The map shows both event and program spaces located throughout the Literary District where readings, conferences, and other literary gatherings take place, and historic literary sites. The event venues and historic literary sites are listed in separate columns.

Feel like taking a leisurely walk past the homes of Robert Frost and Henry James, or the “birthplace” of Curious George? Click on District Historic Sites. Want to see where writers’ conferences, readings, book festivals, signings, and workshops take place? Click on Event Programming.

District Historic Sites
1
Poe Returns
50 Park Plaza at Arlington Street

Edgar Allan Poe was born near this spot in 1809. This sculpture, unveiled in 2014, depicts him carrying a suitcase spilling with pages from his work. Also emerging from the case: a heart, referencing his 1843 story “The Tell-Tale Heart.” A spread-winged raven is perched on his shoulder, a nod to his greatest success, the 1845 poem: “The Raven.”

2
The Colored American Magazine
5 Park Square

(Address no longer exists but would be just where the The Trolley Shop and Leather World are situated.) First monthly publication targeting an exclusively African American readership.

4
Ploughshares at Emerson College
120 Boylston Street

Ploughshares was named after a Cambridge pub called The Plough and Stars. Today it’s one of the world’s most esteemed literary journals.

6
The Long Path
Tremont St

Immortalized by Oliver Wendell Holmes in his Autocrat of the Breakfast Table. (Boston Common, the country’s oldest public park, is also a spot that Ralph Waldo Emerson grazed cows as a child. And Poe, who had a distaste for the transcendentalists, dismissed them as frogpondians, for the Common’s Frog Pond on which people ice skate during the winter.)

7
Jacob Wirth Restaurant
31 Stuart Street

Jacob Wirth is a historic German-American restaurant and bar which was once frequented by Beat poet and novelist Jack Kerouac. It even boasts a cameo in his 1950 novel, The Town and the City.

8
Brattle Book Shop
9 West Street

Established in 1825, the Brattle is one of America’s oldest and largest antiquarian booksellers. It features two floors of general used books, a third floor of rare and antiquarian books, and an outside sale lot.

9
Margaret Fuller Residence
486 Washington Street

Fuller (1810-1850) was a 19th century critic and pioneering female reporter for the New York Tribune. Along with Ralph Waldo Emerson, she helped establish the American transcendentalism movement.

11
Stores! Stores! Stores! Miles of Stores!
450 Washington St

Edward Bellamy, in his celebrated 1888 novel Looking Backward, described a utopian Boston in the year 2000 with its “Stores! Stores! Stores! Miles of stores!” on Washington Street.

12
Benjamin Franklin Birthplace
1 Milk Street

American Founding Father, polymath, and co-author of the Declaration of Independence was born here—the 15th of 16 children. The house’s exact location is disputed as a fire destroyed the original structure in 1811.

13
Commonwealth Books – Spring Lane
9 Spring Lane

Specializes in “used~old~scarce” texts. Commonwealth is also a publisher that goes under the name of Black Widow Press, publishing poetry and works translated from other languages.

14
The Boston Evening Transcript
2 Milk Street

The Evening Transcript was one of the newspapers that made up the “cradle of American journalism.” It published an early draft of “America the Beautiful” in 1904 and ran from 1830 to 1941. When the original editor died in 1872, it was taken over by his sister, Cornelia Wells Walter, now widely regarded as the first female editor of a major daily paper.

15
Old South Meeting House
310 Washington Street

Members of Old South’s congregation included Samuel Adams and the young Benjamin Franklin and his family. Phillis Wheatley joined the church in 1771. Although she was an African-born slave, she became one of the best-known poets in pre-nineteenth century America.

16
Old Corner Bookstore
3 School Street

This 19th century literary center revolutionized literature by publishing the first bestselling works by American authors, including Harriet Beecher Stowe, Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

17
Newspaper Row
328 Washington Street

Once had the offices of the Boston Globe, the Boston Herald, the Boston Advertiser, the Boston Post, the Boston Journal, the Boston Traveler, and the Associated Press. Look for the plaque at 1 Devonshire Place between 266 Washington Street and Devonshire Street.

