Located adjacent to City Square Park, the John Harvard Mall provides a shaded, quiet respite from the busy streets and dense surrounding community. Arriving from the Bunker Hill Monument, the upper portion of the mall also encompasses the John Harvard Play Area and large gate onto Harvard Street. The main entrance to the park is down two flights of stairs at Main Street, across from City Square.
Since it was first established in 1943 by Harvard University as a memorial to its benefactor, the John Harvard Mall has been heavily used by both children and adults from the surrounding neighborhood. The original design by Arthur Shurcliff has been mostly preserved, with some renovations in 2004, including the removal of a portion of the brick walls surrounding the space to open up views and better connect it to the neighborhood. The overall palette of the mall is brick, which blends well with the character of the surrounding historic Town Hill neighborhood.
A shady oasis in the summertime, the mature tree canopy, granite-capped brick walls, gas lights, and brick paving help to unify the space and create a sense of place. The upper level of the mall is accessible, and incorporates historic interpretation in panels along the side walls and a central granite monument to John Harvard. The Mall can be reached by walking from Community College or North Station, or by taking the number 92 or 93 bus from Haymarket or Sullivan Square Station.
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