July 16: Brookline’s Secret Stairways and Paths: A Walking Tour

During the late 19th century, a network of pedestrian paths and walks was constructed to facilitate the passage of citizens up and down Corey and Aspinwall Hills to the new Beacon Street Boulevard streetcar line.

Beacon Street, widened in 1887 according to plans drawn up by Frederick Law Olmsted, afforded such easy access to Boston that mansions were built for wealthy families abutting the stylish street.

On this walking tour of the paths, we will cover all the stairs and terraces that comprise the great circuit of pedestrian walks, from Summit Path all the way to Beaconsfield Path ending at the MBTA Beaconsfield station. The history of the paths, the architecture around them, and the story of the lost paths will be recounted.

This is a long, strenuous walk that covers several miles of mostly stairs, but those who join may drop out at any point along the way and hop onto the Green Line to return home.


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