18
Peter L. Stern & Company
15 Court Square

This veteran antiquarian seller of used and rare books specializes in 19th and 20th century literature, inscribed books, and manuscripts. Its open “by chance” or “by appointment.”

19
Old City Hall
45 School Street

Old City Hall is rumored to be the inspiration for Edwin O’Connor’s Pulitzer-winning 1956 novel, The Last Hurrah. In 1969 City Hall was moved to its current location in Government Center.

20
Site of Boston Latin School
45 School Street

Founded in 1635, the Boston Latin School was the first public school in the United States. Its alumni includes Ben Franklin, Cotton Mather, Ralph Waldo Emerson, John Hancock, and many other notables.

21
Omni Parker House
60 School Street

Site of the private, all-male “Saturday Club” where, in 1855, writers like Emerson, Thoreau and Longfellow mixed with contemporary historians, philosophers and the Presidents of Harvard over cigars and drinks. A young Malcolm X used to work in the Parker House kitchen.

22
King’s Chapel Burial Ground
58 Tremont St

The only cemetery in Boston between the years 1630 and 1660, King’s Chapel Burial Ground is believed to contain the inspiration for the gravestone of Hester Prynne, the fictional heroine of Nathanial Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter.

24
Tremont Temple
88 Tremont Street

Founded on the principle that worship should be free, The Tremont Temple hosted speakers including Frederick Douglass, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and President Abraham Lincoln. Dickens performed his first public reading of A Christmas Carol here.

25
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., Residence
3 Bosworth Street

The poet, physician, and father of America’s most famous jurist lived here from 1841-1859. Many of Holmes’ works were published in The Atlantic Monthly, a magazine that he named

26
Orpheum Theater
1 Hamilton Pl

Originally built as a classical music venue, the climax of Henry James’ novel The Bostonians takes place here. The Orpheum also hosted lectures by Oscar Wilde and Harriet Beecher Stowe.

27
The Granary Burying Ground
Tremont Street between School and Park Streets

Burial site of the parents of Benjamin Franklin, victims of the Boston Massacre, poet Phillis Wheatley’s master, and the woman once believed to be the original Mother Goose.

28
Offices of the popular illustrated weekly Gleason’s Pictorial and the weekly story paper The Flag of Our Union
101 Tremont Street

The building at 101 Tremont began its life as the Boston Museum, which hosted works of fine art, a collection of wax figures, a theater, and a zoo. In the mid-1800s, the Museum Building, as it was then called, was taken over by Gleason’s Publishing Hall, which became the first company in the country to integrate all aspects of the publishing process under one roof.

29
Park Street Church
1 Park St

New England Society for the Suppression of Vice was founded here in 1878. Later, editor H.L. Mencken was arrested for selling “certain obscene, indecent, and impure printing…manifestly tending to corrupt the morals of youth.”

31
Women’s Journal
3-5 Park Street

This journal was published by women’s rights advocate and abolitionist Lucy Stone.

33
Boston Athenæum
10 ½ Beacon Street

Founded in 1807, the Boston Athenæum is one of the oldest independent libraries in the United States. It was relocated to is present site in 1849.

36
State House
24 Beacon St

The bookstore on the first floor of the State House sells printed documents from the Code of Massachusetts Regulations (CMR), election statistics, guides from the historical society, books on the history of Boston, and souvenirs.

37
Robert Gould Shaw and the 54th Massachusetts Regiment Memorial
Beacon Street opposite State House

Gould Shaw led one of the first African-American units to fight in the Civil War. The large bronze relief created to memorialize him inspired both Robert Lowell’s poem, “For the Union Dead” and Paul Laurence Dunbar’s poem, “Robert Gould Shaw.”

38
Little Brown
34 Beacon Street

The original, 1837 offices of Little, Brown publisher of Louisa May Alcott’s beloved classic, Little Women.

