Commonwealth Avenue Mall
Commonwealth Avenue Mall is a grand allée of shade trees forming the central axis of the Back Bay, connecting the Public Garden to the Back Bay Fens. Designed by Arthur Gilman, who was inspired by the new Parisian boulevards, the Mall was set out from 1858 to the 1870s under the Back Bay Development Plan. From its inception, the Mall has been a vital amenity for both residents and visitors. Winston Churchill praised it as “the grandest boulevard in North America.”
Originally planted with American and European elm trees, the Mall today is a mixture of hardy large-scale shade trees. Even though the sculptures were not part of Gilman’s plan for the long, uninterrupted allée of trees, they have become a focal point for people’s enjoyment. Today, the trees, sculptures, benches, and walkway are important elements of this historic park.