The Boston Literary District features notable literary landmarks around the city. While living in the heart of Beacon Hill I resolved to visit all 88 landmarks. Unfortunately I was unable to finish the map since moving back to Ohio, but I thought I would showcase what, in my opinion, is the best of it. It’s a nice stroll if you’d like to explore the vast literary history this city has to offer.
#1 Poe Returning to Boston Sculpture
Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston on January 19th, 1809. He had a messy relationship with the city. In this sculpture by artist Stefanie Rocknak he returns to his home town, raven in tow, manuscripts spilling out of his briefcase—and a human heart. If you look down you’ll find several “pages” scattered behind him.
Corner of Charles and Boylston Streets.
#8 Brattle Book Shop
I adore Brattle Book Shop. Prices range from $1 bargain books to $100,000 collectible editions. New and out of print books can be found on the first two floors, with the third reserved for older and rare books. In good weather you can browse sidewalk racks with cheaper volumes in the lot next door.
#70 Make Way For Ducklings Sculpture
Created by Nancy Schön in 1987 as a tribute to Robert McCloskey’s Caldecott medal-winning children’s story of the same name. You will often find the ducklings dressed up according to the season, as you can see here.
Public garden near Charles and Beacon Streets
#34 Boston Athenaeum
The Boston Athenaeum is one of the oldest independent libraries in the U.S. (and one of the most ornate.) Access to the library’s twelve floors are by membership only, but the first floor is open to the public. Photography is not allowed inside, but look how pretty:
[photo credit: boston athenaeum]
10 ½ Beacon Street.
#37 Massachussetts State House
The Massachusetts State House is the oldest building on Beacon Hill, overlooking Boston Common and the Back Bay. You can take a tour or peruse the small book store on the lobby level. It also gives easy viewing of #38 on the map, the Robert Gould Shaw & the 54th Massachusetts Regiment Memorial, just opposite the State House.
#82 Boston Public Library
And the best for last: my favorite place in Boston. The most beautiful library in the world. (Am I biased? Yes, probably. But when your local library is a castle, you can’t complain.)
700 Boylston Street
Visit the Boston Literary District to view the full map of historical sites & literary programming.