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The Flat of Beacon Hill

Come out amidst the annual holiday decorating of Beacon Hill and explore a gem of a neighborhood: The Flat of Beacon Hill. It's our annual tradition to usher in the holidays.

This walking tour is inspired by Samuel Eliot Morison's childhood memoir: One Boy's Boston. Discover Morison's neighborhood on this stroll through one of Boston's least known and most delightful areas.

The Flat of Beacon Hill is built on 19th century made land along the Charles River. The Flat is geologically part of Back Bay and culturally part of Beacon Hill, with the architecture of both.

This intimate patch os real estate soon acquired carriage houses and horse stables. Today, many of these buildings have been converted to charming residences and seamlessly blend among the notable landmarks such as the Charles Street Meeting House, the Church of the Advent, and the Sunflower Castle.

What do Sam 'Mayday' Malone, a fox terrier named Igloo, and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis have in common? They all know the Flat is where it's at!

The tour is $15 per person ($5 for Boston By Foot card-carrying members). See for information about joining Boston By Foot.


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  • Andy

    Excellent tour.

    December 3, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    terrific walk, I live in the western suburbs and I am familiar with the area but I had no idea of its rich history and character. And its always fun to learn how the 1% lived in the early 1900s :-)

    December 3, 2012

  • Mynetta

    Such a cool section of Beacon Hill. Margaret, as always, was awesome and enthusiastic

    December 3, 2012

  • Diane

    Fabulous afternoon. Full 90 minutes with extremely informative guide.

    December 2, 2012

  • Gretchen G

    The Flat is a great tour. It iss one of the most intriguing bits of Boston, a hidden gem!

    December 2, 2012

  • Todd

    An excellent, informative tour of a beautiful historic neighborhood — one I went to school in! It was great to see it again and to learn so much history about it.

    December 2, 2012

  • Gretchen G

    Another Fun Flat Fact: the community center on Mt Vernon Street will be familiar to those of a certain generation as the site of 'The Real World Boston'. For this tour we get to see it amidst of sea of lovely smelling fir trees and wreaths, such a great part of the season.

    1 · December 1, 2012

    • Fred R.

      It will be a great tour .

      December 1, 2012

  • Justin W.

    Fun Flat Fact: The 190-foot tower of the Church of the Advent houses a ring of 8 bells—cast and hung by Whitechapel Bell Foundry of London (maker of Big Ben and the Liberty Bell) in 1900. The Bellringers’ Guild can be heard ringing them, especially for the July 4th Esplanade Concert.

    November 27, 2012

  • Tom C.

    Another Fun Flat Fact: The Flat was home to navigational aviator, naval officer, and polar explorer Admiral Richard E. Byrd. The provisions for Admiral Byrd's second trip to the South Pole in 1933 included 2.5 tons of Necco Wafers, the signature candy of the New England Confectionery Company. That supplied about a pound/week for each of his men for their 2-year stay in Antarctica.

    November 13, 2012

    • Ginni

      the original energy boost! who needs gel energy packs--good 'ole sugar with natural flavor works for me!

      November 13, 2012

  • Justin W.

    Fun Flat Fact: Thomas A. Kershaw purchased the Hampshire House in 1969; since then it has been used as a restaurant and for special events. Just after Kershaw bought the property, he installed an authentic English-style pub in the basement. Called The Bull & Finch, it was created in England by a Canadian architect, shipped to Boston, and rebuilt. In 1982, it became the inspiration for the TV series Cheers (1982–93).

    November 9, 2012

30 went

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