Copley Square

Note: a separate Back Bay walking tour includes selected sites around Copley Square.

The filling of the Back Bay attracted Boston’s major institutions as the social leaders built grand homes on the neighborhood’s residential streets. Most clustered around a large square named in honor of the great Boston painter John Singleton Copley. The Boston Public Library, New Old South Church and Trinity Church still attract throngs of architectural enthusiasts. Other important buildings were demolished—the Ruskinian Gothic style Museum of Fine Arts, S. S. Pierce and Hotel Westminster.

In their day, the square was two triangles as Huntington Avenue cut through to Boylston Street. Eliminating the diagonal in the 1870’s never resulted in a square as impressive as the surrounding architecture.

Photo: Copley Square, ©Bruce T Martin. All Other Rights Reserved.