One of the finest hotels in Boston, Fairmont Copley Plaza was designed by Henry Janeway Hardenbergh, the architect behind The Plaza in New York. Designated a AAA Inspector Pick for its beautiful architecture and modern comforts, this hotel has been charming guests with its Renaissance and Beaux Arts influences since 1912. Red awnings span the front façade, which faces Copley Square. The opulent lobby features a gilded coffered ceiling, crystal chandeliers and marble columns. If you’re staying at the “Grande Dame of Boston,” take the complimentary tour offered weekend mornings. Visitors are welcome to have a peek at the lobby; doing so is encouraged by the staff!
In 2002 a bronze statue of American portrait artist John Singleton Copley (1738-1815) was added in Copley Square. Artist Lewis Cohen depicted the square’s namesake in period-appropriate attire (picture a buttoned vest, long coat and buckled shoes) holding a palette and paintbrushes. The black granite base is fashioned upon a patterned brick design underneath. Snap a pic of the statue head on and the Fairmont hotel fills the background of your shot; snap it from a slight angle and 200 Clarendon, the library or Trinity Church will come into view. Either way, you can’t lose!flickr / Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism
flickr/Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism
Kahlil Gibran Memorial
Near St. James Avenue at Dartmouth Street
This pink granite structure honors the work of artist, poet and writer Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931). A bronze plaque atop a granite block contains an image of Gibran holding a copy of “The Prophet,” the book for which he is best known. Fittingly, the memorial resides directly across the street from the Boston Public Library, one of the places where he used to study and write. Gibran’s godson, Kahlil George Gibran, created the memorial, which was installed in 1977. Inscribed on the front are these inspiring words from the poet: “It was in my heart to help a little because I was helped much.”Courtesy of Fairmont Copley Plaza
Courtesy of Fairmont Copley Plaza
OAK Long Bar + Kitchen
138 St. James Ave.
Tucked inside The Fairmont, this Copley Square restaurant and bar offers the same high-level sophistication as the rest of the property; the space is refined yet comfortable. A blending of dark woods with red and off-white décor along with crystal chandeliers and small tabletop lamps at the bar create a warm ambience. The coffered ceiling’s square panels boast intricate designs overhead. These surroundings are impressive, as are the seasonal craft cocktails and shared plates, which account for this AAA Inspector Pick designation.Read Moresorsillo / iStockphoto.com
Old South Church
645 Boylston St.
This magnificent work of Gothic Revival architecture by Charles Amos Cummings and Willard T. Sears stands at the Boston Marathon finish line. The building was finished in 1875; the congregation, however, formed back in 1669. Hues of brown, grey and pink color the exterior stonework; the copper cupola has turned to verdigris, making it a distinctive green dome; and the campanile towers over Copley Square. Interior highlights include stained-glass windows and ornately carved cherry woodwork.Read Moreflickr / Christine Wagner
“Tortoise and Hare”
Copley Square center
Artist Nancy Schön, a longtime fan of the Boston Marathon, created this 1995 art installation to recognize the race participants from around the world. You’ll likely agree that she succeeded in her desire to come up with a design that appeals to youngsters and also serves as a metaphor for the event. Her bronze sculptures depicting the tortoise and the hare from one of Aesop’s most famous fables—where the slow but patient tortoise beats the fast but overconfident hare—reside on the brick surface near the Copley Square fountain.kershawj / iStockphoto.com
206 Clarendon St.
With the completion of Trinity Church in 1877 (the parish itself dates to 1733), Henry Hobson Richardson secured a spot at the top of the architectural world. His masterpiece, featuring arches and a central tower, came early in his career and heavily contributed to what became the Richardsonian Romanesque style. Murals and stained-glass windows grace the interior, and on the grounds is a statue of Philips Brooks, Trinity rector 1869-91 and one of the most popular preachers of his time. Fun fact: He wrote the lyrics to “O Little Town of Bethlehem.” A free 1-hour tour is offered each Sunday, but a fee is charged other days.Read More
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