Walking tour of Boston’s Big Dig led by architectural historians

by Ed Forteau /
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Oct 21, 2010 / 0 comments

Walking tour of Boston’s Big Dig led by architectural historians

Context Travel has launched a new walking tour of Boston’s "Big Dig", led by architectural historians. The walk looks at the transformation of Boston between the 1950s, when an expressway was cut through downtown, and its subsequent rerouting underground in the 1990s. This was one of the largest urban engineering projects ever undertaken, earning it the moniker "the Big Dig.”

“You can’t underestimate the impact of the Big Dig on the urban fabric of Boston,”
says Context co-founder Paul Bennett. “It transformed the downtown of Boston from a shadowy, unsavory and uninteresting place into a sun-filled, active, amazing city center. There’s also a great story here of urban development, politics, and corruption. This is the stuff of a great walk.”

Context’s Big Dig walk starts at Fanueil Hall with a brief tutorial on the architectural and urbanistic beginnings of Boston. Using archival maps, Context docents will trace the development of the city, moving through downtown Boston and out into the greenway where the expressway once stood, now a lovely linear park that meanders through the city. Here, using a variety of visual cues, from windowless facades to old wharves to the exciting new landscape, we’ll talk about the twenty-year process of the Big Dig and the engineering, architectural, and political struggles that underpinned it.

The Big Dig is limited to 6 participants at a time. The walk is offered both privately on request and as a group walk every day of the week. Group walks are priced at $65 per person, private walks are available at $300 per party.

Founded by National Geographic writer Paul Bennett and graphic designer Lani Bevacqua, Context is a network of English-speaking scholars and professionals – including art historians, writers, architects and gastronomes – who organize and lead didactic walking seminars in several world cities, including: Florence, Rome, Venice, Naples, Paris, London, New York, Istanbul, Philadelphia, Madrid, Athens, and Boston. Travel + Leisure has named Context one of the top European tour companies for its innovative approach to travel and the depth of its programs.


To learn more about Context, visit its website: www.contexttravel.com