Explore Boston

5 Ways For Architecture Buffs to Sightsee In Boston

Your guide to Boston's urban topography

As Boston inches its way toward 400 years of history, its constructed landscape becomes a bigger mix of old and new. Here’s how architecture buffs can best check it out.

Boston By Foot

Architecture and history are two top topics of Boston By Foot walking tours. “Reinventing Boston: A City Engineered” is a regular on the calendar, but others like “Architectural Darwinism: Which Buildings Stand the Test of Time” and “Art Deco in Boston’s Financial District” can be arranged as private tours.

Boston By Foot explores the architecture of the North End
Boston By Foot explores the architecture of the North End (Courtesy Boston By Food)

Context Tours

PhD-level experts lead these tours that are perfect for intellectually curious travelers. The three-hour “Boston’s Big Dig: Transforming A Cityscape” jaunt covers urban planning, topography and corruption related to this notorious engineering project.

Architecture Cruises

Hop aboard a charming riverboat on the Charles River to take in architecture on both the Boston and Cambridge banks. Fun facts abound; here’s one: Beacon Hill’s three original peaks were scraped down to use as fill in the early 19th century.

SA+P Wolk Gallery

MIT’s Wolk Gallery focuses on art and design in the fields of architecture and urban planning, featuring regular exhibitions. A recent example: “Gothicness: On the Strangeness of Rib Details, by Brandon Clifford.”

Wolk Gallery entrance at MIT
Wolk Gallery entrance at MIT (©Brandon Clifford)

In-house Art & Architecture Tours

Many individual historic sites across the Hub offer regular Art & Architecture tours. Among them: Boston Athenaeum, Boston Public Library and Trinity Church, and on singular occasions the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and New England Historical Genealogical Society.