Neighborhood Spotlight: Boston’s Back Bay


Considered to be one of the most desirable neighborhoods in the country, Back Bay is home to some of the city’s tallest buildings as well as many of its celebrity residents. Characterized by its unique shops, picturesque streets and vintage homes, Back Bay has much to offer to those who call this unique neighborhood their home.

Homes in the Back Bay Neighborhood

The Back Bay neighborhood is most famous for its rows of Victorian brownstone homes, with many considering the neighborhood to be one of the best preserved examples of 19th-century urban design in the country.

The Back Bay neighborhood is also home to condominiums available in a variety of styles, ranging from fully modernized units in low- and high-rise buildings to more traditional looking offerings. Regardless of the style of condo, all are expertly placed within the neighborhood’s quiet streets as they blend among the picturesque brownstone-style buildings.

Many of the brownstones, single-family homes and condos within the Back Bay neighborhood offer magnificent views of the Charles River, which forms the northern boundary of the Back Bay. The Charles River also forms the neighborhood’s boundary to the north, with Arlington Street to Park Square forming the boundary on the east. To the south, the boundary is formed by Columbus Avenue to New York New Haven and Hartford right of way, Huntington Avenue, Dalton Street and the Massachusetts Turnpike. The western boundary is formed by Charlesgate East.

Back Bay Lifestyle and Amenities

With its tree-lined sidewalks, the Back Bay neighborhood offers the epitome of cozy Boston charm. The Commonwealth Avenue Mall, which is a pedestrian-friendly area lined with statues and benches, is a particularly popular place for residents to relax and unwind.

Back Bay is also home to many of Boston’s trendiest streets, including Boylston Street, Newbury Street and Commonwealth Avenue. Here, residents can enjoy visiting a variety of shops, restaurants and other amenities. Two of the city’s tallest buildings, the Prudential Center and the John Hancock Tower, are also located within the Back Bay neighborhood. Other popular attractions within the neighborhood include Trinity Church, Arlington Street Church, Copley Square, the Christian Science Church complex and the Boston Public Library.

The neighborhood is also home to many prominent cultural and educational institutions. Among these are the Berklee College of Music, the Boston Conservatory, the Boston Architectural College, the New England College of Optometry, the New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston’s Goethe Institute and the Alliance francaise.

Back Bay History

At one point, the neighborhood now known as Back Bay was literally a bay situated west of Shawmut Peninsula between Boston and Cambridge. As a tidal bay, water in the area rose and fell several feet throughout the day, exposing a marshy flat during low tide. This all changed in 1857 when the bay was filled in an effort to create more available land for the city. Additional space was filled in 1882, creating the space that is now known as Back Bay. Today, the neighborhood is one of the most expensive residential neighborhoods in the city.

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