Some Monumental Birthdays

Boston Massacre Memorial – Photo from Wikipedia

This past weekend’s celebration of the Make Way for Ducklings statue inspired us to delve into the history of other notable monuments in the Common, Public Garden, and Commonwealth Ave Mall. We’ve compiled a list of three monuments from each of these wonderful public green spaces and included the date they were constructed. If you feel like singing Happy Birthday sometime in the future, we hope you will consult this list for your birthday wishing needs!

The Boston Common

The Boston Massacre Memorial was dedicated on November 14, 1888, which means that it will turn 124 this year. Every year on March 5th, the Bostonian Society reenacts the events of the massacre.

On May 31, 1897, the Robert Gould Shaw Memorial was unveiled at the Boston Music Hall. It will be turning 116 this year.

Robert Gould Shaw Memorial, photo from National Park Service

One of our most prized renovations, the Brewer Fountain, originally began working the day of June 3, 1868. For its 145th birthday next summer, we will wrap up the final phase of the renovation with:

  • The restoration of the historic iron fence and a planted edge along Tremont Street to separate the park from the busy thoroughfare
  • Reduction of the Lafayette Mall path parallel to the street to 20 feet to expand green space
  • Realignment of the planted islands to strengthen the connection between Park Street station and the Brewer Fountain Plaza
The Brewer Fountain, photo by Celebrate Boston

The Public Garden

It may be no coincidence that the unveiling of one of our founding fathers was held the day before Independence Day. On July 3, 1869, the equestrian monument of George Washington was presented to the city of Boston.

George Washington, Photo from Wikipedia

The Ether Monument, also known as the Good Samaritan, was erected on October 16, 1846, meaning that its 166th birthday is coming soon! The monument was built to commemorate ether as an anesthetic, and is the only one in the world dedicated to a drug.

The Ether Monument, photo from Boston Art Commission

Anna Coleman Ladd’s Triton Babies Fountain was relocated to the Public Garden in 1924, and was the Public Garden’s first statue constructed by a woman. The babies may look young but they will be 89 this year.

Triton Babies Fountain, photo from

The Commonwealth Avenue Mall

William Lloyd Garrison‘s sculpture was built in 1885, making him quite the old man at 128-years.

William Lloyd Garrison, Photo from Wikipedia

The statue of Leif Erikson was erected in 1887, but later moved to Charlesgate East in 1917. This statue will be 130 this year!

Leif Erikson, Photo from

The Boston Women’s Memorial was sculpted by Meredith Bergmann in 2003. The memorial’s 9th birthday is coming up on October 25th, making it a true youngster amongst veteran sculptures.

The Boston Women’s Memorial, Photo from

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