- Places to Explore
- Travel Tips
- Fodor's Choice
Boston Public Library
Boston Public Library Review
This venerable institution is a handsome temple to literature and a valuable research library. The Renaissance Revival building was opened in 1895; a 1972 addition emulates the mass and proportion of the original, though not its extraordinary detail; this skylighted annex houses the library's circulating collections.
You don't need a library card to enjoy the magnificent art. The murals at the head of the staircase, depicting the nine muses, are the work of the French artist Puvis de Chavannes; those in the book-request processing room to the right are Edwin Abbey's interpretations of the Holy Grail legend. Upstairs, in the public areas leading to the fine-arts, music, and rare-books collections, is John Singer Sargent's mural series on the Triumph of Religion, shining with renewed color after its cleaning and restoration in 2003.The corridor leading from the annex opens onto the Renaissance-style courtyard —an exact copy of the one in Rome's Palazzo della Cancelleria—around which the original library is built. A covered arcade furnished with chairs rings a fountain; you can bring books or lunch into the courtyard, which is open all the hours the library is open, and escape the bustle of the city. Beyond the courtyard is the main entrance hall of the 1895 building, with its immense stone lions by Louis St. Gaudens, vaulted ceiling, and marble staircase. The corridor at the top of the stairs leads to Bates Hall, one of Boston's most sumptuous interior spaces. This is the main reference reading room, 218 feet long with a barrel-arch ceiling 50 feet high.
- Address: 700 Boylston St., at Copley Sq. Back Bay, Boston, MA 02116 | Map It
- Phone: 617/536–5400
- Hours: Mon.–Thurs. 9–9, Fri. and Sat. 9–5; Sun. 1–5 (Oct.–June). Free guided art and architecture tours Mon. at 2:30; Tues. and Thurs. at 6; Wed., Fri. and Sat. at 11
- Website: www.bpl.org
- Metro Copley.
- Location: Back Bay and the South End
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Fodor's Go List 2014: Where we are going in 2014
- World Cup Fever: Start planning your trip to Brazil!
- Fodor's 100 Hotel Awards: Check out the winners of 2013
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's
Falmouth in the Fall-a week on the Cape
Day One-Thanks to a gift from good friend we enjoyed a timeshare week in Falmouth, Mass. Read more
JetBlue had a special of $97 RT from Houston to Boston, so I jumped on it! Read more
we are family of 5 , kids ages are 10 to 16 . Read more
· News & Features
Talented bartenders Boston-wide are busy flexing their artisanal mixology muscles. ... Read more
Beantown may be cooling down this season, but its culinary scene is only getting hotter.... Read more
Eclectic, sophisticated, and perfectly situated, Boston's new Boxer Hotel is your ideal new Beantown home... Read more