39
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Wedding Place
39 Beacon Street

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow unsuccessfully courted Frances “Fanny” Appleton for years, when he received a letter in which Fanny finally agreed to marry him. Longfellow walked to see Fanny, “too restless to sit in a carriage,” he later wrote, and the two were married in July, in Appleton’s house at 39 Beacon Street.

42
New England Watch and Ward Society
41 Mount Vernon Street

Founded as the New England Society for the Suppression of Vice, this Boston organization was involved in the censorship of books and the performing arts from the late 19th century to the middle of the 20th century, prompting the phrase “Banned in Boston.” Until recently the building housed Beacon Press, a department of the Unitarian Universalist Association and an independent publisher of serious fiction and nonfiction by Michael Patrick MacDonald, Rashid Khalidi, Mary Oliver and others.

43
Sarah Wyman Whitman Residence
77 Mount Vernon Street

Designed covers for famous authors at Houghton Mifflin. Also the site of an annual competition dinner between Little Brown, Houghton Mifflin and the Atlantic Monthly Press for who sold the most books in the previous year in five categories.

44
Maria Stewart and David Walker
81 Joy Street

Stewart was a black abolitionist whose speeches were the first publicly delivered talks by an American woman on politics and women’s rights. Walker, in 1829, published “Appeal to the Colored Citizens of the World,” which decried slavery and racial hatred.

46
Museum of African American History
46 Joy Street

Among the most important National Historic Landmarks in the nation, the African Meeting House and Abiel Smith School on Beacon Hill were built in the early 1800’s and are two of the museum’s most valuable assets.

47
Lois Lowry Residence
39 Hancock Street

Lowry (1937-) is the award-winning author of The Giver (1993), the first YA dystopian novel, and Number the Stars (1990) about the escape of a Jewish family in WWII Europe.

51
Nathaniel Hawthorne Residence
54 Pinckney Street

Hawthorne (1804-1864) best known for The Scarlet Letter and Young Goodman Brown lived here from January 1839 to October 1840.

54
Robert Lowell Residence
91 Revere Street

Robert Lowell (1917- 1977) was a poet born into a Boston Brahmin family that could trace its origins back to the Mayflower. He wrote “91 Revere Street,” a prose piece that was published in The Partisan Review but is best known for his poetry volume, Life Studies. (Later in his life, Lowell also lived at #s 170 and 239 Marlborough Street in Boston’s Back Bay.)

56
Susan Paul Residence
36 West Cedar Street

Paul (1809–1841) was an African-American abolitionist, a primary school teacher and member of the Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society. In 1835 year she wrote the first biography of an African American published in the United States: Memoir of James Jackson.

57
Robin Cook Residence
16 Louisburg Square

Contemporary New York Times best-selling author and master of the medical thriller.

59
William Dean Howells Residence
4 Louisburg Square

Howells (1837–1920) helped midwife American realism, and was known as the “Dean of American Letters.” In addition to being a playwright, literary critic, and novelist (The Rise of Silas Lapham) he was an editor for The Atlantic Monthly.

60
Kahlil Gibran Residence
108 Mount Vernon Street

Gibran (1883–1931) was a Lebanese-American painter, poet, writer and a key figure in a Romantic movement that transformed Arabic literature in the first half of the twentieth century. Gibran is the third best-selling poet of all time, behind William Shakespeare and Laozi. He’s best known for The Prophet (1923).

61
Henry James Residence
102 Mount Vernon Street

Nineteenth- and early-20th century novelist who wrote The Turn of the Screw, What Maisie Knew, and other well-known works.

62
Robert Frost Residence
88 Mount Vernon Street

Frost (1874–1963) was among the most celebrated American poets, well-known for his realistic depictions of rural life and his command of American colloquial speech. On January 20, 1961, he recited “The Gift Outright” at John F. Kennedy’s Presidential Inauguration.

