Boston, Massachusetts

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Boston, Massachusetts
City flag City seal
City nickname: Beantown, The Hub (of the Solar System), Athens of America

Location in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
County Suffolk County
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

232.1 km² (89.6 mi²)
125.4 km² (48.4 mi²)
106.7 km² (41.2 mi²) 46%
 - Total (2000)
 - Density

5.8 million (metro area), 589,141 (city proper)
1,813.2/km² (4,696.9 /mi²)
Time zone Eastern: UTC–5
Location 42° 21′ 0″ N, 71° 3′ 60″ W
Mayor Thomas Menino (Dem)
For other instances of Boston, see Boston (disambiguation)

Boston is the capital and largest city in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the United States. It is the unofficial capital of the region known as New England. Boston is also one of the oldest, wealthiest, and most expensive places to live in the United States. Its economy is based on education, health care, finance, and technology.

Boston has many nicknames. The City on a Hill came from the original Massachusetts Bay Colony's governor John Winthrop's goal to create the biblical "City on a Hill." It also refers to Boston's original three hills. Beantown refers to early Bostonian merchants' habit for making baked beans with imported molasses. The Hub is a shortened form of writer Oliver Wendell Holmes's phrase The Hub of the Solar System. William Tudor, co-founder of the North American Review, christened the city The Athens of America for its great cultural and intellectual influence. For Boston's role in instigating the American Revolution, it is also sometimes called The Cradle of Liberty. People from Boston are called Bostonians.

The city lies at the center of the Boston CMSA (Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area), the seventh largest in the United States. The area encompasses parts of the states of New Hampshire, Maine, and Connecticut. The city also lies at the center of Greater Boston, which also includes the cities of Cambridge, Brookline, Quincy, and many suburban communities farther from Boston.



Main article: History of Boston, Massachusetts
The 18th-century Old State House in Boston is surrounded by tall buildings of the 19th and 20th centuries.
The 18th-century Old State House in Boston is surrounded by tall buildings of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Boston was founded on September 17, 1630, on a peninsula called Shawmut by its original Native American inhabitants. The peninsula was connected to the mainland by a narrow isthmus, and surrounded by the waters of Massachusetts Bay and the marshes at the mouth of the Charles River. Boston's early European settlers first called the area Trimountain. They later renamed the town for Boston, England, in Lincolnshire, from which several prominent colonists emigrated. A majority of Boston's early citizens were Puritans, and Massachusetts Bay Colony Governor John Winthrop's famous sermon, "a City upon a Hill," captured the idea that Boston had a special covenant with God. Puritan ethics molded an extremely stable and well-structured society in Boston. Hard work, moral uprightness, and an emphasis on education remain part of the culture. The first school in America, Boston Latin School (1635), and the first college in America, Harvard College (1636), were founded shortly after Boston's European settlement.

During the early 1770s, British attempts to exert more control on the original thirteen colonies, particularly with taxation, caused Bostonians to initiate events that led to the American Revolution. The Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party, and several early battles occurred in or near the city, including the Battle of Lexington and Concord, Battle of Bunker Hill, and the Siege of Boston. During this period, Paul Revere made his famous midnight ride.

After the Revolution, Boston became one of the world's wealthiest international trading ports, with Boston merchants exporting products such as rum, fish, salt, and tobacco. Boston was chartered as a city in 1822. By the mid-1800s, manufacturing overtook trade in prominence, and to the early 1900s Boston was one of the largest manufacturing centers in the nation. It was noted for its garment production, leather goods, and machinery industries. The city also became renowned for its rarefied literary culture and artistic patronage, as well as a center for the abolitionist movement.

