About Back Bay
About Back Bay
Back Bay is an officially recognized neighborhood of Boston that is a well planned mixture of upscale residential, retail and commercial space. It’s boundaries are defined as the Charles River on the North, Arlington Street to Park Square on the East, Huntington Avenue and Dalton Street on the South and Charlesgate East on the West. Back Bay along with Beacon Hill are considered to be Boston’s most expensive neighborhoods. Many people know Back Bay for Newbury Street, the Hancock Tower and the Prudential Center, but what most don’t realize is that this neighborhood was, in fact, before it was filled in, literally the “Back Bay” of Boston.
|Schools||School Stats||School List|
Over years the landscape of Boston has changed drastically. It used to be that a wide bay opened between Boston and Cambridge with the Charles River entering at the west side. In 1814, the Boston and Roxbury Mill Corporation was chartered to construct a mill dam, which would also serve as a toll road connecting Boston to Watertown. This toll road is now buried underneath present-day Beacon Street.
In 1857, Boston would begin a dramatic change when the filling of the tidewater flats of the Charles River began. Six miles of rail were constructed to Needham, Massachusetts with 35 train cars that made 16 trips a day to the Back Bay. In 1882, the filling of present-day Back Bay was completed. Filling would later reach Kenmore Square in 1890 and would finish in 1900 in the Fens. This project that began in 1820 more than doubled the size of the original Boston peninsula.
The Back Bay development was planned by architect Arthur Gilman with Gridley James Fox Bryant. Back Bay would be greatly influenced by the renovation of Paris in the mid-to later 19th century as the main thoroughfares of Back Bay emphasize order, with wide, parallel, tree-lined avenues and more homogenous architectural styles. Five east and west corridors run the length of Back Bay with all being one-way streets with the exception of Commonwealth Avenue. The north-south cross streets are also one way and named alphabetically starting at the Public Garden.
The Back Bay market continues to be one of the better performing markets in the Boston area. 406 properties changed hands according the MLS in 2008. 3 of these homes were single family homes with an average list price of $3,431,667 and an average sale price of $3,133,333 or 91.31% of their listing price. On average it took 272 days for a single family property to sell in the Back Bay with the range of list prices at $1,950,000 to $5,200,000 and the range of sold prices at $2,100,000 to $4,900,000. This is compared to 2007 when 5 single family homes sold for an average price of $3,235,000 while taking on average 164 days on the market. In 2008 median price of homes in the Back Bay area decreased 3.14% while it took homes 65.45% longer to sell.
The Back Bay condominium market faired a differently then the Single Family market, but posted some very impressive results compared to the rest of the country. In 2008 401 condos sold making up nearly 99% of all activity in Back Bay. The average condo sold for $997,672 while taking 103 days to sell in 2008. This is a 15.03% increase in sales prices when compared to 2007’s average price of $867,325. There were 50 fewer condos listed and it took on average 105 days to sell in 2007. This is a 11.09% drop in sales volume with a drop of 2.25% in the days on market for the group. The range of the listing prices in the area were $175,000 to $8,355,000 and the sale range of $155,000 to $8,350,000. Based on these figures, on average a Back Bay Condo owner received 94.99% of their asking price in 2008.
Least, but not forgotten is the Multi-Family properties that sold in 2008 according to the MLS. In 2008 there were 2 properties that sold with an average sales price of $5,733,050. These homes took on average 53 days to sell. The range of listing prices was $3,000,000 to $7,700,000 and sold prices of $2,441,000 to $9,025,000. The sellers of multi-family properties on average received 107.16% of their asking price.
***These figures are deemed reliable, but not guaranteed. Source MLSPIN.
- Trinity Church – Regarded as one of the finest buildings in America
- Boston Public Library
- John Hancock Tower – A 60 story high dark blue glass tower and is the largest sky scraper in New England.
- Arlington Street Church – First church to be built in the newly-filled Back Bay
- Berkeley Building - One of Boston’s more famous buildings. Many people will recognize it as the building in the hit TV show Boston Legal.
- Stephen L. Brown Building – First of the three Hancock buildings
- The Old John Hancock Building - The second of the three Hancock buildings.
- Gibson House Museum – A well-preserved row house
- The Colonnade Hotel – A luxury hotel built in 1971 that helped usher the renaissance of the neighborhood
- Prudential Tower (111 Huntington Avenue) – Built in 2002, this 36 story tower is Boston’s eighth tallest building in Boston and features a frame dome and crown with a 1.2 acre fully landscaped park called the South Garden.
- Charles River Reservation - Beautiful park that stretches from boston Harbor up the river for 20 miles. The Charles River Basin can be found at the lower half of the reservation near downtown Boston.
