Bowdoin Street, Cambridge Street and Storrow Drive this old colonial area exudes old colonial charm with gas lamps, decorative iron work, brick sidewalks, narrow streets (some being cobblestone) and high-style brick townhouses.
Three distinct regions make up the entirety known as Beacon Hill: South Slope, North Slope and the Flat of the Hill. The South Slope, built between 1800 and 1850 are adjoining brick row houses (many purchased by Boston Brahmins), have either flat or bow front facades, are either Greek Revival or Federal style with tall windows, flower boxes and private gardens. The North Slope is made up of mostly wooden buildings or small brick houses, very different from those on the South Slope. Some original buildings in this area were carriage houses for the affluent that once lived on the North Slope. The last area to be developed in Beacon Hill is called The Flat of the Hill, a region stretching from Charles Street to Storrow Drive. Early on, blacksmiths and other tradesmen lined this area today known as Charles Street.
Beacon Hill is thought of by devotees on “The Hill” as the quintessential Downtown neighborhood. Dotted with Colonial Revival, Greek Revival and Federal architecture, is a highly-coveted address made up predominantly of single-family homes with a scattering of condominiums and rentals. Due to the narrow streets and sub division plan, the first in the United States dating to the early 1800’s, parking is virtually nonexistent (parking is premium value for those that have private driveways or garages) – residents make due with public parking under The Boston Common and two (2) other area public garages plus the resident parking program.
Beacon Hill is known for Louisburg Square which is the “most prestigious address” on the hill’s South Slope, with magnificent Greek Revival single-family brownstones that line the square and its residents have access to a gated private park. At the base of Beacon Hill is Charles Street which caters to the local community containing businesses varying from convenience stores, antique/art shops, boutiques, and fine dining establishments. Attractions in this area include: the golden domed State House, Boston Common, Public Garden and Swan Boats. To prevent urban renewal projects of the historic buildings, The Beacon Hill Architectural Commission was established to monitor all renovation and development projects. Having been designated a National Historic Landmark in 1962, supporting the historic and national landmarks also includes the non-profit Beacon Hill Civic Association and city’s Boston Preservation Alliance organizations to stabilize architectural fabric.
A walk down one of the many picturesque streets in Beacon Hill will make you feel as if you are being transported back in time to a more earlier, elegant, era.
Hotels in this area include: XV Beacon Hotel, The Liberty Hotel and the Beacon Hill Hotel & Bistro.