For years, Downtown Crossing might have been a poster child for the fading urban commercial center. The place bustled with white-collar office workers during the day, but its pedestrian streets were empty after dark. Its storefronts were often bare. Nowadays, Boston’s business district is returning to life. Most notably, the old Filene’s Department Store building was built into Millennium Tower, the city’s third-highest skyscraper.
Historically, this area was the center of Colonial Boston, with the Old State House sitting at the top of State Street. But this changed with the Great Fire of 1872, which destroyed more than 500 buildings. Poke around between Washington and Tremont Streets, and you can still see some pre-fire structures. Travelers are likely to pass through this district while following the Freedom Trail, with stops at Park Street Church, Granary Burying Ground, King’s Chapel and Old South Meeting House.
To get the gist of the modern-day Downtown, join the local workforce for a picnic in Post Office Square. The lovely vest pocket park straddles Downtown and the Financial District.
The boundaries of Downtown are Court and State Streets to the north, Congress Street to the east, Essex Street to the south and Tremont Street to the northwest.
T: Park/Green or Park/Red and Downtown Crossing/Orange and State/Blue or State/Orange