United States > Massachusetts > Greater Boston > City of Boston > Fenway-Kenmore

Parts of the Fenway-Kenmore neighborhood feel like an extension of Back Bay, with brick and brownstone rowhouses, while the East Fens (with the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Symphony, and Northeastern University) are as densely developed as Brighton. The neighborhood is composed of several smaller sections: Audobon Circle, Kenmore Square, and the East and West Fens.

At one end, the neighborhood contains Fenway Park, the oldest Major League Baseball park in the United States, built in 1912. Next door, the Buckminster Hotel, designed by Stanford White, was home to the Black Sox scandal in 1919 – and inspired the scene in Godfather II where Hyman Roth declares, "I've loved baseball ever since Arnold Rothstein fixed the World Series in 1919." Above the neighborhood is one of the more unusual landmarks in Boston (and the United States) – the iconic Citgo sign over Kenmore Square. (Although Boston being Boston, the most architecturally-significant building on Columbia Point is a 19th-century sewage pumphouse, and one of the city's other defining symbols is the largest copyrighted piece of art in the world ... which is painted on a massive liquefied natural gas tank at Commercial Point which could destroy everything within a mile of it.)

At the other end, the neighborhood curves around the Frederick Law Olmsted-designed Fens, the Museum of Fine Arts, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and Symphony Hall, as well as the Boston Latin School – the nation's first public school, established 1635 (just ahead of the Mather School in 1639).

Strong academic presence. Schools within the neighborhood include the School of the Museum of Fine Arts (now affiliated with Tufts University), Berklee School of Music (now affiliated with Emerson), Emerson, Boston University, Art Institute of Boston (now affiliated with Lesley).

One of the neighborhood's landmarks is a gas station sign. Boston is a delightfully quirky city. It's beloved landmarks include, a former sewage pumping station (the 1884 pumphouse at Columbia Point, and a potentially-explosive liquefied natural gas tank at Commercial Point, and a CITGO gas station sign here in Fenway-Kenmore.

Crowds and parking issues on baseball game days. That headline really doesn't need another sentence of explanation. But seriously, don't even bother trying to get parking on a game day.

Built on reclaimed land. Fenway-Kenmore is one of many Boston neighborhoods that is built on, or expanded using, infilled land. The northern end of the neighborhood, by Kenmore Square, was originally a swampy area off of the Charles River. The southern end of the neighborhood, by the museums and universities, was swampland and marshes within the town of Roxbury until it was filled with Olmsted's plan for the Fens.

The large neighborhood has several distinct sections, including:

Audubon Circle was designed in 1887 by Frederick Law Olmsted as a tree-lined gateway to the Fenway and the Emerald Necklace of parks. The buildings date from 1888-c.1915, and represent an extension of the architecture of the Back Bay. The Audubon Circle Neighborhood Association is active in representing residents' interests.

East Fens (roughly the triangle between the Fens and Huntington and Massachusetts avenues) is anchored by Northeastern University, as well as by significant cultural institutions such as the Boston Symphony and the Museum of Fine Arts.

Kenmore Square was designed as a gateway to the city, a transition between Boston Proper and the streetcar suburbs west of the city. It was redeveloped for this purpose at a time when Boston expanded in several directions – annexing the then-town of Brighton (which included Allston) and the imminent completion of the Back Bay neighborhood. Kenmore Square connected these two 'new' areas of Boston. The neighborhood is anchored by Fenway Park.

Longwood. The Coretta Scott.

58-60, 158-164, 166, 196-202, 204, 207-213 Bay State Road were all designed by Arthur H. Vinal (1854-
1923), the Boston City architect who also designed residences in Back Bay and South End. He also designed an apartment building at 96 Bay State Road.

493 Commonwealth Avenue was designed by Arthur H. Vinal.

Commercial and Retail

The neighborhood has a significant density of commercial and retail space, particularly within Kenmore Square, the West Fens, and along Huntington and Massachusetts avenues in the East Fens.

Lansdowne Street and Yawkey Way surround Fenway Park in the West Fens. Given the size and regularity of the sports and music event crowds, as well as the nearby universities, this has become an extensive entertainment district of restaurants and bars.


Fenway-Kenmore is very well served by the subway. The neighborhood is almost surrounded by different branches of the Green Line, which converge at Kenmore Square. There is also a stop on the Commuter Rail (Yawkey).


Fenway–Kenmore is at the edge of Boston and Brookline. To the west are Brighton and the Longwood neighborhood of Brookline, to the north is the Charles River, to the east are Back Bay and the South End, and to the south is Mission Hill.

Fenway-Kenmore is a large neighborhood that

The Fenway–Kenmore area was formed by land annexed from neighboring Brookline in the 1870s as part of the Brookline-Boston annexation debate of 1873[not in citation given] as well as from land filled in conjunction with the creation of landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted parks in the 1890s

Kenmore Square was known by several names over the years, each reflecting its changing role in the city. Until 1821, it was known as Sewell's Point. VERIFY SPELLING It was originally a small peninsula known as Sewall's Point, owned by Samuel Sewall (1652-1730), the judge who presided over the infamous Salem witch trials. As an aside, later in life, Sewall publicly apologized for his role in sentencing these innocent women to torture and death, a...

was formerly Sewell's Point, Three Roads Junction by 1870, and Governor Square by 1910.