In the 1820s, Boston's ethnic composition began to change dramatically; groups like the Irish and Italians moved into the city and brought with them Roman Catholicism. Catholics currently make up Boston's largest religious community, and the Irish played a major role in Boston politics through prominent figures such as the Kennedys and John F. Fitzgerald. Other groups immigrating to Boston included Canadians and Russians. The city increased its physical size by land reclamation, filling in marshes and mud flats on each side of the isthmus to create the Back Bay and South End neighborhoods, and by filling gaps between wharves along the waterfront. Boston also annexed nearby communities of East Boston, Dorchester and Charlestown.

Scollay Square, Boston, in the 1880s
Scollay Square, Boston, in the 1880s

From the late 1800s until the mid-1900s, Boston earned a reputation for intolerance, discipline, and prudishness. The phrase "Banned in Boston" was used to describe a literary work, motion picture, or play prohibited from distribution or exhibition. During this time, Boston city officials took it upon themselves to "ban" anything that they found to be salacious, immoral, or offensive. Boston's infamous "vice squad" found favor amongst the ruling-class Brahmins, who claim to be descendants of the city's Protestant founders, and working-class Catholics. Consequently, Boston became perceived as less sophisticated than many cities without strict censorship practices. The phrase "banned in Boston" became associated in the popular mind with something sexy and lurid.

By the early and mid-20th century, the city was in decline as factories became old and obsolete, and businesses moved out of the region for cheaper labor elsewhere. Boston responded by initiating various urban renewal projects, including the demolition of the old West End neighborhood and the construction of Government Center. In the 1970s, Boston boomed after thirty years of economic downturn, becoming a leader in the mutual fund industry. Boston already had a reputation for excellent healthcare services. Hospitals such as Massachusetts General Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and Brigham and Women's Hospital led the nation in medical innovation and patient care. Universities such as Harvard, MIT, and Boston University attracted many students to the Boston area. Nevertheless, the city experienced conflict starting in 1974 over desegregation busing, which resulted in unrest and violence around public schools throughout the mid-1970s. The unrest served to highlight racial tensions in the city.

Over the past several decades, Boston has experienced a dramatic loss of regional institutions and traditions, which once gave it a very distinct social character. Boston has begun to resemble other parts of the continuous string of Northeast seaboard cities dubbed the BosWash megalopolis. Despite such losses, Boston's streets currently bustle with a vitality not seen since the 1920s; crime and poverty remain very low for an American city. Once again Boston has become a hub of intellectual, technological, and political ideas. However, the city faces gentrification issues and exorbitant living costs.

Geography and climate


A simulated-color satellite image of the Boston area taken on NASA's Landsat 3.
A simulated-color satellite image of the Boston area taken on NASA's Landsat 3.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 232.1 km² (89.6 mi²). 125.4 km² (48.4 mi²) of it is land and 106.7 km² (41.2 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 46.0% water. With an elevation of 19 feet (5.8 m) above sea level at Logan International Airport, Boston is bordered by the cities of Winthrop, Revere, Chelsea, Everett, Somerville, Cambridge, Watertown, Newton, Brookline, Needham, Dedham, Canton, Milton, and Quincy—often known as, and considered a part of, Greater Boston.

Much of the Back Bay and South End are built on reclaimed land—two and a half of Boston's three original hills were used as a source of material for landfill. Only Beacon Hill, the smallest of the three original hills, remains partially intact. The downtown area and immediate surroundings consist mostly of low-rise brick or stone buildings, with many older buildings in the Federal style. Several of these buildings mix in with modern high-rises, notably in the Financial District, Government Center, Back Bay, and the South Boston waterfront. To this day, the South End Historical District remains the nation's largest surviving contiguous Victorian-era neighborhood. Smaller commercial areas are interspersed amongst single-family homes and wooden/brick multifamily row houses.

The Charles River separates Boston proper from Cambridge, Watertown, and the neighborhood of Charlestown. To the east lies Boston Harbor and the Boston Harbor Islands, many of which are part of the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area, operated by the National Park Service. The Neponset River forms the boundary between Boston's southern neighborhoods and the cities of Quincy and Milton. The Mystic River separates the neighborhoods of East Boston and Charlestown from Chelsea and Everett.


