Skyscrapers, taxis and dark suits fill the streets of Boston’s Financial District during the day, and professionals of all ages fill the bars in the evening. Generally recognized as the area between Devonshire Street, State Street and Atlantic Avenue, the Financial District is the center of Boston’s business, commerce and government. Many global and regional headquarters, including Fidelity Investments, Bank of America and PricewaterhouseCoopers are located in the Financial District, making it easy to see where the neighborhood gets its name.
If buildings in this neighborhood feel newer than those in other downtown areas, it’s because the majority of the Financial District burnt to the ground during the Great Fire of 1872, one of the most devastating fires in American history. More than 65 acres were engulfed in flames, and 776 buildings – most in the Financial District – were destroyed. As the neighborhood rebuilt, a triangle of land remained vacant in front of the Boston Post Office, which later became known as “Post Office Square.” The redevelopment of Post Office Square is considered one of Boston’s architectural gems, with a complex linear park system built over a below ground tunnel whose features have earned the park national and international acclaim. On any given day, hundreds of office workers enjoy the park’s indoor/outdoor cafes, live music, gardens and fountains.
Much of the neighborhood’s recent growth stems from several glitzy residential high rises that now intertwine effortlessly with the all-glass commercial towers that once dominated the skyline. Today, the Financial District provides a 24/7 live-work-play environment while maintaining a distinctly Midtown Manhattan feel.