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The Hatch Shell

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Category:Historic Landmarks
Other Ideas: Swan Boats; Boston Tea Party Ship & Museum (for kids and adults); Castle Island, Fort Independence and Sullivan's Snack Shack; Boston Haymarket; Fenway Park Tours

the hatch shell photoThe Hatch Shell is an outdoor concert venue adjacent to the Charles River Esplanade near downtown Boston.

The Hatch Shell is best known for hosting the Boston Pops Orchestra annually for the Boston Fourth of July celebration, but is also used for free concerts most weekends and many weeknights during the summer months.

The grass pavilion in front of the stage has no permanent seating. There is a memorial to Arthur Fiedler, first permanent conductor of the Pops, nearby. View Hatch Shell History.

The original shell was built in 1928 as a temporary venue for the Pops with expectations of construction of a permanent structure in the near future. Owing to sparse funding throughout the Great Depression, construction of a permanent Hatch Shell was delayed until 1941.

In preparation for its 50th anniversary in 1991, it underwent significant renovation and repair along with modernization of its acoustics. Bostonian Howard Brickman, a master craftsman specializing in wood floors, re-created the intricate interior paneling of the shell by hand.

Other uses of the Hatch Shell include movie showings and political speeches, and it is used as a meeting place for large events, such as the AIDS Walk. The grass pavilion is used for picnics, casual sports, and sunbathing in a manner typical of urban parks.

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  • Year Constructed: 1941

  • Construction Cost: Under $300,000

  • Renovations: $4.5M (1991), $2.4M (2018)

  • Height: 40 ft.

  • Width: 110 ft. (160 ft. including stair base)

  • Style: Art Deco

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