Friday, July 17, 2009
For this week's Skywatch Friday we also have a view behind the Massachusetts State House of the eagle column. This column reminds us that in the 17th century, a wooden pole and beacon, intended to warn the citizenry in case of attack, stood on Trimountain -- Beacon Hill and its two sister peaks, before the area was leveled to provide landfill for Back Bay and profit for the landowners. Charles Bulfinch, Boston's most eminent architect, designed a 60-foot column, topped with an eagle perched on a globe, on the former site of the beacon -- to commemorate Boston's glorious past and prospects. The Bulfinch monument came down in 1811 to make way for real estate development. The replacement we now see -- erected after the Civil War -- still symbolizes the original hill and beacon that William Blackstone, Boston's first settler, saw 350 years ago.