History Meets Modern Living in Charlestown
Charlestown residents live history every day while enjoying a growing number of modern convenience within their community. There's the Bunker Hill Monument, the Navy Yard, and several national parks. They enjoy historic restaurants like the Warren Tavern in the Gaslight District, the open spaces and the waterfront of the Navy Yard, multiple playground, dog parks, and a living history in the U.S.S. Constitution and accompanying museums. Stroll through the hilly streets, experience the quaint rowhouses, and learn to sail at the Courageous Sailing Center.
To make life easier, there's a host of local bakeries, cafes, restaurants, and boutiques along Main Street. And, the Bunker Hill Mall includes shops that include Whole Foods Market and CVS Pharmacy.
The one square mile neighborhood of Charlestown is dense with history. Settled by Puritans from Salem in approximately 1629 and later annexed by Boston in 1874, Charlestown was the first Capital of the Commonwealth. It played a central role not only in Boston's survival and growth, but also that of the U.S. In 1775 during the Revolutionary War, after the Battles of Concord and Lexington, the British chose Charlestown as a place to set up camp. Their occupancy frightened town citizens, many of whom fled. In a large part Charlestown was burned to the ground by the British following the Battle of Bunker Hill. Although a victory for the British, the Battle proved to be an important turning point in the War for the Colonists. The re-construction of Charlestown began following the War's end in 1781, and the town eventually grew to 40,000+ people.
The Charlestown Navy Yard at the Harbor's edge was established in 1800 and eventually went on to employ some 47,000+ at its peak. Over 200 warships were built there in its 174 years of active operation. The Navy Yard was decommissioned in 1974 and redeveloped from the 1970's forward as a desirable Waterfront community comprised of residential communities, office space and medical facilities.
In Charlestown's Gaslight District Federal Style homes are a large part of the landscape. Wood-frame 2 and 3-family homes built over the last 200 years are also interspersed throughout the neighborhood. In the Navy Yard, some of the original buildings with facades of granite and brick that once served as residences and work spaces for the Navy have since been repurposed as office space and condominium buildings like Parris Landing and The Basilica.
The MBTA Orange and bus lines serve Charlestown and many residents enjoy taking the MBTA's Water Shuttle, a 10 minute boat ride from one of the Navy Yard piers across the Harbor to Long Wharf. In addition, a Mass General Hospital operates a free shuttle bus year round that each day continuously brings residents to and from MBTA's North Station. Immediately accessible are Rt. I-93, Storrow Drive and the Tobin Bridge.