Urban Walking Tours

Jim O’Connell leads Urban Walking Tours of Greater Boston. Jim combines his knowledge of Boston’s urban history and contemporary planning to explore how this dynamic region is evolving. Jim is available to lead customized tours of downtown Boston, various neighborhoods, and selected suburban communities. Contact him at jcoconnell@comcast.net for further information.

Airbnb Experiences – Seaport Walking Tours

Jim O’Connell offers urban walking tours of Boston’s Seaport District through Airbnb Experiences. This tour puts into historical context the redevelopment of South Station, Rose Kennedy Greenway, HarborWalk, the new GE headquarters, the rise of the Seaport District, new downtown residences, and the adaptive reuse of historic structures.

Upcoming tours are scheduled for November 30, December 1, 7, 27, 28, 2018; January 4, 2019. Tours meet at 2:00 PM in front of South Station. To reserve a place go to Airbnb Experiences – https://www.airbnb.com.mt/experiences/328443?source=pdpother&searchId=577d9770-f961-4bf2-96f4-555098c67067

 

Brookline Adult & Community Education

Under the auspices of the Brookline Adult & Community Education Program, Jim is leading the following walking tours in 2019. To register for the tours, contact https://www.campusce.net/brookline/course/course.aspx?catId=72.

 

Downtown Walking Tour of Historic Boston Restaurants

March 3, 2019, 2:00 PM

Take a walking tour of historic Boston restaurants with Jim O’Connell, author of Dining Out in Boston: A Culinary History. This unusual tour will summon up dining experiences at such historic restaurants Union Oyster House (oldest existing restaurant), Durgin Park (second oldest), Parker House (first á la carte menu), Marliave, Locke-Ober Café (today’s Yvonne’s), Jacob Wirth, and Chinatown eateries. Also learn about bygone eateries like Julien’s Restorator (America’s first restaurant), Thompson’s Spa, and Bailey’s Ice Cream. The walk will savor memories from long-forgotten menus and explain how Boston has been one of the country’s most influential restaurant cities. Post-tour dining will be at the participant’s discretion.

 

North Station to Downtown Crossing Walking Tour

April 7, 2019, 2:00 PM

Boston is in the midst of one of its biggest development booms. Like other American cities, Boston is experiencing increased downtown living, mixed commercial and residential uses, bicycle use, open space creation, and place-making cultural activities. Join us for a walking tour to examine how these 21st-century planning strategies are transforming the city’s historic core. This tour will explore new developments at the North Station area, Boston Public Market, Rose Kennedy Greenway, Financial District, and Downtown Crossing. Meet at CVS, 101 Canal Street @ Causeway Street, across from North Station.

 

Seaport  Walking Tour

Sunday, June 2, 2019, 2:00 PM

Approaches to city planning in Boston and around the country have changed radically from the automobile-oriented twentieth century. Cities are experiencing increased downtown living, mixed commercial and residential uses, public transit use, open space creation, place-making cultural activities, and altered shopping habits. Join us for a walking tour of downtown Boston that explores these 21st-century city planning developments. This tour will put into historical context the redevelopment of South Station, Rose Kennedy Greenway, HarborWalk, the new GE headquarters, the rise of the Seaport District, new downtown residences, and the adaptive reuse of historic structures.

 

Other Available Walking Tours

Fenway-Longwood Walking Tour

Approaches to urban development in Greater Boston have been changed radically from the automobile-oriented twentieth century. Cities are experiencing increased residential living, mixed commercial and residential uses, knowledge economy development, public transit use, and open space creation. Join us for a walking tour from Beacon Street in Brookline through the Fenway and Longwood districts to investigate some of the community’s latest development projects.

This tour meets in front of Sichuan Gourmet Restaurant, 1004 Beacon Street, at Audubon Circle, Brookline. The tour will feature an overview of Frederick Law Olmsted’s design of Brookline’s Beacon Street, then proceed to Olmsted’s Emerald Necklace to examine the recent uncovering of the Muddy River. The tour will explore the new neighborhood that has been developing on Boylston Street and Brookline Avenue in the Fenway. The tour will then explore new development at the colleges and medical institutions of the Longwood Area, concluding at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.