Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts
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Map of Chestnut Hill
|County||Norfolk County, Suffolk County, and Middlesex County|
Chestnut Hill is a village located six miles (9.7 km) west of downtown Boston, Massachusetts, United States. Like all Massachusetts villages, Chestnut Hill is not an incorporated municipal entity. It is located partially in Brookline in Norfolk County; partially in the city of Boston in Suffolk County, and partially in the city of Newton in Middlesex County. Chestnut Hill's borders are defined by the 02467 ZIP Code. The name refers to several small hills that overlook the 135-acre (546,000 m2) Chestnut Hill Reservoir rather than one particular hill. Chestnut Hill is best known as the home of Boston College and as part of the Boston Marathon route.
The boundary between Newton and Brighton was originally more or less straight northwest–southeast, following today's boundary at the east edge of the Newton Commonwealth Golf Course and the west boundary of the MBTA rail yards, following what is today St. Thomas More Road and Chestnut Hill Driveway through swamp land that is today the west edge of the Chestnut Hill Reservoir, and then rejoining today's city limit that runs essentially with the portion of Beacon St. that forms the west boundary of the Reservoir, and continues southeast to today's triple point between Boston, Brookline, and Newton near the intersection of Reservoir Road and Middlesex Road, Brookline.. Around the 1870s, the Lawrence farm land that is today bounded by Commonwealth Avenue, the slope dividing Boston College upper campus from lower campus, Beacon St., Chestnut Hill Driveway, and St. Thomas More Rd. was ceded from Newton to Boston, so that Boston could construct the Chestnut Hill Reservoir. What is today the Boston College lower campus and stadium was excavated to become the Lawrence Basin of the Reservoir, paired with the surviving Bradlee Basin,, to receive water from the Sudbury Aqueduct. Beacon St. was rerouted around the south and west edges of the Bradlee Basin. The two halves of the Reservoir were separated to preserve the Cochituate Aqueduct, which ran under a causeway separating the two halves of the reservoir, now roughly St. Thomas More Rd. and Chestnut Hill Driveway, and a short stretch of Beacon St.
While most of Chestnut Hill remained farmland well into the early 20th century, the area around the reservoir was developed, in 1870, by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, designer of Central Park in New York City and of the Emerald Necklace in Boston and Brookline.
Because of the significance of its landscape and architecture, the National Register of Historic Places, in 1986, designated parts of Chestnut Hill as historic districts. Examples of Colonial, Italianate, Shingle, Tudor Revival, and Victorian architectural styles are evident in the village's country estates and mansions. The Boston College campus is itself an early example of Collegiate Gothic architecture.
The Kennard Park and Conservation Area is a post-agricultural forest grown up on 19th century farmland. The mixed and conifer woodlands reveal colonial stone walls, a red maple swamp with century-old trees, and a sensitive fern marsh.
The Heartbreak Hill Park, surrounding the Waban Hill reservoir, opened in 2015, and a major renovation was completed in 2020.
- B branch: Chestnut Hill Avenue, South Street, Boston College
- C branch: Cleveland Circle
- D branch: Reservoir, Chestnut Hill
The area is also served by various MBTA buses.
Registered historic districts
- Boston College Main Campus Historic District – 140 Commonwealth Ave. (in Newton)
- Chestnut Hill Historic District – roughly bounded by Middlesex Rd., Reservoir Ln., Denny Rd., Boylston St. and Dunster Rd. (added November 17, 1985) (mostly in Brookline, but includes a few properties that spill into Newton)
- Chestnut Hill Reservoir Historic District – within Boston city limits
- Old Chestnut Hill Historic District – along Hammond St. and Chestnut Hill Rd. roughly bounded by Beacon St. and Essex Rd., and Suffolk Rd. (added October 4, 1986), within Newton city limits
The village is served by the Brookline Public Schools, Newton Public Schools, and Boston Public Schools, depending on the city or town in which a particular home is located. There are also a number of private schools including Mount Alvernia Academy (Catholic, K–6), Brimmer and May School (non-denominational, K–12) and The Chestnut Hill School.
- Tom Brady, former quarterback of the New England Patriots
- Michael Dukakis, former governor of Massachusetts and 1988 Democratic nominee for President
- Mary Baker Eddy, founder of The First Church of Christ, Scientist and The Christian Science Monitor newspaper, 1908–1910
- Theo Epstein, current general manager of the Chicago Cubs, former general manager of the Boston Red Sox
- Reginald Fessenden, called the father of broadcast radio, the Reginald A. Fessenden House in Chestnut Hill (Newton) is a US National Landmark as well as a US Historic Place.
- Paul Fireman, purchased American distribution rights to Reebok, Chairman of Fireman Capital Partners, Inc.
- Terry Francona, former manager of the Boston Red Sox, current manager of the Cleveland Indians
- John W. Henry, principal owner of the Boston Red Sox and Liverpool F.C.
- Jarome Iginla, former NHL player
- Seth Klarman, Founder and CEO of the Baupost Group
- Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots
- Alice Hathaway Lee Roosevelt, the first wife of Theodore Roosevelt, and mother of Alice Roosevelt Longworth
- Leverett Saltonstall, Governor of Massachusetts (1939–1945) and United States Senator (1945–1967)
- Thomas G. Stemberg, founder of Staples Inc.
- Alan Trefler, founder and CEO of Pegasystems
- John A. Wilson, sculptor
- List of Registered Historic Places in Brookline, Massachusetts
- List of Registered Historic Places in Newton, Massachusetts
- List of Registered Historic Places in Suffolk County, Massachusetts