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XIX

CUSTOM HOUSE TOWER (IN CONSTRUCTION)

     BOSTON IS UNUSUAL AMONG AMERICAN CITIES IN THAT IT HAS NEVER, UNTIL 1914, HAD A SKY-SCRAPER. BUILDING LAWS REGULATE THE HEIGHT OF CONSTRUCTION UNDER MUNICIPAL CONTROL. OVER FEDERAL BUILDINGS THE CITY’S STATUTES HAVE NO AUTHORITY, THE EVIDENCE OF WHICH IS SEEN IN THE CITY’S MOST CONSPICUOUS LANDMARK, THE NEW CUSTOM HOUSE TOWER. THIS NEW TOWER USES FOR A BASE MUCH OF THE GRANITE PILLARED CONSTRUCTION OF THE OLD CUSTOM HOUSE DATING FROM 1847. ITS SITE WAS THE END OF LONG WHARF, AND THE BOW-SPRITS OF VESSELS LYING THERE ALMOST TOUCHED THE MASSIVE DORIC COLUMNS OF THE OLD BUILDING.





XX 

     THE WEST END IS A NOW FADING QUARTER. HERE,  AROUND THE NORTHERLY SLOPE OF BEACON HILL IN MELLOW OLD STREETS APPROACHING DECAY, ARE LANDMARKS OF LITERARY BOSTON, AND SOME OF THE CITY’S TIME HONORED INSTITUTIONS. IN ITS BETTER PARTS THE WEST END RETAINS MORE DISTINCTLY THAN ANY OTHER QUARTER OF THE CITY, THE GENUINE BOSTON CHARACTER.




XXI 

     FROM THE DARTMOUTH STREET BRIDGES OVER THE TRACKS OF THE NEW YORK, NEW HAVEN, AND HARTFORD, AND THE BOSTON AND ALBANY RAIL ROADS. THE VIEW NORTH, TOWARDS THE CHARLES RIVER, REVEALS MANY OF THE CHARACTERISTIC LANDMARKS OF THE CITY. MODERN HOTELS, APARTMENTS, CHURCHES, PUBLIC BUILDINGS, CLUBS, AND RESIDENCES OF THE WEALTHY, ARE SEEN TO ADVANTAGE. DARTMOUTH STREET IS THE CHIEF GATEWAY TO THE BACK BAY AND SOUTH END DISTRICTS FOR HUNDREDS OF COMMUTERS WHO LEAVE THEIR TRAINS AT THE BACK BAY OR HUNTINGTON AVENUE STATIONS.





XXII
 

THE MYSTIC RIVER AS IT EMPTIES INTO THE INNER HARBOR SKIRTS THE CHARLESTOWN DISTRICT, AND OFFERS DOCKAGE FOR COASTWISE CRAFT OF EVERY KIND. THROUGH AND OVER THE MASTS OF BOATS, THE COAL POCKETS, AND A MEDLEY OF LONGSHORE CONSTRUCTION, ARE FREQUENT VIEWS OF BUNKER HILL MONUMENT. THIS SHAFT IS THE FEATURE OF THE CHARLESTOWN DISTRICT, AND WITH ITS HEIGHT OF 220 FEET, DOMINATES IT FROM EVERY POINT. THE GRANITE OBELISK COMMEMORATES THE BATTLE OF BUNKER HILL—JUNE 17, 1775. THE CORNERSTONE OF THE MONUMENT WAS LAID IN 1825 BY LAFAYETTE. IN THE GREAT THRONG THAT GATHERED FOR ITS DEDICATION ON THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE BATTLE IN 1843 WERE A FEW SURVIVORS OF THE CELEBRATED ENGAGEMENT.






XXIII 

THE FIRST SETTLEMENT OF BOSTON WAS MADE IN 1629 IN THE CHARLESTOWN DISTRICT. WHILE TRACES OF THE FIRST ENGLISH COLONISTS UNDER JOHN WINTHROP HAVE ENTIRELY DISAPPEARED, THE DISTRICT PRESERVES MANY RELICS OF LATER COLONIAL DAYS. THE OLD HOUSES AND CHURCH TOWERS IN SOME OF THE SQUARES RETAIN AN OLD-WORLD CHARM, AND SUGGEST THE ENGLISH VILLAGES FROM WHICH THEIR BUILDERS CAME. CHARLESTOWN, FORMERLY AN INDEPENDENT MUNICIPALITY, WAS ANNEXED TO BOSTON IN 1874.





XXIV 

THE STYLE OF TRINITY CHURCH AS DEFINED BY ITS ARCHITECT, H. H. RICHARDSON, IS FRENCH ROMANESQUE AS FREELY RENDERED IN THE PYRAMIDAL-TOWERED CHURCHES OF AUVERGNE, THE CENTRAL TOWER PREDOMINATING. A NEAR VIEW OF THE ELABORATE DETAILS OF THE CENTRAL TOWER CAN BE HAD FROM THE VESTRY STAIRS. THE VESTRY, WITH ITS OPEN, OUTSIDE STAIRWAY, IS CONNECTED WITH THE CHURCH BY AN OPEN CLOISTER. HERE ARE PLACED SOME STONES FROM ST BOTOLPH’S CHURCH IN BOSTON, ENGLAND.


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