Talk:Back Bay, Boston

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A 1903 guidebook claims an alternation of trisyllabic and bisyllabic names: Arlington, Berkeley, Clarendon, Dartmouth, Exeter, Fairfield, Gloucester, and Hereford. Does this mean that "Gloucester" was pronounced as three syllables, rather than as "Glosster," as it is today? Dpbsmith (talk)]] 00:12, 21 Oct 2004 (UTC)

It was pronounced "Glossester"

Can the street names be continued into the West Fenway area: Ipswitch, Jersey, Kilmarnock, Landsdonwe, Monmouth, Overland, Peterborough, Queensberry? I believe there was also a Norfolk St, which may have been eliminated during the construction of the Mass Pike. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 31 Oct 2006

Fill history[edit]

It would be interesting to have more material in the article about the motivation for and economics of filling the Back Bay. The existing references seem to indicate that there were health concerns; they don't say much about how much it cost, who did it, and whether or not it was profitable. I also wonder how demographic shifts at the time played a role. There were a lot of immigrants - according to History of Boston, Massachusetts, the city quadruplued its population from 1840 to 1890. -- Beland 00:55, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

Is the Christian Science area/Mapparium near Mass. Ave considered as "Back Bay" too???[edit]

Question are the whole Christian Science headquarters area and the Mapparium along Mass. Ave. considered a part of Back Bay???? I'm thinking it is kind of border-line... But it strikes me more-so as being part of the Symphony neighborhood I would think---- however I don't know if anyone would consider the Symphony neighborhood as having anything to do with Back Bay? CaribDigita 13:12, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

The Christian Science headquarters are not in either the historic district nor the neighborhood as defined by the Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay. EdJohnston 13:47, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

Filling in the bay[edit]

there needs to be a reference to the rail line that brought in gravel from Needham. I believe it was one of the first rail lines in the country. I'll see if I can find an online reference. MarkinBoston 18:43, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

There is a new printed book: William A. Newman, Wilfred E. Holton (2006). Boston's Back Bay: The Story of America's Greatest Nineteenth-Century Landfill Project. Northeastern University Press. ISBN 1555536808.  Click on the title to see some extracts that are available through Google Books. EdJohnston 20:52, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

New Lead Picture[edit]

I have a great picture of the Back Bay skyline I took from work... I took it on a bright, sunny day, the whole skyline is included, and several boats are in the river. It's a great pic.

Unfortunately, I can't upload it because I'm not authorized. Could I maybe send it to someone who is authorized?? —Preceding unsigned comment added by PlatypusQuest (talkcontribs) 19:54, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

Transit Building[edit]

It seems that the Transit Building might be worth mentioning as one of the more visible buildings at the Mass. Ave. end of Newbury. 121a0012 (talk) 05:32, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

Separate Architecture article[edit]

I wonder if the list of buildings & landmarks, which though incomplete already dominites the article, shouldn't be moved to a separate article -- I'm not skilled at Wikipedia article naming, but something like Architecture of Back Bay (Boston)? In addition to broader discussion of important buildings and landmarks (especially those without their own articles) there could be increased coverage of general architectural history, foreign influences in planning, deed restrictions, Back Bay Architectural Commission (which is notable enough to have its own article, but would fit nicely in a B. B. Architecture article) etc. Much could be drawn from Bunting. Thoughts? EEng (talk) 19:30, 10 January 2011 (UTC)

Block west of Charlesgate sometimes included?[edit]

I've deleted this claim [1] because it's been unsourced for so long. EEng (talk) 20:07, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

St. Botolph[edit]

[These comments expanded and revised since I originally posted them.]

Characterizing St. Botolph as part of Back Bay conflicts both with the NABB definition [2] and with various City of Boston documents: [3] [4] [5].

Contrary to the St. Botolph section's implication, parking-permit zones have little to do with it -- parking boundaries are set based on traffic patterns and administrative convenience and, like zip codes, cannot be taken as reflecting some hierarchical system of place names and boundaries. A further illustration: the City "My Neightborhood" site describes [6] St. Botoph St. as "in Fenway/Kenmore," which is startling until one realizes that it reflects boundaries used by the Mayor's Office of Neighborhood Services for its internal division of labor; like the parking-permit zones, they reflect the adminstrative needs of particular agency, not conformance to some master plan of consistent and hierarchical place names and boundaries. That's why we need to use, as best we can find them, reliable sources which explicitly state definitions of "Back Bay", taking into account the purpose for which that particular definition was intended, and any biases of the source.

For example, the BB Architecture District's boundaries are somewhat smaller than the NABB boundaries -- but the District's boundaries were set up that way for a variety of reasons not reflecting on what properly called "Back Bay" e.g. it was the intention to omit from the District the mostly 20th-century buildings in Back Bay but south of Boylston Street, such as around the Hancock Tower. Thus the "real" Back Bay is certainly larger than the Architectural District.

On the other hand, realtors' ads often stretch the bounds of Back Bay beyond all reasonable limits, for obvious reason of self-interest. These too must be discounted.

I realize this can be a touchy subject, but I suggest that the St. Botolph material be moved to a new article specifically on that neighborhood. We might add a paragraph (to this article) explaining that certain border areas (St. Botolph, parts of the South End, Symphony, etc.) are often loosely referred to as being in Back Bay -- but need a secondary cite for this. (As an amusing sidelight, which I'm not sure how to express in the article, is that the cachet of Back Bay is so strong that even Northeastern University describes itself as being "located in Boston’s Back Bay, along Huntington Avenue, between Symphony Hall and the Museum of Fine Arts." [7]) Opinions?

EEng (talk) 23:55, 20 January 2011 (UTC)

P.S. I'm still looking for comment re the idea splitting out a separate article on Buildings and Architecture of Back Bay (or something like that) -- see earlier section on this Talk.

I thought any area up to the Fens would be included in the Back Bay. The Museum is close, Northeastern just out of the boundary. St. Botolph's has an older history than the Back Bay I believe, and I like the idea of creating an article for it, but think it deserves a mention here as well. Truthkeeper88 (talk) 00:27, 21 January 2011 (UTC)

Your or my personal experiences are of litlte use. Please read the sources I linked above (adding sources of your own if you know of any authoritative ones) and then respond. For the record, the St. Botolph area was developed later than Back Bay and under a difference scheme. EEng (talk) 04:45, 21 January 2011 (UTC) No objection or counterreasoning being forthcoming, I'm moving the St. Botolph material into the South End article. EEng (talk) 20:31, 10 February 2011 (UTC) ... but not right now, must run!

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