History of Fenway

By Adam Rumery

The neighborhood of Fenway was formed in the 1870’s from land that was annexed from Brookline. From what is known as the Brookline-Boston annexation debate of 1873. Fenway is known for a few different landmarks like Fenway Park and Emerald neckless.  Fenway goes from Charles River to Tremont St, as well as the Emerald neckless to the corner of Huntington ave and Belvidere st.

            Fenway's history started with Frederick Law Olmsted. In 1875 the Fenway area was having major problems with drainage/sewage. He fixed this issue by putting tidal gates for the Muddy River and stony brook. Then he put in sewage interceptor underneath the fens basin. The reason this was important was because he reshaped the land into what we know as the Emerald neckless. Frederick made it possible for growth around the fens which allowed more people to live in Fenway. The park was redesigned by Arthur Shurcliff who aligned the park to the museum of fine art by adding in the rose garden.

            In the early years of Fenway many cultural institutions such as the Boston’s music hall made a home in the neighborhood of Fenway. The music hall was the home for Boston’s symphony orchestra for 20 years. Also across from the symphony hall is the horticultural hall built in 1901. Since then the arts and other cultural institutions have emerged in Fenway. Fenway is also home to one of Boston’s most famous landmark called Fenway Park. The park is home to the Red Sox and has been since 1912 the year it was built. That is also the same year that the Red Sox won their first World Series. Since then Boston has known by for this park and has become a legendary landmark for the city.

            Fenway has also built a strong medical and educational space. When the neighborhood of Fenway was being created it was looked at as a place where the wealthiest people would live but instead schools and colleges sprouted up instead. Fenway is home to one of the greatest medical colleges in the world with Harvard medical school which came to Fenway in 1906. As Fenway began grow culturally and educationally more and more people started coming to Fenway such as Timmons College and Massachusetts College of art and design. Same can be said medically as Boston’s children’s hospital is in Fenway.

            In 1906 there were 9 colleges in Fenway and at this point homes and residential buildings were in high demand. Most of the buildings were apartment buildings to keep up with the growth of Fenway at the time. As of now the population of Fenway is up to 40,898. Fenway has grown a lot since the neighborhood was created. Much of the thanks should be given to Frederick Law Olmsted. He created the blueprints for what we see today. Fenway all started with the creation of the Emerald neckless and grew into a cultural and academic Central. However the history is still being written and more is to come.



Fenway/Kenmore exploring Boston's Neighborhoods. (1996). Retrieved from