64
Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes Residence
9 Willow Street

American writer Sylvia Plath (1932–1963) moved here with her husband, English poet Ted Hughes (1930–1998), after leaving Northampton, MA. in 1958. By the time she took her own life at age of 30, she already had a following for her poetry and her only published novel, The Bell Jar.

67
Charles Street Meeting House
121 Mount Vernon Street

Stronghold of the anti-slavery movement and the site of notable speeches by such people as Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, and William Lloyd Garrison.

68
Samuel Eliot Residence
44 Brimmer St

Morrison (1887–1976) was a Pulitzer Prize-winning maritime author famous for his eyewitness accounts of the Navy during World War II.

69
Make Way for Ducklings Sculpture

Created by Nancy Schön in 1987 as a tribute to Robert McCloskey’s Caldecott medal-winning children’s story of the same name, this sculpture is among the most beloved in Boston, often sporting the jerseys of local teams during playoffs.

72
The Atlantic Monthly Offices
8 Arlington Street

Created as a literary and cultural commentary magazine in 1857, The Atlantic Monthly resided at this address until it moved to Washington DC in 2006. The periodical was named Magazine of the Year by the American Society of Magazine Editors in 2016.

75
John Updike Residence
151 Beacon Street

Updike (1932–2009) was an American novelist, poet, short story writer, and critic. Celebrated for his realistic but subtle depiction of protestant, suburban, middle-class life, he’s best known for his Rabbit series, which earned him two Pulitzer prizes.

76
Julia Ward Howe
241 Beacon Street

A poet and writer, Howe (1819–1910) wrote the lyrics to The Battle Hymn of the Republic. She also was an active abolitionist and, following the Civil War, became a leader in the Woman’s Suffrage movement.

77
William Lloyd Garrison Sculpture
Commonwealth Avenue Mall at Dartmouth Street

Garrison (1805–1879) was a prominent abolitionist, journalist, and suffragist. He’s best known as the editor of the abolitionist newspaper The Liberator, which he cofounded in 1831 and published until slavery was abolished after the Civil War.

78
Samuel Eliot Morison Sculpture
Commonwealth Avenue Mall at Exeter Street

Morrison (1887–1976) was a Pulitzer Prize-winning maritime author famous for his eyewitness accounts of the Navy during World War II.

79
Boston Woman’s Memorial
Commonwealth Avenue Mall between Fairfield and Gloucester Streets

Sculpture of Abigail Adams, Lucy Stone, and Phillis Wheatley. Adams’s important letters were published after her death; Stone was first woman in Massachusetts to earn a bachelor’s degree and also edited important publications; Wheatley was first African American poet to publish in the Colonies.

80
Dartmouth Bookstall Site
Dartmouth Street between Commonwealth Avenue and Newbury Street

Made a landmark anti-censorship legal defense of Erskine Caldwell’s novel Tragic Ground in 1944.

81
Boston Public Library
700 Boylston St

Established in 1848, the Boston Public Library is one of the oldest and largest publicly supported libraries in the United States. Today it features murals by prominent artists, including a series by John Singer Sargent and an Italian Renaissance-inspired interior courtyard.

83
The Khalil Gibran Memorial
201-227 Dartmouth St

The Lebanese-American artist, writer, and philosopher Kahlil Gibran immigrated to the United States in 1895, at the age of 12. While living in Boston, he wrote and illustrated his most famous book, The Prophet, a poetic treatise on such topics as family, religion, and death.

84
Tortoise and Hare Sculpture
545 Boylston St

In 1996, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Boston Marathon, the city installed this sculpture by Boston-native Nancy Schön. The sculpture references the famous line from the Aesop fable: “Slow and steady wins the race.”

85
Trinity Church
206 Clarendon St

Contains a stained glass window designed by Boston artist Sarah Wyman Whitman, who also designed book covers for Houghton Mifflin Publishers for authors Holmes, Jewett, Longfellow, and others.

87
Ritz-Carlton Hotel
15 Arlington St

(Now the Taj.) Guests (including bar guests) included Eugene O’Neill, Sylvia Plath, and Anne Sexton.