by Chris Romano
Here in Boston, we are surrounded by an abundance of history that reaches back centuries ago. The Norman B. Leventhal Walk to the Sea reminds tourists and Bostonians alike that while we live in a modern, fast-paced world, the history of Boston will forever be intertwined into our lives.
The walk, stretching about a mile long, spans from the Massachusetts State House to the Waterfront at Long Wharf. Those who complete the entire walk will reach eight separate locations for a short lesson on Boston’s history. Above, you can see the walking tour’s first stop at the State House.
The Walk to the Sea features eight locations:
- Beacon Hill
- King’s Chapel
- Government Center
- The Old State House
- Financial District
- Custom House
- The Rose Kennedy Greenway
- Long Wharf
Each point on the walk features at least one pillar with historical information pertaining to that location. In addition to the information on these pillars at each location, you can either scan a QR code, or go to the Walk to the Sea website with your cell phone for a virtual tour. This virtual tour adds to the experience as you walk, or is a great alternative for those who are unable to make it to the walk!
One of the more interesting parts of the historical walk is that it does not rely solely on the history that spans back to the early, colonial days of Boston. When arriving at The Rose Kennedy Greenway stop, the pillar provides information about the Central Artery and The Big Dig as well. Although the Big Dig was completed only 10 years ago, many young people do not remember or know what the Central Artery looked like! It’s hard to imagine seeing an above ground highway in a green space that has become a staple to the North End / Waterfront community.
Another example of the Walk to the Sea displaying recent history is at its Government Center location. At this location, you can see what it looked like in 1911, 2004, and today! Even from 2004, it’s easy to see how quickly Boston can change.
Photos on some pillars allow you to compare the present to the distant past. At the Old State House stop, you learn that the “new” State House on Beacon Hill was constructed in 1798.
Whether you’re on your way to work, or are just passing by one of the history-filled pillars, take a second to stop and read about that location’s past! Reading about Boston’s history while being immersed in the city’s current landscape puts a new perspective on city life.
In 2008, Mayor Thomas Menino dedicated the Norman B. Leventhal Walk to the Sea. To learn more about the Norman B. Leventhal Walk to the Sea, go to walktothesea.com. A downloadable map of the walk is available on their website. To see some photos from the Walk to the Sea, look at their Instagram page. Begin your trip at the State House, or at Long Wharf!