Community Photos & Videos

Historic Neighborhood Photo: Bench Sitters at the Prado

Courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection.

This week’s photograph captures a group of men sitting on benches in the North End Prado, sometime around 1954. The space was formerly a narrow public way in the tenement district of Boston, but it was rebuilt in 1933 to increase sunlight in the neighborhood. The new prado design concept was originally inspired by the Prado Museum in Madrid, Spain.

Today’s popular landmark, the Paul Revere sculpture, was not installed in the Prado until 1940. Today, the area is formally known as the Paul Revere Mall.

Recently, Boston Parks & Recreation Department received funds to restore the area and are discussing ways to further enhance the space. Check out our coverage on the new project here, or learn more about the history of the original Prado here.

Tune in on Thursday’s to view our featured neighborhood photo from back in the day! Submit your historical photos by tagging @northend.waterfront on Instagram. Please include a caption or story telling about your photo.

See past historic neighborhood photo posts.

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6 Replies to “Historic Neighborhood Photo: Bench Sitters at the Prado

  1. Lauren, thank you for sharing this photo of the Prado. I remember well walking through the Prado and seeing the gentlemen playing cards . They spoke Italian. I always loved how they were dressed in suits. Perhaps that day was a Sunday, as all the men wore suits on that day. Thanks for a happy memory!

  2. My nonno played cards there for many years. My nonna would sometimes ask me to go get him when he was late for dinner!

  3. There appears to be an error in the date of the photograph. You indicated it was taken in 1954 however the Paul Revere Statue is not there. This picture must have been taken prior to 1940.

  4. The Paul Revere Statue was unveiled in 1940. There was a big celebration with a band. The Prado at that time was 7 years old.

  5. The Paul Revere Statue (1940) is not in this photo, because the photo shows only the northeast corner of the park, close to the Eliot School playground. The photo was taken in 1954, less than 20 years after the Prado was created (about 1935). Notice how nice the brick walls and concrete caps look. The four large bronze plaques on the wall are now in the foyer of English High. At Prado upgrade meetings, some have asked Boston Parks to return the plaques to their original home, or install copies.

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