Boston Art Commission

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  • Boston Common Tablet, Clipton Sturgis
  • Boston Common Tablet, Clipston Sturgis (4)
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  • 032

Boston Common Tablet

Artist:

R. Clipston Sturgis

Location:

 

Location

United States
42° 21' 23.76" N, 71° 3' 43.6968" W

Neighborhood:

Beacon Hill

Type:

Monument

Year:

1913

Medium:

Marble

Collection:

Funders:

City of Boston

Description:

The tablet commemorates the history of Boston Common. In 1634, the Massachusetts Bay Colony purchased land owned by William Blackstone to create a public training field and a common pasture for Boston’s cattle, also know as the Blackstone Memorial Tablet. The tablet records the words of a deposition taken in 1684 affirming Boston’s ownership of the area that is now recognized as America’s first and oldest public park. The tablet and its monumental marble frame were designed by the architect R. Clipston Sturgis. The monument was commissioned by the City of Boston and erected in 1913.

The Boston Common was used as a camp by the British before the Revolutionary War, and was where they left from for the Battle of Lexington and Concord. Up until 1830, it was used for cattle grazing. Today it serves as a public park for all to use for formal or informal gatherings, or just to enjoy the park and its surroundings. Events such as concerts, protests, softball games, and ice skating (on Frog Pond) often take place in the park. Famous individuals, such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Pope John Paul II, have also made speeches at the Common.

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