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Boston -- Boston Public Garden

Object Details

The Boston Public Garden was established in 1837 and encompasses about 24 acres in the heart of the city. Along with the Boston Common it forms the northern end of the Emerald Necklace, Frederick Law Olmsted's grand design for a string of parks running from downtown Boston to Franklin Park. The park developed informally until 1859, when a plan by George F. Meacham was finally selected to provide a more formal design. City engineer James Slade and forester John Galvin made modifications to the plan and laid out the paths and plantings. A highlight of the design is the pond or lagoon, home to the iconic Swan Boats, which began operating in 1877. Parterres, other flower beds and planting areas, statues, and numerous specimen trees are featured landscape elements. The Public Garden was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972 and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1987.
Persons associated with the garden include George F. Meacham (landscape architect, 1859); James Slade (civil engineer, ca. 1860); and John Galvin (forester, ca. 1860).
Landscape architect
Meacham, George F., 1831-1917
Civil engineer
Slade, James
Galvin, John
Collection Creator
Garden Club of America
Boston Public Garden (Boston, Massachusetts)
Emerald Necklace (Boston, Massachusetts)
United States of America -- Massachusetts -- Suffolk County -- Boston
Gardens -- Massachusetts -- Boston
Landscape architect
Meacham, George F., 1831-1917
Civil engineer
Slade, James
Galvin, John
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The Garden Club of America collection
The Garden Club of America collection / Series 1: United States Garden Images / Massachusetts
A project to describe images in this finding aid received Federal support from the Smithsonian Collections Care Initiative, administered by the National Collections Program.
Archival Repository
Archives of American Gardens
AAG.GCA, File MA056
Archival materials
Collection Citation
Smithsonian Institution, Archives of American Gardens, The Garden Club of America collection.
Collection Rights
Archives of American Gardens encourages the use of its archival materials for non-commercial, educational and personal use under the fair use provision of U.S. copyright law. Use or copyright restrictions may exist. It is incumbent upon the researcher to ascertain copyright status and assume responsibility for usage. All requests for duplication and use must be submitted in writing and approved by Archives of American Gardens. Please direct reference inquiries to the Archives of American Gardens:
Garden has been featured in Mary M. B. Wakefield, "The Boston Public Garden, Showcase of the City," Arnoldia, Vol. 48, No. 3 (Summer 1988), pp. 32-47. Garden has been featured in Anne Bernays, "The Green Heart of the Hub," The New York Times (Sunday, May 17, 1998), p. 10TR+.
Scope and Contents
The folders include worksheets, photocopies of articles, brochures, a tree list, maps, and additional information about the site.
Collection Restrictions
Access to original archival materials by appointment only. Researcher must submit request for appointment in writing. Certain items may be restricted and not available to researchers. Please direct reference inquiries to the Archives of American Gardens:
Related Materials
Boston Public Garden related holdings consist of 2 folders (10 photographic prints; 3 slides (photographs); 1 safety film negative)
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J. Horace McFarland Collection, 1900-1961.
Large EAD
Record ID
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