The weather in Boston, like much of New England, changes rapidly. It is not uncommon for the city to experience temperature swings of 54 °F (30 °C) or more over the course of several days. The summers are typically warm and humid, while the winters are cold and windy. It has been known to snow in October and get quite warm in February. The hottest month is August, with an average high of 80 °F (27 °C) and a low of 64 °F (18 °C). The coldest month is January, with an average high of 36 °F (2.2 °C) and a low of 22 °F (−5.6 °C).[1] Brief periods exceeding 100;°F in summer and 0;°F in winter are not uncommon. The city averages 42 in (1,100 mm) of rainfall a year. It also coincidentally averages 42 in (110 cm) of snowfall a year, though this increases dramatically as one goes inland away from the city


Historical populations[2]

1790 18,320
1800 24,937
1810 33,787
1820 43,298
1830 61,392
1840 93,383
1850 136,881
1860 177,840
1870 250,526
1880 362,839
1890 448,477
1900 560,892
1910 670,585
1920 748,060
1930 781,188
1940 770,816
1950 801,444
1960 697,197
1970 641,071
1980 562,994
1990 574,283
2000 589,141
2004 569,165 (estimated)

As of the census2 of 2000, there were 589,141 people, 239,528 households, and 115,212 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,697/km² (12,166/mi²). There were 251,935 housing units at an average density of 2,009/km² (5,203/mi²). The Irish are the largest ethnic group in the city of Boston, and Boston is commonly considered the capital of "Irish America". The racial makeup of the city was 54.48% White, 25.33% Black or African American, 0.40% Native American, 7.52% Asian American, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 7.83% from other races, and 4.39% from two or more races. 14.44% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. These figures became less reliable because of the large, partly undocumented Brazilian population, estimated by some studies to approach 250,000 in Massachusetts. Census data did not account for this significant segment of the community because of confusing terminology, as Brazilians speak Portuguese and often do not consider themselves specifically Hispanic, Latino, White or African American.

Per capita income in the greater Boston area, by US Census block group
Per capita income in the greater Boston area, by US Census block group

There were 239,528 households out of which 22.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 27.4% were married couples living together, 16.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 51.9% were non-families. 37.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 3.17.

In the city the population was spread out with 19.8% under the age of 18, 16.2% from 18 to 24, 35.8% from 25 to 44, 17.8% from 45 to 64, and 10.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $39,629, and the median income for a family was $44,151. Males had a median income of $37,435 versus $32,421 for females. The per capita income for the city was $23,353. 19.5% of the population and 15.3% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 25.6% of those under the age of 18 and 18.2% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.

Law and government

Boston has a "strong mayor" system in which the mayor is vested with extensive executive powers. The mayor is elected to a four-year term by plurality voting. The city council is elected every two years. There are nine wards or neighborhood seats, each elected by the residents of that ward through plurality voting, and four at-large seats. Each voter casts up to four votes for at-large councilors, no more than one vote per candidate. The candidates with the four highest vote totals are elected. The president of the city council is elected by the councilors from within themselves. The school committee is appointed by the mayor, as are city department heads. On the federal level, the city is in the 8th and 9th Congressional districts.

In addition to city government, numerous state authorities and commissions play a role in the life of Bostonians, including the Department of Conservation and Recreation and the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport), which operates Logan International Airport. Since the city is the capital of Massachusetts, Boston plays a major role in state politics. Boston is also the United States federal government center for New England. Properties include the John F. Kennedy Federal Office Building and the Thomas P. O'Neil Federal Building. The city also serves as the home of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit as well as the headquarters of the 1st District of the Federal Reserve.

