Beacon Hill, the last of Boston’s three original hills, was named for the sentry light raised on its peak. Today, Beacon Hill is one of Boston’s premiere historic neighborhoods and home to the Commonwealth’s government. The State House, with its hallmark gold leaf dome, was built near the original colonial beacon and today shines over Boston Common.
Largely residential, the neighborhood is home to historic 19th century townhouses, many of which were designed by the famous Charles Bulfinch, architect of the State House and other Boston landmarks. The area’s small but prosperous commercial district extends down Charles Street, and is home to antique shops, gourmet food stores and restaurants.
The West End, considerably impacted by Urban Renewal of the 1970s, is a small but significant community tucked behind Beacon Hill. Historically an ethnically diverse and vibrant neighborhood, the West End today is economically anchored by Massachusetts General Hospital.