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Boston. Boston in the Gilded Age exhibition: This later Bachmann view depicts the city from the northwest side of the peninsula, placing the State House, the Common, the Public Garden, and the newly reclaimed and developing Back Bay in the center of the drawing. Beacon Hill, the West End, and the Bullfinch Triangle with various railroad lines feeding into North Station appear in the foreground of the image. With smoke belching from trains approaching and leaving the North End stations, this view highlights the importance of rail traffic to the city’s growth during the last half of the 19th century. The docks and ships illustrated in the foreground attest to the former importance of maritime trade and activity to the city’s economic growth. Breathing Room exhibition: Hugely popular in the mid- to late 19th century, bird’s-eye views celebrated city growth by highlighting prominent landmarks, industrial innovation, and cutting-edge transportation. Here, artist John Bachmann viewed Boston from an imaginary vantage point hovering to the north of the city. This perspective allowed him to place public spaces such as the State House, Common, and Public Garden in the center of the frame, emphasizing their importance. Surrounded by tightly-packed buildings, tiny people and horse-drawn carriages dot these prominent green spaces. Just as they did in the 19th century, Boston’s parks offer breathing room in an ever-growing city. Creator: Bachmann, John, fl. 1849-1885. Date: ca. 1877. Sourced from Digital Commonwealth website.

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