Boston's low crime rate in the last years of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st has been credited to its police department's collaboration with neighborhood groups and church parishes to prevent youths from joining gangs, as well as heavy involvement from the District Attorney's office. The current DA for Suffolk County and Boston, Daniel F. Conley, spent nearly ten years working at reducing gang violence in the city. This helped lead in part to what has been touted as the "Boston Miracle," murders in the city dropped from 152 in 1990 (for a murder rate of 26.5 per 100,000 people) to just 31—not one of them a juvenile—in 1999 (for a murder rate of 5.26 per 100,000).

In more recent years, however, the annual murder count has fluctuated by as much as 50% compared to the year before, with 60 murders in 2002, followed by just 39 in 2003 and 64 in 2004. Though the figures are nowhere near the high-water mark set in 1990, the aberrations in the murder rate have been unsettling for many Bostonians and have prompted discussion over whether the Boston Police Department should reevaluate its approach to fighting crime.[3][4][5]

Boston has eight sister cities, as designated by Sister Cities International (SCI): Barcelona (Spain), Hangzhou (People's Republic of China), Kyoto (Japan), Melbourne (Australia), Padua (Italy), Strasbourg (France), Sekondi-Takoradi (Ghana), and Taipei (Taiwan). The city has thrice been a recipient of the All-America City Award, the oldest and most respected civic award in the U.S.


Boston's colleges and universities have a major impact on the city and region's economy. Not only are they major employers, but they also attract high-tech industries to the city and surrounding region, including computer hardware and software companies as well as biotechnology companies like Millennium Pharmaceuticals and Biogen Idec. Other important industries include financial services, especially mutual funds and insurance. Boston-based Fidelity Investments helped popularize the mutual fund in the 1980s, and has made Boston one of the top financial cities in the United States. The city is also the regional headquarters of major banks such as Bank of America and Sovereign Bank, and a center for venture capital. Boston is also a printing and publishing center. Textbook publisher Houghton Mifflin is headquartered within the city. The city is also a major convention destination with four major convention centers: the Hynes Convention Center in the Back Bay, the Bayside Expo Center in Dorchester, and the World Trade Center Boston and Boston Convention & Exhibition Center on the South Boston waterfront. Because of its status as a state capital and the regional home of federal agencies, law and government is another major component of the city's economy.

Major companies headquartered within the city include Gillette, owned by Proctor & Gamble, and Teradyne, one of the world's leading manufacturers of semiconductors and other electronic equipment. New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc. has its headquarters in the city. Other major companies are located outside the city, especially along Route 128. The Port of Boston is the largest and busiest seaport in Massachusetts. It is also a major seaport along the United States east coast as well as a major fishing port.

See also: Major companies in Greater Boston


Boston College's historic campus was originally dubbed Oxford in America for its English Collegiate Gothic architecture.
Boston College's historic campus was originally dubbed Oxford in America for its English Collegiate Gothic architecture.

Considered by ePodunk to be America's greatest college town amongst cities with 300,000 people or more,[6] Boston's reputation as the Athens of America derives in large part from the teaching and research activities of over 100 colleges and universities located in its metropolitan area. Boston College was the first institution of higher education established in the city. It was originally located in the South End before moving to Chestnut Hill, on the city's western edge. Its historic campus, initially envisioned as an Oxford in America, has subsequently expanded such that almost half of it is now within the city's political boundaries. Boston University, now the city's second largest employer and one of the largest private universities in the country, was originally established in Vermont before moving to Brookline and subsequently to its present campus in Boston's Back Bay in the 1950s. Harvard University, the nation's oldest and one of the most prestigious universities, is based across the Charles River in Cambridge, but has most of its current land holdings in Boston. These holdings include the Arnold Arboretum, and its business and medical schools. Harvard has also announced plans to expand its main campus across the Charles River into Boston's Allston neighborhood.

Boston Public Schools, the oldest public school system in the U.S., enrolls 58,600 students from kindergarten to grade 12. The system operates 145 schools, which includes Boston Latin School (the oldest public school, established in 1635), English High (the oldest public high school, established 1821), and Mather (the oldest public elementary school, established in 1639).[7] The city also has private, parochial, and charter schools. 3000 students of racial minorities attend participating suburban schools through the Metropolitan Educational Opportunity Council, or METCO.


