What are the Boston Bricks?

In a small alley in Boston’s Financial District, there’s a collection of bricks representing Boston’s history. You can find them on Winthrop Lane, between Otis Street and Arch Street. It’s just a few blocks away from Boston Common, and it’s also not far from the Freedom Trail. The visit will only take about five to 10 minutes, but it’s definitely worth the stop.

Credit: Emily Wisner 

There are about 100 bricks depicting different events that are part of Boston’s history, including the Boston Tea Party, the Fenway Victory Gardens, the Great Molasses Flood, the Stamp Act, the first post office, the swan boats in the public garden, and whale watching. One of the best ones is an image of crazy Boston drivers, shown as a monster behind the wheel of a car.

Credit: Emily Wisner 

According to Atlas Obscura, the Browne Fund and A. W. Perry and Ryan Associates funded the project. Artists Kate Burke and Gregg LeFevre crafted the bricks, which were installed in 1985. Each bronze brick is raised slightly above the others so people’s shoes will polish them as they walk by.

Credit: Emily Wisner 

The Boston Bricks are an example of all the amazing public art in Boston. From large installations, like the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway, to hidden stained glass windows, the city has something for everyone.

Next time you’re walking through the city, take your time to appreciate your surroundings. You never know, there could be art right under your feet!


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