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On days when the Red Sox are playing a home baseball game at Fenway Park, Kenmore Square is packed with fans. By night, Kenmore becomes the jump-off point for a night of dancing, drinking, and socializing at clubs on or near Lansdowne Street. Yet for all of Kenmore’s genial rowdiness, it is also the gateway into the sedate parkland of the Back Bay Fens and the stately late-19th- and early-20th-century buildings along The Fenway. The Fenway neighborhood extends all the way southeast to Huntington Avenue, aka the “Avenue of the Arts,” which links key cultural centers such as Symphony Hall, Huntington Theatre, Museum of Fine Arts, Massachusetts College of Art, and the not-to-be-missed Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum along a tree-lined boulevard.


Attractions

  1. Museum of Fine Arts

    One of the most comprehensive fine arts museums in the country, the MFA is especially renowned for its collections of French Impressionism and of ancient Egyptian and Nubian art and artifacts. Its Asian art holdings are said to be the largest in the US .

  2. Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

    This Fenway museum, in a faux Venetian palace, represents the exquisite personal tastes of its founder, Isabella Stewart Gardner, who was one of the country’s premier art collectors at the end of the 19th century.

  3. Fenway Park

    Built in 1912, the home field of the Boston Red Sox is the oldest surviving park in major league baseball, and aficionados insist that it’s also the finest. An odd-shaped parcel of land gives the intimate park quirky features, such as the high, green-painted wall in left field, affectionately known as “the Green Monster.” Although previous owners threatened to abandon Fenway, the current ones have enlarged the park to accommodate the many loyal Sox fans. Behind-the-scenes tours of the park include areas normally closed to the public, like the dugouts and private boxes.

    • 4 Yawkey Way

    • 617 267 1700 for tickets, 617 236 6666 for tours

    • Tours year-round: 9am–3pm daily (last tour 3½ hours before game time)

    • Adm

    • www.redsox.mlb.com

    Fenway Park
  4. Back Bay Fens

    This lush ribbon of grassland, marshes, and stream banks follows Muddy River and forms one link in the Emerald Necklace of parks. The enclosed James P. Kelleher Rose Garden in the center of the Fens provides a perfect spot for quiet contemplation. A path runs from Kenmore Square to the museums and galleries on Huntington Avenue, which makes a pleasant short cut through the Fens.

    • Bounded by Park Dr & The Fenway

    Heron, Back Bay Fens

    Back Bay Fens
  5. Symphony Hall

    The restrained, elegant Italian Renaissance exterior of this 1900 concert hall barely hints at what is considered to be the acoustic perfection of the interior hall as designed by Harvard physics professor Walter Clement Sabine. Home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the hall’s 2,361 seats are usually sold out for their classical concerts, as well as for the lighter Boston Pops .

    Symphony Hall
  6. Kenmore Square

    Largely dominated by Boston University, Kenmore Square is now being transformed from a student ghetto into an extension of upmarket Back Bay, losing some of its funky character but gaining élan in the process. As the public transportation gateway to Fenway Park, the square swarms with baseball fans and sidewalk vendors, rather than students, on game days. The most prominent landmark of the square is the CITGO sign, its 5,878 glass tubes pulsing with red, white, and blue neon from dusk until midnight. Time magazine designated this sign an “objet d’heart” because it was so beloved by Bostonians that they prevented its dismantling in 1983.

    Kenmore Square
  7. Boston University

    Founded as a Methodist Seminary in 1839, Boston University was chartered as a university in 1869. Today it enrolls approximately 28,000 students from all 50 states and some 125 countries. The scattered colleges and schools were consolidated at the Charles River Campus in 1966. Both sides of Commonwealth Avenue are lined with distinctive university buildings and sculptures. The Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center is big on the memorabilia of show biz figures, displayed on a rotating basis. Artifacts include Gene Kelly’s Oscar and a number of Bette Davis’s film scripts. It also exhibits selections from its holdings of rare manuscripts and books. The Photographic Resource Center, a focus for Boston’s considerable photographic community, frequently mounts challenging exhibitions of local and international photographers.

    Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center

    • 771 Commonwealth Ave

    • 617 353 3696

    • Exhibit rooms Open 9am–4:30pm Mon–Fri

    • Free

    Photographic Resource Center

    • 832 Commonwealth Ave

    • 617 975 0600

    • Open 10am–6pm Tue–Fri (to 8pm Thu), noon–5pm Sat–Sun

    • Adm

    Photographic Resource Center, Boston University

    Mugar Memorial Library, Boston University
  8. Jordan Hall

    The New England Conservatory of Music’s 1,013-seat concert hall opened in 1903 and underwent an $8.2 million restoration in 1995. Musicians frequently praise its acoustics, heralding Jordan “the Stradivarius of concert halls.” Hundreds of free classical concerts are performed at this National Historic Landmark hall every year .

  9. Massachusetts College of Art and Design Galleries

    The Paine and Bakalar galleries in the South Building of the Massachusetts College of Art mount some of Boston’s most dynamic exhibitions of contemporary visual art. It is the only independent state-supported art college in the US and exhibitions tend to emphasize avant-garde experimentation as well as social commentary and documentary.

    • 621 Huntington Ave

    • 617 879 7333

    • Open 10am–6pm Mon–Fri, 11am–5pm Sat

    • Free

  10. Warren Anatomical Museum

    Established in 1847 from the private holdings of Dr. John Collins Warren, this museum contains the former anatomical teaching collections of the Harvard Medical School, including clinical examples of rare deformities and diseases. Among the displays are several delicate skeletons of stillborn conjoined twins.

    • 10 Shattuck St

    • 617 432 6196

    • Open 9am–5pm Mon–Fri

    • Free

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