Charlestown’s most historical claim to fame is that it’s the location where Paul Revere began his famous “midnight ride.” Contemporary Charlestown is undergoing a residential changing of the guard, however. Once home to mostly Navy Yard employees—the Navy Yard has since been decommissioned—young professionals are now making their home on this vibrant peninsula. Located north of downtown Boston between the Charles River and the Mystic River, Charlestown was home to a large Irish-American population and has several places of historical interest, including colonial architecture and the historic city hall. The USS Constitution, the oldest commissioned vessel in the US Navy, is docked in the Charlestown Navy Yard, and Warren Tavern, opened in 1780, is still in operation and billed as one of Revere’s favorite taverns.
CHARLESTOWN SITES OF INTEREST
City Square Park was established in 1996 at the exact site where Charlestown took root in 1629. Over the past three centuries, the landscape of City Square and Charlestown have gone through dramatic changes. Today, the park acts as a testimony to Charlestown's maturation, as a beacon for visitors to the city and as a symbol of civic pride. The park includes more than 70 separate species of trees, shrubs, perennial flowers, ground coverings and grasses. The site's sophisticated design elements, gas lights, meandering paths and grassy areas combine to interpret the park's historic past in a modern light. As it has since Charlestown's conception, City Square Park proudly serves as "The Gateway To Boston."
St. Mary’s Church | 46 Winthrop Street, Phone: 617-242-4664
St. Mary-St. Catherine of Siena is a historic Roman Catholic parish that resulted from the 2006 merger of two older parishes, St. Catherine of Siena on Vine St. and St. Mary’s on Warren and Winthrop. The parish occupies the latter's building, which was one of the later masterpieces of Patrick Keely. Built between 1887 and 1893, its ornate interior boasts stain glass windows by Franz Maye & Co. and a hammer-beam oak ceiling with angels.
Established in 1800, the Charlestown Navy Yard built more than 200 warships and maintained and repaired thousands more. From its inception, the yard was in the forefront of shipyard technology, from building the Navy's only ropewalk to making itself a center of missile and electronics conversions. In its 174-year history, Charlestown Navy Yard played an important role in the birth, growth and continued effectiveness of the U.S. Navy. When the Charlestown Navy Yard closed in 1974 after nearly 175 years of serving the fleet, 30 acres became part of Boston National Historical Park. The National Park Service now maintains an important part of the shipyard, and as part of the Park Service's interpretive program, USS Constitution, in connection with the United States Navy, and USS Cassin Young are preserved as representatives of the kinds of vessels built in this yard. Together they represent a 200-year-old tradition of building fine ships for the Navy.