Oak Bluffs in Massachusetts

29 April 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  8 minutes

© flickr.com - Michele Schaffer/cc-by-2.0

© flickr.com – Michele Schaffer/cc-by-2.0

Oak Bluffs is a town located on the island of Martha’s Vineyard in Dukes County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 5,341 at the 2020 United States Census. It is one of the island’s principal points of arrival for summer tourists, and is noted for its “gingerbread cottages” and other well-preserved mid- to late-nineteenth-century buildings. The town has been a historically important center of African American culture since the eighteenth century.   read more…

Faneuil Hall in Boston

1 July 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, House of the Month Reading Time:  2 minutes

© flickr.com - Kevin Rutherford/cc-by-sa-2.0

© flickr.com – Kevin Rutherford/cc-by-sa-2.0

Faneuil Hall is a marketplace and meeting hall located near the waterfront and today’s Government Center, in Boston, Massachusetts. Opened in 1743, it was the site of several speeches by Samuel Adams, James Otis, and others encouraging independence from Great Britain. It is now part of Boston National Historical Park and a well-known stop on the Freedom Trail. It is sometimes referred to as “the Cradle of Liberty”. In 2008, Faneuil Hall was rated number 4 in “America’s 25 Most Visited Tourist Sites” by Forbes Traveler.   read more…

Nantucket in New England

23 March 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  11 minutes

© Don Ramey Logan/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Don Ramey Logan/cc-by-sa-4.0

Nantucket is an island about 30 miles (50 km) by ferry south from Cape Cod, in the U.S. state of Massachusetts. Together with the small islands of Tuckernuck and Muskeget, it constitutes the Town of Nantucket, and the conterminous Nantucket County. Part of the town is designated the Nantucket CDP, or census-designated place. The region of Surfside on Nantucket is the southernmost settlement in Massachusetts. The name “Nantucket” is adapted from similar Algonquian names for the island, perhaps meaning “faraway land or island” or “sandy, sterile soil tempting no one.” Nantucket is a tourist destination and summer colony. Due to tourists and seasonal residents, the population of the island increases to at least 50,000 during the summer months. The average sale price for a single-family home was $2.3 million in the first quarter of 2018. The National Park Service cites Nantucket, designated a National Historic Landmark District in 1966, as being the “finest surviving architectural and environmental example of a late 18th- and early 19th-century New England seaport town.”   read more…

Salem in Massachusetts

21 August 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  5 minutes

Peirce-Nichols House © Fletcher6/cc-by-sa-3.0

Peirce-Nichols House © Fletcher6/cc-by-sa-3.0

Salem is a historic coastal city in Essex County, Massachusetts, located in the North Shore region. It was one of the most significant seaports in early American history.   read more…

Portrait: The architect and founder of the Bauhaus School Walter Gropius

24 July 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, Portrait, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  17 minutes

Walter Gropius in Ulm, 1955 © Hans G. Conrad - René Spitz/cc-by-sa-3.0-de

Walter Gropius in Ulm, 1955 © Hans G. Conrad – René Spitz/cc-by-sa-3.0-de

Walter Adolph Georg Gropius was a German architect and founder of the Bauhaus School, who, along with Alvar Aalto, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright, is widely regarded as one of the pioneering masters of modernist architecture. Gropius was also a leading architect of the International Style.   read more…

Harvard University in Cambridge

7 September 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, General, Universities, Colleges, Academies Reading Time:  6 minutes

Harvard Law School Library in Langdell Hall at night © Chensiyuan/cc-by-sa-4.0

Harvard Law School Library in Langdell Hall at night © Chensiyuan/cc-by-sa-4.0

Harvard University is a private Ivy League research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Established in 1636 and named for clergyman John Harvard (its first benefactor), its history, influence, and wealth have made it one of the world’s most prestigious universities. Harvard is the United States’ oldest institution of higher learning, and the Harvard Corporation is its first chartered corporation. Although never formally affiliated with any denomination, the early College primarily trained Congregational and Unitarian clergy. Its curriculum and student body were gradually secularized during the 18th century, and by the 19th century, Harvard had emerged as the central cultural establishment among Boston elites. Following the American Civil War, President Charles W. Eliot‘s long tenure (1869–1909) transformed the college and affiliated professional schools into a modern research university; Harvard was a founding member of the Association of American Universities in 1900. A. Lawrence Lowell, who followed Eliot, further reformed the undergraduate curriculum and undertook aggressive expansion of Harvard’s land holdings and physical plant. James Bryant Conant led the university through the Great Depression and World War II and began to reform the curriculum and liberalize admissions after the war. The undergraduate college became coeducational after its 1977 merger with Radcliffe College.   read more…

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge

5 September 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, General, Universities, Colleges, Academies Reading Time:  5 minutes

East Campus, looking towards Boston Harbor © Nick Allen/cc-by-sa-4.0

East Campus, looking towards Boston Harbor © Nick Allen/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is a private research university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States. Founded in 1861 in response to the increasing industrialization of the United States, MIT adopted an European polytechnic university model and stressed laboratory instruction in applied science and engineering. The Institute is traditionally known for its research and education in the physical sciences and engineering, but more recently in biology, economics, linguistics and management as well. MIT is often ranked among the world’s most prestigious universities.   read more…

The Mayflower

1 March 2018 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Tall ships, Museums, Exhibitions, Yacht of the Month Reading Time:  16 minutes

Mayflower replica in Plymouth © flickr.com - Paul Keleher/cc-by-2.0

Mayflower replica in Plymouth © flickr.com – Paul Keleher/cc-by-2.0

The Mayflower was an English ship that famously transported the first English Puritans, known today as the Pilgrims, from Plymouth, England to the New World in 1620. There were 102 passengers, and the crew is estimated to have been about 30, but the exact number is unknown. This voyage has become an iconic story in some of the earliest annals of American history, with its story of death and of survival in the harsh New England winter environment. The culmination of the voyage in the signing of the Mayflower Compact was an event which established a rudimentary form of democracy, with each member contributing to the welfare of the community. There was a second ship named Mayflower that made the London to Plymouth, Massachusetts voyage several times.   read more…

Marblehead in Massachusetts

23 October 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  9 minutes

Marblehead welcome sign © Bkg333/cc-by-sa-4.0

Marblehead welcome sign © Bkg333/cc-by-sa-4.0

Marblehead is a coastal New England town in Essex County, Massachusetts. Its population is at 20,000. It is home to the Marblehead Neck Wildlife Sanctuary, Crocker Park, the Marblehead Lighthouse, Fort Sewall, Little Harbor and Devereux Beach. Archibald Willard‘s famous painting The Spirit of ’76 currently resides in Abbot Hall. A town with roots in commercial fishing, whaling and yachting, Marblehead was a major shipyard and is often referred to as the birthplace of the American Navy, a title sometimes disputed with nearby Beverly. It is also the origin of Marine Corps Aviation. A center of recreational boating, it is a popular sailing, kayaking and fishing destination. Several yacht clubs were established here in the late 19th century, which continue to be centers of sailing.   read more…

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