Main article: Culture in Boston, Massachusetts
A summer day on the Charles River esplanade.
A summer day on the Charles River esplanade.

Boston shares many cultural roots with greater New England, including a dialect of the Eastern New England accent popularly known as Boston English, and a regional cuisine with a large emphasis on seafood and dairy products. Irish Americans are a major influence on Boston's politics and religious institutions and consequently on the rest of Massachusetts. Italian, Chinese, and Hispanic groups also have major contributions to Boston's cultural composition. Boston has its own collection of neologisms known as Boston slang.

Many consider Boston a highly cultured city, perhaps as a result of its intellectual reputation. Much of Boston's culture originates at its universities. The city also has a number of ornate theatres, including the Cutler Majestic Theatre and The Wang Center for the Performing Arts. Renowned performing arts groups include the Boston Ballet, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Boston Pops, Boston Lyric Opera Company, and the Handel and Haydn Society (the oldest choral company in the United States). There are a number of major annual events such as First Night, which occurs during New Year's Eve, and several events during the Fourth of July. These events include the weeklong Harborfest festivities and a Boston Pops concert accompanied by fireworks on the banks of the Charles River.


Main article: Media in Boston, Massachusetts

The Boston Globe, owned by the New York Times Company, and The Boston Herald are Boston's two major daily newspapers. The city is also served by a number of smaller publications such as The Boston Phoenix and The Improper Bostonian.

Boston has the largest broadcasting market in New England, with the Boston radio market being the eleventh largest in the United States.[8] Several major AM stations include talk radio WRKO 680 AM, sports/talk station WEEI 850 AM, and news radio WBZ 1030 AM. A variety of FM radio formats serve the area as well as NPR stations WBUR and WGBH. University radio stations include WZBC (Boston College), WERS (Emerson), and WUMB (UMass Boston).

The Boston television DMA, which also includes Manchester, New Hampshire, is the fifth largest in the United States.[9] The city is served by stations representing every major American network including WBZ 4 (CBS), WCVB 5 (ABC), WHDH 7 (NBC), WFXT 25 (FOX), WSBK 38 (UPN), and WLVI 56 (WB). Boston is also home to PBS station WGBH 2, which also operates WGBX 44. WGBH is a major producer of PBS programs. Most Boston television stations have their transmitters in nearby Needham and Newton.

Sites of interest

Faneuil Hall, looking at the east side
Faneuil Hall, looking at the east side
Main article: Sites of interest in Boston, Massachusetts

Because of the city's prominent role in the American Revolution, several historic sites relating to that period are preserved as part of the Boston National Historical Park. Many are found along the Freedom Trail, which is marked by a red line or bricks embedded in the ground. Also along the Freedom Trail is Boston Common, with the Boston Public Garden being adjacent. Boston Common is part of the Emerald Necklace, a string of parks designed by Frederick Law Olmstead. In the winter, the Frog Pond at Boston Common doubles as a popular ice-skating rink. Another major park is the Esplanade located along the banks of the Charles River. A major recreation site for many Bostonians, it is also the site of the Hatch Shell. Other parks are scattered throughout the city, with the major parks located near Castle Island, Charlestown, the Dorchester shoreline, and East Boston.

The Back Bay district includes many prominent landmarks such as the Christian Science Center, Boston Public Library, Copley Square, and Newbury Street. Back Bay is also the home of two of New England's tallest buildings: the John Hancock Tower and the Prudential Center.[10] Near the John Hancock Tower is the old John Hancock Building with its prominent weather forecast beacon. Other notable districts/neighborhoods include Beacon Hill, Charlestown, Chinatown, Downtown Crossing, North End, and South Boston.

