37 1/2 Beacon Street

Walking Tour of Historical Boston University

37 1/2 Beacon Street

Boston, Massachusetts 02115, United States

Created By: Boston University


“In some ways, this is where it all started. 37½ Beacon Street, the home of Isaac Rich. Now, who was Isaac Rich?

“At this location in 1869, Rich sat down at his rolltop desk and he, along with neighbors Lee Claflin and Jacob Sleeper, signed a charter that had been written by William Fairfield Warren to establish a new venture in higher education—Boston University.

“The home itself was designed by renowned architect, Charles Bulfinch, and built in 1804 for John Phillips, the first mayor of the City of Boston and the father of the great abolitionist, Wendell Phillips. The building is the first Federal-style brick house on this site. We’ll see this style continued once we arrive back on the Charles River Campus and view the Bay State Road brownstones.

“Little-known fact: That rolltop desk where the charter was signed. It was saved and used by the first five presidents of Boston University, and it now sits on the first floor of Mugar Library. See the photo in the app.”

This point of interest is part of the tour: Walking Tour of Historical Boston University


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