As an aside, sections of Brookline Avenue were formerly Mill Dam Road and Punch Bowl Road. Beacon

previously known as

Known as Sewell's Point at the time, an 1821 map shows the Great Dam, Brighton Road (Brighton Ave and Commonwealth Ave), and Punch Bowl Road (now Brookline Ave)[2] intersecting at Kenmore[3] which was now connected to the mainland to the west, in addition to the southern connection shown in 1777.[4]

When the city of Brighton was annexed to Boston in 1874, the Boston-Brookline border was redrawn to offer a narrow ______ that would connect Allston and Brighton to the Back Bay.

Even as late as 1880, Kenmore Square was only sparsely developed.[5] By 1890, the Back Bay landfill project had reached Kenmore Square, for the first time fully connecting it with parts of the city to the east.

Streetcar tracks were laid on Beacon Street in 1888, passing through Kenmore Square on the surface, from Coolidge Corner to Massachusetts Avenue. These would eventually become the Green Line "C" Branch. Tracks were laid on what by then was called Commonwealth Avenue in 1896, from Union Square in Brighton. These would later serve the Green Line "A" Branch and Green Line "B" Branch. The Boylston Street Subway was extended to Kenmore Square in 1914, where it rose above ground. In 1932, the Kenmore Square portion of the Green Line was put underground, and branch portals opened at Blandford and St. Mary's Streets.

In 1915, the Kenmore Apartments were built on the corner of Kenmore and Commonwealth Avenue. Later, the apartments became the Hotel Kenmore with 400 guest rooms. The Kenmore was owned by Bertram Druker, a prominent Boston developer and was known as the baseball hotel.[citation needed] It housed every one of the 14 teams[who?] after World War II.[citation needed] From the 1960s to 1979 it was used by Grahm Junior College as a residence hall, cafeteria, library, and classroom facility. Later, after Grahm Junior College closed and larger hotels like the Sheraton were built, the Hotel Kenmore started to show its age and eventually became apartments again. It is now called Kenmore Abbey.

At this time, the Back Bay was not yet a neighborhood - in fact it was not even land yet. It was still a tidal marsh, that would not be infilled as part of an ambitious plan to create a new neighborhood in DATE. The area played a role in the American Revolution, when the British sailed ...

British naval ships sailed into these waters on the night of July 31, 1775, and bombarded the revolutionaries at Fort Brookline (about where the BU Bridge is today), but most nights, and days, things were quiet hereabouts.

That began to change with the construction of the Mill Dam in 1814. Following the line of present-day Beacon Street, the 50-foot-wide stone dam extended a mile and a half from the foot of Beacon Hill to Sewall’s Point, narrowing the Charles River and enclosing the waters of the Back Bay. The builders’ intention was to harness the power of the tides via sluices in the dam walls. Investors expected scores of grist, corn, saw, cotton, and wool mills. Instead, just three mills were built. Meanwhile, as an increasing population along the shores used the bay as a dumping ground, the dam effectively prevented sewage and refuse from floating out to sea, creating within a “Stygian morass,” as historian Walter Muir Whitehill put it.

In 1852, a joint city-state-private project began to fill in the 450-acre bay with trainloads of gravel from Needham quarries. Over the next half-century, planners laid out streets in a grid pattern and sold home lots, and buyers built fashionable brownstones and mansions in Italianate, Gothic, and Queen Anne styles. By 1890, the land reached Sewall’s Point, which had been annexed to Boston from Brookline in 1874. The point, renamed Governor’s Square in 1910, became the nexus of the Back Bay’s two major boulevards, Beacon Street and the broad, tree-lined, Paris-influenced Commonwealth Avenue.

n the
19th century the area now known as Kenmore
was called Sewell's Point, located at the
edge of
tidal basin called
Back Bay
. It
was connected to the
rest of Boston by a narrow road that ran
atop a
Mill Da
m running along the Charles River. The aim of the Mill Dam was to use the tides of the Charles River to power
mills for industrial
Additionally, the Dam would serve as a toll road.
In the end, Dearborn's plan was not
(only three mills signed up)
and a much simpler
Mill Dam was built by 1821.
this project failed in part because of sewage and wastewater build
up in the tidal basins. This build
up caused unpleasant smells that drifted all over the city. As a result, in May 1855, the Back Bay
began to be fi
lled in and developed. “
The Back Bay was filled in by the late 19th century along with the Charles
River dam.
The former
“Mill Dam R

became Beacon Street, which connected to Brookline Avenue.
Avenue came soon after, a
nd eventually the
3 busy roads converged and
“Three Roads J

its original name.
It was
overnor Square in 1910
After all, it was called a gateway into Boston for those coming from Brookline, Allston and the