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  • Gibson House MuseumGibson House Museum Boston, Massachusetts
    The Gibson House Museum is located in one of the cities' historical house museums that is found on Beacon Street in Back Bay, Boston, Massachusetts, and has preserved the 1860 house that was lived in by three generations of the Gibson family. In 1859, the widow Catherine Hammond Gibson bought the land for $3,696, so that she could move away from her place in Beacon Hill. The house was designed by Edward Clarke Cabot, in an Italian Renaissance style that had a brownstone and red brick exterior and was finished in 1860. After Catherine passed away, she left the estate to her son, Charles Hammond Gibson, who in turn left it to his son, Charles, Jr. when he passed on, and after Charles Jr. passed on in 1954, the city gained control of the house and made it a museum in 1957. In 2001, it was made a National Historic Landmark, which is due to the claim that it is the only Victorian period row house in the Back Bay that kept the important relationship between the inside and outside plans with the decorative schemes intact. The interior contains many family furnishings and pieces have been added to make it a more complete home. It isn't well known, and operates on a yearly budget of $100,000. The house contains a butler's pantry, kitchen, scullery, water closets, formal and private rooms that are still filled with the original furniture and furnishings of the Gibson family, as well as numerous personal possessions, all in the best example of well-to-do Boston families living in the city during that period from the mid 19th century until the mid 20th century. When the home was completed in 1860, the city of Boston was the fourth biggest in the country, and to accommodate the constant influx of new arrivals, the city started one of the most ambitious urban developments in the nation, filling in the mud flats or Back Bay area west of the Public Garden, that lasted until 1886, and helped create another 400 acres for the city. Many people doubted the new land, but after a while, the area was one of the most popular and fashionable parts of the city, with the most up-to-date conveniences that included running water, gas lines and a 96 mile water and sewer system. Soon many new churches, cultural facilities and schools came to the area, and besides the Arlington Street Church and Trinity Church, the bay area would become home to the Boston Public Library, the Museum of Fine Arts and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the first school of architecture in the country. When Catherine and her son, Charles, came to the new land as it became known, she was one of the first women into the area and one of the few women that owned a home here. Inside the house, there are black walnut woodworking, elaborate wallpapers, imported carpeting and plenty of pictures, sculpture, furniture, paintings, porcelain, silver, 18th century family heirlooms and curios galore. Charles would marry Rosamond Warren in 1871, one of the distinguished members of the Boston family of physicians, with a great uncle, General Joseph Warren dying at the Battle of Bunker Hill while leading his men. When Catherine passed on in 1888, Rosamond would redecorate areas of the house, in the newest fashion, that included white woodwork in the music room and gold-embossed "Japanese leather" in the reception hall's wallpaper. The house became the vision and pride of the couple's middle child, Charles Jr., a bon vivant, travel writer, poet and horticulturist, with somewhat of an eccentric lifestyle that would not well liked by the Boston Brahmans, that carried over into his particular tastes, like always coming outside in formal attire, with morning coat, cane and spats, and continued wearing them a long time after they had been fashionable. Neighbors would espy him coming outside every night at 6 PM, on his way to the Ritz for supper, sometimes in a full length fur coat.

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  • Museum of ScienceMuseum of Science Boston, Massachusetts
    The Museum of Science (MoS) has become a landmark in the city of Boston, Massachusetts, found in the Science Park, which is a length of land that sits alongside of the Charles River, containing more than 500 interactive displays, with many live presentations inside the building each day, with shows in the Charles Hayden Planetarium and the Mugar Omni IMAX theater, which is the only one of its kind in New England. It is also a member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, housing more than a 100 animals, many that have been saved and rehabitilitated from dangerous situations. It is also one of the two locales in the city that has become a base of operations for Boston Duck Tours. It started out as the Boston Society of Natural History in 1830, by a group of men that wanted to share scientific interests and the museum actually started as a kind of club where these men could gather and show off their skins and other collectibles that they acquired during their travels to Asia and Africa. There are many taxidermied specimens on display like they are at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, as well as many other museums throughout the country, that was used to teach children about the animals that inhabited New England and other areas of the world. A building was bought in 1864, after having gone through many temporary ones, and it was located in the Back Bay area, and called the New England Museum of Natural History. It stayed there until after WWII, growing and transforming into more a science museum and not so much as a gentlemen's club for safari trophies. When the war ended, the building was sold and the museum began anew as the Boston Museum of Science. It worked with the Metropolitan District Commission to get a 99 year lease in Science Park, paying just a $1 a year for the use of the land it occupies, with the new construction and development beginning in 1948, and the museum opening in 1951. The planetarium opened in 1958, and the museum grew larger in the 1970s and 1980s, and in 1999, when the Computer Museum closed in the city, many of its exhibitions were moved to the science museum, with the majority going to the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California.

January 11, 2011