(Wikipedia) Boston Common (also known as “the Common”) is a central public park in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. It is sometimes erroneously referred to as the “Boston Commons”. Dating from 1634, it is one of the oldest city parks in the United States. The Boston Common consists of 50 acres (20 ha) of land bounded by Tremont Street, Park Street, Beacon Street, Charles Street, and Boylston Street. The Common is part of the Emerald Necklace of parks and parkways that extend from the Common south to Franklin Park in Roxbury. A visitors’ center for all of Boston is located on the Tremont Street side of the park.

The Central Burying Ground is found on the Boylston Street side of Boston Common. There, one can find the burial sites of the artist Gilbert Stuart and the composer William Billings. Also buried there are Samuel Sprague and his son, Charles Sprague, one of America’s earliest poets. Samuel Sprague was a participant in the Boston Tea Party and fought in the Revolutionary War.

The Common’s purpose has changed over the years. It was once owned by William Blaxton (often given the modernized spelling “Blackstone”), the first European settler of Boston, until it was bought from him by the Puritan founders of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. During the 1630s, it was used by many families as a cow pasture. However, this only lasted for a few years, as affluent families bought additional cows, which led to overgrazing, a real-life example of the Tragedy of the commons.

The Common was used as a camp by the British before the American Revolutionary War, from which they left for the Battle of Lexington and Concord. It was used for public hangings up until 1817, most of which were from a large oak which was replaced with gallows in 1769. In 1660 Mary Dyer was hanged there by the Puritans for preaching Quakerism.

On May 19, 1713, two hundred citizens rioted on the Common in reaction to a food shortage in the city. They later attacked the ships and warehouses of wealthy merchant Andrew Belcher, who was exporting grain to the Caribbean for higher profits. The lieutenant governor was shot during the riot.

True park status seems to have emerged no later than 1830, when the grazing of cows was ended and renaming the Common as Washington Park was proposed (renaming the bordering Sentry Street to Park Street in 1808 already acknowledged the reality). By 1836 an ornamental iron fence fully enclosed the Common and its five perimeter malls or recreational promenades, the first of which, Tremont Mall, had been in place since 1728, in imitation of St. James’s Park in London. Given these improvements dating back to 1728, a case could be made that Boston Common is in fact the world’s first public urban park, since these developments precede the establishment of the earliest public urban parks in England—Derby Arboretum (1840), Peel Park, Salford (1846), and Birkenhead Park (1847)—which are often considered the first.

A hundred people gathered on the Common in early 1965 to protest the Vietnam War. A second protest happened on October 15, 1969, this time with 100,000 people protesting.

Today the Common serves as a public park for all to use for formal or informal gatherings. Events such as concerts, protests, softball games, and ice skating (on Frog Pond) often take place in the park. Famous individuals such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Pope John Paul II have made speeches there. Judy Garland gave her largest concert ever (100,000+) on the Common, on August 31, 1967.

It was declared a U.S. National Historic Landmark in 1987. The Boston Common is a public park managed by the Boston Park Department. A private advocacy group, the Friends of the Public Garden, provides additional funding for maintenance and special events.

On August 27, 2007, two teenagers were shot on the Common. One of the bullets fired during the shooting struck the Massachusetts State House. A strict curfew has since been enforced, which has been protested by the homeless population of Boston.

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boston, common, boston common, massachusetts, new england, usa, david davies

I’ve been an amateur photographer for as long as I can remember, which at my age is about a couple of weeks! I’ve owned film cameras from Zeiss, Scheider, Leica, Nikon and Olympus, as well as digital cameras from Pentax and Canon, and still have several, if I can ever find them. I currently use a Sony NEX-5N with an 18-55mm zoom lens, and after a year of ownership am still learning all the functions.

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  • David Davies
    David Daviesover 3 years ago

  • Digidi
    Digidiover 3 years ago

    fabulous capture cuz, it will make a great xmas card for next year

  • Thanks cuz, quite a contrast to the weather you have in Adelaide right now, I would imagine!

    – David Davies

  • georgieboy98
    georgieboy98over 3 years ago

    Nice one mate. JNot only have you captured the Christmas spirit but you’ve also managed to convey just how cold it is!
    All the best

  • Thanks, Peter, it was bloody cold and I’d just walked there from our hotel. Brrrrrrr! Hope your weather in Western Oz is not like the north east and south, which we’ve been seeing s lot of on the news!

    – David Davies

  • WatscapePhoto
    WatscapePhotoover 3 years ago

    Excellent, David

  • Thank you, Steve.

    – David Davies

  • cherylc1
    cherylc1over 3 years ago

    Gorgeous David!

  • Thank you, Cheryl!

    – David Davies

  • shortshooter-Al
    shortshooter-Alover 3 years ago

    Nothing on TV that night David. LOL. It looks too bloody cold to be out.

  • This was a last night in Boston so I took a walk from the hotel to the Common to get a few pictures. It was cold!

    – David Davies

  • Trudi's Images
    Trudi's Imagesover 3 years ago

    Congratulations for having this lovely image featured in the group 31/12/2010, you are now eligible to enter it into our featured only February Avatar Challenge

  • Thank you so much, Trudi, I really appreciate that. A very Happy New Year to you!

    – David Davies

  • Tom Gomez
    Tom Gomezover 3 years ago

    Super winter city shot David …

  • Thank you, Tom and a very Happy New Year to you and yours! Blwyddyn Newydd Dda!

    – David Davies

  • Ryan Davison Crisp
    Ryan Davison C...over 3 years ago

    nice shot

  • Thank you, Ryan and a very Happy New Year to you!

    – David Davies

  • Ray Clarke
    Ray Clarkeover 3 years ago

    Wonderful capture David, All the best to you and yours for 2011!

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