Back Bay was built on reclaimed land in the Charles River basin. The project began as a way to build more luxury housing for Boston’s growing population. The project began in 1859 and was completed in 1900. Back Bay’s Victorian brownstones are considered some of the best examples of 19th-century urban design. While Back Bay was first created as a residential area, slowly over the 18th and 19th centuries residents and the City of Boston allowed the development of cultural buildings like the Boston Public Library. Back Bay is also home to Boston’s tallest building – the John Hancock Tower – as well as the Newbury Street shopping area, the Prudential Center, and major hotels. Back Bay’s official website is www.boston.gov/neighborhood/back-bay
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