Hayward’s United States Gazetteer (1853) page 291

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of all future generations of its inhabitants. This
Common, extending over about forty-eight acres
of ground, with its splendid malls surrounding
the whole border, shaded with majestic elms,
some of which are over a hundred years old,
and its numerous cross paths beautifully graded,
bevelled, and adorned with variegated trees, is
considered as one of the most delightful prome-
nades in the world. One of its greatest charms
is irt the diversified natural surface which it pre-
sents ; and one of the most gratifying proofs of
the good taste of the Bostonians is seen in the
care which has been taken to obliterate as little
as possible, by any artificial embellishments,
those lineaments of nature which are universally
pleasing. This beautiful ground is enclosed by
a costly iron fence one mile and two hundred
and seventeen yards in length, with elegant
granite gateways at two of the opposite angles.
Near the centre is a beautiful little pond, out of
the midst of which a fountain, supplied from the
Boston Water Works, sends up its massive and
jet d'eau from 80 to 90 feet into the air.
The fountain also displays, at will, many other
pleasing forms, having an affluent supply of wa-
ter, and a head which presses upon it like one of
nature's illimitable forces. This extensive and
beautiful public ground is an inestimable boon
to the citizens of Boston. Its position, partly on
the north-western declivity of Beacon Hill, with
a public garden of about 25 acres lying still be-
yond it, keeping its whole western margin open
to Charles River and to the distant landscape as
far as the eye can reach, secures the free ingress
of the most exhilarating and healthful influences
of the climate to the very centre of the city. As
a field for military parades, civic processions, and
grand commemorative banquets, the Common
has been honorably distinguished. On the an-
nual gala day of the republic, it presents, in
pleasant weather, a most joyous and sublime
spectacle. The people of the city, and of the
country for many miles around, the native born
and the adopted citizen, young men and maid-
ens, old men and children, here meet as in a
grand levee, under the mutual restraints of self-
respect, courtesy, and decorum, and in the con-
scious enjoyment of a dignity and happiness
which fall to the lot of the populace of no other
country on the globe. It is seldom that any un-
seemly rudeness or vulgarity offends the eye or
ear on these public occasions: especially since
intoxicating liquors have been excluded from
the refreshment stands upon the streets. It is
estimated that not less than 100,000 persons
have been present at the usual display of fire-
works in the evening; and yet, within a half
hour after the entertainment is over, this vast
multitude will have retired, without disorder,
leaving the Common and its vicinity to its ac-
customed silence and repose.

Some of the most elegant streets in Boston
are those which front upon the Common ; viz.,
Beacon, Park, Tremont, and Boylston Streets.
Beacon Street, especially, for grandeur of eleva-
tion, extent and beauty of prospect, and the
splendor of its long line of palace residences,
culminating with the State House on the summit
of the hill, will compare to advantage with the
most celebrated streets and terraces in the Euro-
pean cities.

Other parts of the city, also, are built with
great elegance, though almost invariably with-
out fanciful decorations or other ostentatious
display. The material mostly used for private
residences is brick, with the Quincy granite
for the basement stories and foundations. A
style of building with circular or swelled fronts
prevails in Boston, among houses of the first
class, which imparts an air of graceful elegance
to the external structure, and admits of a beau-
tiful finishing within. The Boston houses are
distinguished for the variety and perfection of
their interior accommodations and means of
comfort, in which respect many dwellings of the
most wealthy surpass those of all other cities in
the country. A very massive, and at the same
time beautiful, style of building is adopted for
the largest class of stores, warehouses, and blocks
upon the wharves, for which the Quincy gran-
ite is made use of, either finely hammered or
merely split and jointed, according to the design
of the structure or the degree of architectural
symmetry intended.

Among the public buildings most Worthy of
notice, the State House may first be mentioned,
as occupying the most elevated and commanding
situation, and giving character to the distant
view of Boston, from whatever direction it is
approached. This fine building stands on Bea-
con Hill, fronting the malls and Common, at
an elevation of 110 feet above the sea. The
site was purchased from the estate of John
Hancock, the patriot, and is termed, in the deed,
“ Governor Hancock's pasture." The venerable
mansion of Governor Hancock is hard by, and
, is the only relic of the olden time which main-
tains its ground on Beacon Street against the
march of modern improvements. The corner
stone of the State House was laid on the 4th of
July, 1795, by the venerable
Samuel Adams,
who succeeded Hancock as governor of the
commonwealth. The edifice is 73 feet in front
and 61 feet deep. The height to the lantern
upon the top of the dome is 110 feet. The dome
itself is 50 feet in diameter and 30 feet in height.
It consists externally of a basement story and of
a principal story 30 feet high. The centre be-
tween the wings is 94 feet in length, the front of
which, on the basement, is formed of arches ad-
vanced 14 feet from the walls, and supporting a
colonnade of Corinthian columns above, of the
same extent. The Hall of the Representatives
is in the centre of the principal story, the Senate
Chamber.occupies the east wing, and the Cham-
ber of the Governor and Council the west wing.
Upon the first floor are the offices of the sec-
retary, treasurer, and board of education, the
state library, &c. In a recess built for the
purpose, in the rear of the lower hall of en-
trance, stands the beautiful statue of Washington
by Chantrey, presented to the state in 1827, by
the Washington Monument Association.

The view from the top of the State House is
very extensive, and probably combines a greater
variety of interesting features than any other view
in the United States. The whole city lies as on
a map immediately under the observer's eye. On
the N. and. W. the county of Middlesex, with its
cities, towns, and villas, the venerable halls of
Harvard, the sacred field and towering monument
of Bunker Hill; on the S. the county of Norfolk,
with its granite hills and luxuriant vales, studded
with towns, and spires, and farm houses; and on
the E. the harbor and the ocean, with a hundred
islands, traversed by the ships of every clime, all

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