Constitution Beach

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View of Constitution Beach in 2011
Constitution Beach, 1973

Constitution Beach is a man-made crescent-shaped, sandy beach located in the Orient Heights section of East Boston, a neighborhood in Boston, Massachusetts, United States. Opened in 1952 and known to locals as "Shays Beach," its most distinctive feature is that looks directly onto the runways of Logan International Airport, so that airplanes taking off and landing on Runways 22L and 22R are about 2,000 feet (610 m) away, making them prominent both visibly and audibly.

The beach is located on 20 acres (8.1 ha) of land, which was artificially constructed between December 1949 and May 1951.[1] At that time, 34.1 acres (13.8 ha) of land was filled in with hydraulically dredged material and gravel to create the beach, which soon after opened to the public in 1952.[2]

The .25-mile (400 m)-long beach is located in a protected inlet so the water, though part of the Atlantic Ocean, is always relatively placid. There are bathhouse facilities on the beach, as well as a snack bar, a children's playground, handball, basketball, and tennis courts, in addition to baseball fields and an indoor ice rink.

The overpass that was built at the time allowed pedestrians to cross over subway tracks to reach the beach from the busy Bennington Street. It had begun to deteriorate in the 1990s and was replaced by a new structure.


  1. ^ Berenson, Richard J. (2002). The Complete Illustrated Guidebook to Boston's Public Parks and Gardens. New York City, NY: Sterling Publishing Company. p. 131. ISBN 0760727570. 
  2. ^ Seasholes, Nancy S. (2003). Gaining Ground: A History of Landmaking in Boston. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. p. 382. ISBN 0262194945. 

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Coordinates: 42°23′03.90″N 71°00′37.40″W / 42.3844167°N 71.0103889°W / 42.3844167; -71.0103889