Beacon Hill Civic Association Community Corner

Joy Street Background

The reconstruction of Joy Street, now underway, consists of pedestrian improvements to the northern portion of Joy Street. Approximately 390 linear feet between Smith Court and Cambridge Street will be redesigned as a shared street. This will provide increased pedestrian space and will lead visitors to the Museum of African American History and the Abiel Smith School, two key stops on the Black Heritage Trail. These historic sites are operated by the National Parks Services. Joy Street is located within the Boston Landmarks Commission Beacon Hill Historic District.


Proposed Improvements

To highlight the location the location of the Abiel Smith School and the African American Museum, Joy Street south of Smith Court down to Cambridge Street will have a 6” curb reveal on the east side to aid parking. The existing curb line will be maintained, allowing for an 11’ travel lane and an 8’ parking lane. All existing street lights and trees will be maintained. At the intersection of Joy Street with Cambridge Street, ramps will be reconstructed.

The shared street section will increase pedestrian space and slow down vehicle traffic. For improved safety, eight bollards will be added at the curb frontage of the Beacon Hill Nursery School at 74 Joy Street between the sidewalk and the travel lane. Additional bollards will be installed along the west side of the roadway. A distinctive paving treatment will be used at each entrance to Joy Street (at Cambridge Street), as well as at the Abiel Smith School and the Museum of African American History. The sidewalks will be reconstructed with Pine Hall (wire cut) brick pavers. The existing historic light fixtures will remain in place.

A change to the parking regulations on Joy Street between Myrtle and Smith Court is proposed to shift the parking lane from the east side to the west side.

(Information provided by the City of Boston – for more details please visit


Tree Removal

The Parks Department is set to remove sick and/or dead Beacon Hill trees this August. It is important to note that if tree guards are too high at those locations, or do not have a removable panel, or are in poor condition the Parks Department will remove them.  However, if the tree guard is in good condition at those locations it would be preferable to remove it temporarily (by the neighbor) and re-install it after a new tree is planted next spring or fall. This is the best way to avoid damage to the guard or potential removal. If there is other planted material (flowers, etc.) it will likely be removed by the planting crew. See the list of tree removals on our website at Please spread the word!


Come join us!

Beacon Hill Civic Association committees and special events bring together volunteers and neighbors, working together to assure a good quality of life on the Hill. All residents are welcome to become members and participate.


Meetings this week

Tuesday, August 7: Streets & Sidewalks Committee Meeting. 6:30pm. 74 Joy Street.


Upcoming Special Events

Beacon Hill Meet & Greet – August 6

Historic Preservation Roundtable – August 22 (note new date)

First Friday Coffee Hour  – resumes in September

Fall HillFest – September 23


Visit the Beacon Hill Civic Association website or call the office (617-227-1922) for more information.

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