For an area only about a square mile in size, Beacon Hill holds an outsized place in the popular imagination. Think historic Boston, and you’ll find yourself picturing Beacon Hill. With its Federal rowhouses, steep gas-lit streets and brick sidewalks, plus its easy access to everything—the Back Bay, South End, Theater and Financial Districts—Beacon Hill remains one of the most prized neighborhoods in New England.
About Beacon Hill
In 1708, Beacon Street was just a cow path to the Boston Common. But by the late 1700s, noted architect Charles Bulfinch was drawing opulent plans for Beacon Hill. Beautiful mansions and row houses appeared in the early 1800s, and Beacon Hill’s South Slope became the center of “Boston Brahmin” wealth and influence for the next century.
Meanwhile, its Flat of the Hill and North Slope welcomed abolitionists, shopkeepers, workers, sailors and waves of immigrants. From post-Civil War into the early 20th century, new brick buildings, tenements and townhouses replaced older homes of brick and wood.
But early preservation efforts also came to Beacon Hill. Beginning In 1922, neighborhood associations worked to control new development and demolition. And by 1962, Beacon Hill was designated a National Historic Landmark. Today much of Beacon Hill remains intact, from its celebrated streets to its strikingly beautiful homes.
Perhaps because it is relatively small, Beacon Hill offers a warm, village-and-community vibe. Neighbors will say hello on the street, help shovel snow and give warnings if your car is about to get towed. And while it has a reputation for housing “Boston blue-bloods,” in today’s Beacon Hill, this is often no longer the case.
Historically, Beacon Hill is split into three main sections: the Flat of the Hill, the South Slope and the North Slope. Charles Street, known for its boutiques, independently owned restaurants and coffee shops, is the main commercial thoroughfare. And although a chain or two might have crept in, for the most part Charles Street businesses remain small and personal.
For those who love the variety of Boston, Beacon Hill truly is at its heart, overseen by the golden-domed State House, close to the Black Heritage Trail, the Public Garden and the Charles River Esplanade. Charlestown too is within easy access, as is Kendall Square in Cambridge. Brimming with interesting shops, restaurants and historic sites, Beacon Hill exerts a magnetic pull—as it has for over 300 years.
Is Now A Good Time To Buy Real Estate In Beacon Hill?
It’s always a good time to buy here. Beacon Hill is a small neighborhood and its inventory of homes for sale is typically very low; condos and apartments are what usually come to market. However, with perhaps the greatest number of single family homes in Boston, special opportunities do arise. Beacon Hill continues to attract the buyer who values traditional detail, old world charm and is comfortable managing without private parking.