- Charles River Basin - The Basin is two and one-half miles long and provides some of the best images of Boston. On this beautiful walk you will find breath taking views of the Boston skyline. Here you will find the Teddy Ebersol Red Sox Field, Magazine Beach, Herter Park and the Storrow Memorial Embankment (Known as the Esplanade) that is best known for the Hatch Shell.
The Boston Public Schools (BPS) continues to improve, but like most things still have room for improvement. Over the past decade, BPS has been transformed from a failing school district to one of the most renowned urban school districts in the country. Over the past couple years many media outlets have heralded Boston as a model for urban school district reform. These publications included the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and U.S. News & World Report. In fact, in 2006, Boston won the Broad Prize for Urban Education as the best city school district in the nation.
Since 1998, the City of Boston has constructed six new school buildings and will be home to 24 pilot schools in September 2009 with an anticipated four more being opened in the near future. Today, Boston offers 38 citywide high school options with 27 housing less than 400 students. U.S News & World Report recently ranked Boston Latin School #27 on the first list of America’s 100 Best High Schools with 8 other BPS schools receiving metals of silver and bronze.
This isn’t the only “first” that BPS has received! In 1635 Boston was home to the first public school (Boston Latin School) and would later open the first public elementary school in 1639 (Mather Elementary School). In 1647 Boston became place to the first public school district with the first public high school following in 1821 (English High School). It is because of these many “firsts” that Boston Public Schools are considered the birthplace of public education in this nation.
Striving to improve is the reason that BPS continues to push towards the advancement of education through technology. In 1996, there was one computer for every 63 students, today the ratio is one computer for every four students. In 1998, Boston became the first urban school district in the country to provide high speed internet access and wire all of its schools.
Boston’s Student assignment plan for elementary and middle schools divides the city into three zones. Beacon Hill falls in the North Zone. Parents can apply for schools within their school zone. All high schools are city wide.
|Mass Comprehensive Assessment System|
|*Comparison of students passed from 2007 & 2008|
BOSTON PUBLIC SCHOOL REPORT CARD
***Facts and figures are based off of www.bostonpublicschools.org. Information deemed reliable, but not guaranteed.
|Name of Private School:|
|The Newman School|
|Learning Project Elementary|
|Kingsley Montessori School|
|Name of Public School:|
|Samuel Adams Elementary School||Boston International High School|
|Dante Alighieri Elementary School||Boston Latin Academy|
|Blackstone Elementary School||Boston Latin School|
|Manassah E. Bradley Elementary School||Brighton High School|
|East Boston Early Education Center||Jeremiah E. Burke|
|Eliot Elementary School||Carter Developmental Center|
|Ralph Waldo Emerson Elementary School||Charlestown High School|
|Farragut Elementary School||Community Academy|
|Thomas Gardner Elementary School||Dorchester High School|
|James A. Garfield Elementary School||Boston Adult Technical Academy|
|Curtis Guild Elementary School||Boston Day and Evening Academy|
|Alexander Hamilton Elementary School||Brook Farm Business and Service Career Academy|
|Harvard-Kent Elementary School||Community Academy of Science and Health|
|Joseph J. Hurley Elementary School||East Boston High School|
|Jackson Mann Elementary School||The Engineering School|
|Patrick J. Kennedy Elementary School||English High School|
|Mary Lyon Elementary School||Excel High School|
|Samuel W. Mason Elementary School||Fenway High School|
|Donald McKay School||Greater Egleston Community High School|
|North Zone ELC||Health Careers Academy (Horace Mann Charter School)|
|Hugh R. O'Donnell Elementary School||Hyde Park High School|
|Orchard Gardens School||Horace Mann School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing|
|James Otis Elementary School||William McKinley Middle School|
|Josiah Quincy Elementary School||William McKinley South End Academy|
|Maurice J. Tobin School||Media Communications Technology High School|
|Warren Prescott Elementary School||Middle School Academy|
|Winship Elementary School||Monument High School|
|John Winthrop Elementary School||New Mission High School|
|Dearborn Middle School||Noonan Business Academy|
|Thomas A. Edison Junior High School||John D. O'Bryant High School of Mathematics & Science|
|Clarence R. Edwards Middle Schol||Odyssey High School|
|Umana/Barnes Middle School||Parkway Academy of Technology and Health|
|Samuel Adams Elementary School||Muriel Snowden International School|
|Rafael Hernandez School||Social Justice Academy|
|King Middle School||Technical Boston Academy|
|Mission Hill School||Urban Science Academy|
|James P. Timilty Middle School||West Roxbury Education Complex|
|Young Achievers School||Egleston Community High School|
|Academy of Public Service||Expulsion Alterantive School|
|Another Course to College||Madison Park High School|
|Boston Arts Academy||South Boston High School|
|Boston Community Leadership Academy|