One of our favorite, shady, summer walks is down Bay State Road which runs along the Charles River Esplanade and Commonwealth Avenue to the west of Back Bay. We are making this historic district our Friday Link today.
Street trees provide some shade and the lovely buildings preserved by the Bay State Road/Back Bay West Architectural Conservation District give you lots of details to enjoy.
Many of the former private residences have been taken over by Boston University, so this is a land of red signs showing the use of many of the buildings. This time of year, there are a few students around and a little bit of car traffic. It's just enough to keep you from feeling that you are in an isolated area.
Our Westie Poppy loves benches and BU has sprinkled a few pocket parks along the street. We picked a shady one to stop for a drink of water and a break.
A collection of contemporary sculpture gives you another reason to visit this area. Some pieces have interpretive plaques nearby.
Here's the one for the sculpture above.
The architecture along Bay State Road gets much less attention than some other historic districts, but there are important buildings by renowned achitects. This is the Weld Mansion designed in 1900 by William York Peters of the Peters and Rice architectural firm.
You are just one block over from Commonwealth Avenue and all the food shops and services that grew up along this area to serve the student population. And there are bridges to the Esplanade if you'd like to cross over and have a picnic on the river bank.
You'll also find picnic tables in back of Marsh Chapel. We've used these for an impromptu Sunday brunch with friends.
Remember that by late August, the students will be back. This will still be a beautiful street, but it won't have the quiet calm it has in mid-summer.
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Words: Penny & Ed Cherubino
Photography: © 2014 Penny & Ed Cherubino