Post Office Square, Boston

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Post Office Square (est. 1874) in Boston, Massachusetts is located in the financial district at the intersection of Milk, Congress, Pearl and Water Streets.[1][2] It was named in 1874 after the post office which fronted it,[3] now replaced by the John W. McCormack Post Office and Court House.

As of 2009 the square is almost entirely occupied by a privately owned and managed but publicly accessible park, Norman B. Leventhal Park, named for the Boston building manager and designer who designed it. It sits above a parking garage, named "The Garage at Post Office Square."[4] The garage lies 80 feet (24 m) below the surface, the deepest point of excavation in the city. Revenues from parking fund the maintenance of the park. The 1.7-acre (0.69 ha) park is a popular lunchtime destination for area workers. It features a cafe, fountains, and a pergola around a central lawn, and the management provides seat cushions for visitors during the summer. Designed by landscape architects The Halvorson Company, the park is also home to "125 species of plants."[5]

Detail of 1883 map of Boston, showing Post Office Square and vicinity
Post Office Square, Boston, 1876

Also on the square is the New England Telephone Building, where the laboratory in which the first telephone was built has been reconstructed.[6]

Harvard University reached an agreement with the Friends of Post Office Square to place six large trees from its Arnold Arboretum collection on permanent loan in the square, but, as of 2003, only one remains.[7]

History[edit]

Post Office Square was the site of a 1964 speech by Lyndon B. Johnson.[8]

There was a transformer explosion and fire in the One Post Office Square building in December 1986. An electric company worker was killed but fortunately it was after normal business hours and the building was able to be evacuated with only a few injuries.[9]

It was also the site of the now-closed Boston Claim Assistance Site of the September 11th Victim Compensation Program.[10]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Boston Street Laying-Out Dept. A record of the streets, alleys, places, etc. in the city of Boston. Boston: City Printing Dept., 1910.
  2. ^ http://www.cityofboston.gov/publicworks/streetbook/
  3. ^ McNulty, Elizabeth (2002). Boston Then and Now (Then & Now). Thunder Bay Press. p. 52. ISBN 1-57145-177-3. 
  4. ^ "Garage At Post Office Square". Retrieved 2007-06-30. 
  5. ^ Zhan Guo and Alex-Ricardo Jimenez. "Boston.com / Beyond the Big Dig / Case Studies". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2007-06-30. 
  6. ^ Kruh, David (2004). Scollay Square (MA) (Images of America). Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 0-7385-3667-9. 
  7. ^ http://oasis.harvard.edu:10080/oasis/deliver/~ajp00025
  8. ^ John Woolley and Gerhard Peters. "Lyndon B. Johnson: Remarks in Boston at Post Office Square". Retrieved 2007-06-30. 
  9. ^ "AROUND THE NATION; 9 Injured in Explosion At Boston Skyscraper". The New York Times. 1986-12-10. Retrieved 2008-04-28. 
  10. ^ "September 11th Victim Compensation Fund of 2001". Retrieved 2007-06-30. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°21′23″N 71°03′21″W / 42.356260°N 71.055707°W / 42.356260; -71.055707