Post Office Square, Boston

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Post Office Square is a popular lunchtime destination for workers in Boston's Financial District

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 United States Post Office and Sub-Treasury which fronted it,[3] now replaced by the John W. McCormack Post Office and Courthouse.

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][5] 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."[6]


History[edit]

Detail of 1883 map of Boston, showing Post Office Square and vicinity
Post Office Square, Boston, 1876
Garage in Post Office Square that was demolished to make way for the creation of Norman B. Leventhal Park.

In the 18th century, rope manufacturers occupied the area, then it became a residential district, and later a business and commercial area. The Great Boston fire of 1872 swept through the area, and as rebuilding began the area began to be called Post Office Square after the new United States Post Office and Sub-Treasury Building (Boston) which faced the square.[7]

In 1874, the headquarters of the New England Mutual Life Insurance Company, designed by Nathaniel Bradlee, was erected in the square on the site of what is now Norman B. Leventhal Park. This building was demolished in 1945, and a large parking garage which filled the area of the present park was erected, being completed in 1954.[7]

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]

The above-ground parking garage was demolished in 1988. The new garage, entirely underground, was opened in 1990, and the park above it was completed in 1992.[7]

Major buildings[edit]

Significant buildings on the square include the following:

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. ^ "Tour of the Garage at Post Office Square - Boston MA" on YouTube
  6. ^ Zhan Guo and Alex-Ricardo Jimenez. "Boston.com / Beyond the Big Dig / Case Studies". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2007-06-30. 
  7. ^ a b c "History of Boston’s Post Office Square". Norman B. Leventhal Park website. Retrieved May 7, 2017. 
  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. ^ Ross, Casey (24 February 2011). "An Art Deco makeover". Boston Globe. Retrieved 28 May 2016. 
  11. ^ Kruh, David (2004). Scollay Square (MA) (Images of America). Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 0-7385-3667-9. 
  12. ^ "About Federal Reserve Plaza". Retrieved 28 May 2016. 

External links[edit]

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