Boston is home to several world-renowned museums, including the Museum of Fine Arts, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and the Museum of Science. The University of Massachusetts campus at Columbia Point houses the John Fitzgerald Kennedy Library. The New England Aquarium, Franklin Park Zoo, Boston Athenaeum (one of the oldest independent libraries in the United States), and the Boston Children's Museum are located within the city.

There are also two self-guided walking tours: Harbor Walk, which is designed to allow people the walk the entire shore of Boston Harbor, and the Black Heritage Trail. A popular guided tour is the Boston Duck Tours, which uses World War II-era duck boats. The outer suburbs of Boston, which tend to be forested, have vibrantly colored foliage every autumn that attracts many tourists.


A game at Fenway Park
A game at Fenway Park

The TD Banknorth Garden near North Station is the home of two major league teams: the Boston Bruins ice hockey team (National Hockey League) and the Boston Celtics basketball team (National Basketball Association). The Celtics have the distinction of having more World Championships than any other NBA team with 16 championships from 1957 to 1986.

The baseball team Boston Red Sox is a member of the American League of Major League Baseball. Their home at Fenway Park, located near Kenmore Square, is the oldest ballpark in active use in the United States. Boston was once the home of the National League baseball team Boston Braves as well as the site of the first World Series in 1903. The game was played between the Boston Americans (currently the Boston Red Sox) and the Pittsburgh Pirates.[11]

Boston sports fans also travel to nearby Foxboro, which is the home of the New England Patriots football team (National Football League) and the New England Revolution soccer team (Major League Soccer). Both teams play at Gillette Stadium. Another major league team is the lacrosse team Boston Cannons of Major League Lacrosse. The team plays at Boston University's Nickerson Field.

Boston's many colleges and universities field sports teams. The most prominent include Boston College (member of the Atlantic Coast Conference), Boston University (America East Conference), Northeastern University (Colonial Athletic Association), and Harvard University. The hockey teams of these four universities meet every year in an immensely popular four-team tournament known as the "Beanpot". The city is also the site of two other major annual sporting events: the Boston Marathon, the world-famous 26-mile run from Hopkinton to Copley Square in Boston, and the Head of the Charles Regatta rowing competition on the Charles River.


Health and medicine

As the home to some of the world's most respected research hospitals, Boston enjoys an international reputation in the medical field. The Longwood Medical Area is a region of Boston with a concentration of medical and research facilities, including Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Children's Hospital, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Harvard Medical School. Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Brigham and Women's Hospital were both formed by mergers: the former between Beth Israel Hospital and New England Deaconess Hospital, and the latter by Peter Bent Brigham Hospital and the Boston Hospital for Women. Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) is located near the Beacon Hill neighborhood, with the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital nearby. Boston also has VA medical centers in the Jamaica Plain and West Roxbury neighborhoods.

Many of Boston's major medical facilities are associated with universities. The facilities in the Longwood Medical Area and MGH are world-renowned research medical centers affiliated with Harvard Medical School. New England Medical Center, located in the southern portions of the Chinatown neighborhood, is affiliated with Tufts University. Boston Medical Center, located in the South End neighborhood, is the primary teaching facility for the Boston University School of Medicine as well as the largest trauma center in the Boston area; it was formed by the merger of Boston University Hospital and Boston City Hospital.


Main article: Boston transportation
Longfellow Bridge across the Charles River, with two MBTA Red Line trains.  The  Beacon Hill neighborhood is in the background.
Longfellow Bridge across the Charles River, with two MBTA Red Line trains. The Beacon Hill neighborhood is in the background.

Logan International Airport, located in the East Boston neighborhood, is the major airport serving Boston. Another airport serving the city and surrounding areas is Hanscom Field in Lexington and Bedford. T. F. Green Airport in Providence, Rhode Island, and Manchester Airport in Manchester, New Hampshire, are airports outside Massachusetts which serve as secondary facilities.

