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14 Ways To Explore Boston This Preservation Month

Written by Matthew Dickey

May is National Preservation Month which gives us a perfect excuse to show off our beloved historic city. We pulled together a list of cool things to see, do, taste, learn, or think about throughout the month of May. Fourteen ways to honor, enjoy, and experience our city’s unique heritage.

Send us your pictures, tag us, keep us in the loop as you wind your way through our beautiful city. We can’t wait to see what you discover! Think of this as our love letter to Boston. 

1. Hunt for Boston’s architectural wonders by downloading the new AIA Guide to Boston App! It is now available for FREE in the Apple App Store and on Google Play. 

On May 15, the Young Advisors have a super-secret special event planned to get you out and explore East Boston. Ok, ok, ok. I’m not great with secrets, it’s a scavenger hunt complete with hidden treasures and prizes. The hunt will be shared via the App. A clue? There’s something in the tides.

Learn More

 

*Extra thanks to Tom Pounds who willed the AIA app into existence. We thank Tom for his partnership and look forward to sharing more of Boston’s stories through the app.

AIA Guide Screenshot

 

2. Take a curious stroll through all nine of Boston’s Historic districts. Be sure to share your photos with #PreservationHub. This map will help you find them all.

For some extra fun, don your camera and lace up your shoes to explore Boston’s pending districts such as the North End, Jones Hill, Fort Hill, and Ashmont Hill, to name a few. (Boston has a lot of hills.)

 

3. Show your support by helping us raise $10,000 for Preservation Month. Your support makes our voice stronger and together we make Boston better. The Boston Preservation Alliance relies on your support to continue to advocate for the city we all love. 

Help Us Reach Our Goal

 

4. Explore the magic of the Boston Athenaeum. The first floor is open for free on the second Saturday of every month. Show up on Saturday, May 8 at 10 1/2 Beacon Street and roam this distinguished Boston institution designed by Edward Clarke Cabot in 1849.

 

5. Franklin Park is the largest park in Boston. It’s home to bear cages, American ruins, art deco stadiums, historic stairs, and even statues from the Old Post Office. Try and find them all.

Art Deco White Stadium-Matthew Dickey

White Stadium. Photo by Matthew Dickey

 

6. Share this list on social media. While you’re at it, follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. 

 

7. Join Boston By Foot for an Online, On Site, On Foot tour. We recommend the May 22 Field of Vision: Discoveries in Boston’s Neighborhoods where you’ll visit five less familiar Preservation Award winners that are cherished by their neighborhoods, from Mattapan to East Boston. This tour celebrates these award-winning treasures scattered across Boston that to many, have been “hiding in plain sight.”

 

8. Catch the one, the only, Joseph Bagley, City Archaeologist discussing his new book “Boston’s Oldest Buildings And Where To Find Them.” (That link takes you to all of Joe’s talks). Joe will be talking about his book at several virtual events throughout May and the year. One such event is with Historic New England and will benefit two listed buildings–the Loring Greenough House and the Paul Revere House. All 50 buildings featured pre-date 1795. How many have you seen? Bonus question: Do you know the name of the oldest house in Boston?

 

9. Go on a bubble tea crawl of Dorchester’s Little Saigon. We recommend stops at Be Le, Reign Drink Lab, and Coco Leaf

Policy Image-Wide-Fields Corner-Matthew Dickey

Fields Corner Mural. Image by Matthew Dickey

 

10. Visit any of the places on our #SaveMyBoston list. These are neighborhood-defining establishments and we want to map them all. Is there something missing from our list? Tell us at admin@bostonpreservation.org. How many have you visited?

 

11. Submit a tiny story to share on our website. Is there a place in your neighborhood you want to share? Tell us! We have a series of Tiny Stories that document the joy of our neighborhoods like Dorchester’s Star Baker or the work of Corita Kent: the Nun, The Artist, The Activist. Send your story of 300 words or less to mdickey@bostonpreservation.org. 

Corita Kent

Artwork by Corita Kent

 

12. Join our email list for year-round preservation updates and stories worth reading. Our Preservation field guides are sent out every two weeks and are sure to make you fall in love with Boston.

Subscribe Today

 

13. Get crafty and send a homemade postcard or write an email to your City Councilor that shares why you believe preservation is important. Without our collective voices preserving our history, the voices of previous generations fall silent. 

 

14. Join the Alliance’s own Alison Frazee on May 27 for “The Evolution of Preservation: From Elitism to Equity.” This event is hosted by the House Museum Alliance of Downtown Boston. Alison will discuss how historic sites continue to change their practices to be more inclusive, accessible, and intentional so that they can tell a fuller story through preservation. 

 

Show your love of Boston by helping us raise $10,000 for Preservation Month. Without our collective voices advocating for our historic city, the voices of the past will fall silent, and there is always more to the story. Help us reach our goal today. 

Support The Alliance

Kevin Fitzgerald Park-Matthew Dickey

Kevin Fitzgerald Park. Photo by Matthew Dickey.

 

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