Financial District

Note: a separate "Walk to the Sea" walking tour includes selected sites in this area.

of the Unlike the old commercial centers of most American cities, Boston's financial district has not experienced wholesale destruction. It is the old seat of financial wisdom for the entire country. In the early 19th century most Boston banks were located on State Street, where the city's commerce was first conducted. Since the 17th century conservative New England trust funds have been managed on these streets.

This area includes sites from the old mercantile, financial, and government areas, where many fine buildings represent two centuries of history. The most significant asset of the district may be its complex pattern of streets surviving from the 17th and 18th centuries. The narrow irregular streets focus on "squares" (usually triangular in shape) such as Winthrop, Church Green, Post Office, and Liberty Squares. Instead of following an abstract geometric concept such as a rectangle, the pre-Bauhaus architecture hugs the streets, creating odd-shaped buildings and wonderful townscape.

It is exciting to wander through this area, following one's intuition, enjoying spatial sequences that are full of surprises.