Morning at the Boston Athenaeum

I've been trying to pop into the Boston Athenaeum for months!

boston athenaeum

It's certainly a hidden gem of Boston and now that I've had the chance to explore it for myself, I think that it is a 'must' — especially if you're a local.

The confusing bit is that most visitors are actually members of the Athenaeum, one of the oldest independent American libraries.

boston athenaeum

While I did spy a younger university-aged student, the majority of the 'regulars' are from an older Boston generation.

And the Athenaeum does an impressive job of displaying just how important of a fixture it is in Boston society.

boston athenaeum

Imagine your Saturday routine — grabbing a coffee from the local shop and ducking into the Athenaeum's Newspaper Room for a quiet few hours before heading off to a lively, family lunch.

boston athenaeum

And, the old, leather books aren't the only art here!

boston athenaeum

Statues, paintings, furniture, and special manuscripts are interspersed throughout the book-filled rooms.

boston athenaeumAdam and Eve, Thomas Crawford, 1855.

Many of the rooms overlook the famous Granary Cemetery, among whose occupants include Sam Adams and John Hancock, filling you with a sense of history and importance.

boston athenaeumNarrative of the life of James Allen, Alias George Walton...the Highwayman, 1864. "The Skin Book"

This book is one of the collection's most famous — the translation of the label on the front board translates to "This book by Walton bound in [his] skin."

Staff offer Architecture Tours of the building and second Saturdays are free — so I highly suggest planning a trip to downtown.

boston athenaeum

The Athenaeum is near-ish to Beacon Hill so I recommend taking a stroll through the brownstones of Beacon Hill on your way to or from the Athenaeum before following your nose to a bakery.

beacon hill

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