Boston's streets appear as though they were not planned, evolving from centuries-old foot and cow paths. Except for the reclaimed Back Bay and part of South Boston, the city has no street grid. Boston has been described as a "City of Squares", referring to the tradition of naming the intersections of major thoroughfares after prominent city residents. Roads change names and lose and add lanes seemingly at random. The city also has a number of rotaries, which have confused many drivers.

Boston is the eastern terminus of I-90, also known as the Mass Pike. I-95, which surrounds the city, is known as Route 128. US 1 and I-93 runs north to south through the city. The most infamous portion, the Central Artery, runs through downtown Boston and was constantly prone to heavy traffic. Through the Big Dig the elevated highway was replaced with an underground tunnel.

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) operated the nation's first underground subway system, which has since been expanded to an extensive rapid transit system reaching as far north as Melrose, as far south as Braintree, and as far west as Waltham. Collectively known as the "T", the MBTA also operates an extensive network of bus lines and water shuttles, and a commuter rail network extending north to the Merrimack River valley, west to Worcester, and south to Providence, Rhode Island.

Amtrak's Northeast Corridor and Chicago lines originate at South Station and stop at Back Bay. Fast Northeast Corridor trains, which service New York City, Washington, D.C., and points in between, also stop at Route 128 Station in the southwestern suburbs of Boston. Meanwhile, Amtrak's Downeaster service to Maine originates at North Station.


Water supply and sewage-disposal services are provided by the Boston Water and Sewer Commission. The Commission in turn purchases wholesale water and sewage disposal from the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA). Established as a public authority in 1984, the MWRA pipes water from reservoirs in Western and Central Massachusetts, notably the Quabbin and Wachusett Reservoirs, for several communities within Greater Boston. The agency operates several facilities for sewage treatment, notably an effluent tunnel in Boston Harbor and the Deer Island Wastewater Treatment Plant near the mouth of Boston Harbor.

NSTAR distributes electric power to the city. Natural gas is provided by KeySpan Corporation (the successor company to Boston Gas). Verizon, successor to New England Telephone, NYNEX, and Bell Atlantic, is the primary telephone service provider for the area. Cable television and cable broadband internet are provided by Comcast, RCN, and Verizon in select communities.

See also


  1. ^ Records and Averages - Boston (2005). Yahoo! Weather. Accessed September 13, 2005.
  2. ^ Population of the 100 Largest Cities and Other Urban Places in the United States: 1790 to 1990 (June 1998). U.S. Census Bureau.
  3. ^  Winship, Christopher (March 2002). End of a Miracle? Harvard University.
  4. ^ Boston Police Department's Monthly Crime Statistics (2005).
  5. ^ Boston MA Crime Statistics (2004 - New Crime Data).
  6. ^ Great College Towns. ePodunk. April, 2002.
  7. ^ The Boston Public Schools at a Glance (2004). Boston Public School. Accessed October 5, 2005.
  8. ^ Arbitron - Market Ranks and Schedule, 1-50 (Fall 2005).
  9. ^ Nielsen Media - DMA Listing (September 24, 2005).
  10. ^ Boston Skyscrapers. Accessed May 15, 2005.
  11. ^ 1903 World Series - Major League Baseball: World Series History.


  • The Boston Indicators Project (2004). The Boston Foundation.
  • Ira Gershkoff and Richard Trachtman (2004) The Boston Driver's Handbook, Da Capo Press. ISBN 0306813262
  • Patricia Harris and David Lyon (1999) Boston, Oakland, CA: Compass American Guides. ISBN 0679002847
  • Howard Mumford Jones and Bessie Zaban Jones (1975) The Many Voices of Boston: A Historical Anthology 1630-1975, Boston: Little, Brown and Company. ISBN 0316472824
  • Rambow, John D. et. al (2003) Fodor's Boston, New York: Fodors Travel Publication. ISBN 1400010284
  • Vanderwarker, Peter (1982) Boston Then and Now, Courier Dover Publications. ISBN 0486243125

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