What is the Fenway Cultural District?

The Fenway Cultural District was formed in 1998 to recognize an area of Boston that is rich in art, music, educational, community, and religious institutions, as well as historic sites and parklands. This section of Boston, bounded by Huntington Avenue, Massachusetts Avenue and the Back Bay Fens, is already a thriving economic, academic and cultural segment of the City and is poised to become an acclaimed destination for cultural tourism with a thriving community identity.

Annually, the District attracts millions of visitors to world-class institutions such as the Museum of Fine Arts, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the world headquarters of The First Church of Christ, Scientist. Thousands of students and their families are drawn to renowned institutions including Northeastern University, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Berklee College of Music, Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy, and Wheelock, Simmons, and Emmanuel Colleges. The community identity is strengthened further by the thousands of residents who have held memberships at the Greater Boston YMCA since its opening in 1906.

Visitors to the District can see masterpieces of classical and contemporary art, listen to a concert at New England Conservatory’s historic Jordan Hall, attend a performance at the Wheelock Family Theater, Huntington Theatre Company or Northeastern University’s Blackman Auditorium, or sit beside the reflecting pool and enjoy a weekly chiming concert at The Christian Science Plaza. On their way home they can walk through the giant stained-glass globe and see—from the inside looking out—the continents, countries, and oceans of the world of the “Mapparium” in the newly constructed Mary Baker Eddy Library for the Betterment of Humanity, or simply stroll through the beautiful Back Bay Fens, part of the historic Frederick Law Olmsted’s Emerald Necklace park system. All of these priceless resources – and many more – are located within easy walking distance of one another.

Despite the growing pipeline of capital projects in the District, over the past 13 years, under the direction of The Fenway Alliance, The District has seen improvements in streetscapes, parklands, community programming, marketing and public access.