Built in 1987, the Rowes Wharf is a modern development in downtown Boston and is actually the reincarnation of the old waterfront development that once stood in the area. The newer attraction has become a favorite destination among tourists who are visiting the Boston harbor area.
The site where the modern Rowes Wharf is now found was formerly a neighborhood called South Battery which was created by the earliest settlers in Boston during the 17th century. In 1764, one of the most prolific businessmen and property developers in the city John Rowe purchased the land and put up the origin Rowes Wharf at that area which was extended slightly into the Boston Harbor. The area was utilized primarily for commercial water traffic.
Rowes Wharf was a bustling and vibrant port area for about 100 years and reached its peak during the latter part of the 1800s owing to its accessibility from the other parts of Boston thanks to the railroads, ferries and elevated trains that were very popular during that time. However, these modes of transportation slowly became obsolete and finally came to an end by the middle of 20th century. The area lost its appeal and the once busy Rowes Wharf was downgraded into a run-down and undesirable venue. This was compounded by the shift in shipping trends which significantly decreased the industrial water traffic in the area.
Rowes Wharf managed to bounce back from degradation and currently, it occupies 2 hectares of land situated in Boston?s Seaport District. The main attraction is called ?the Gateway of Boston? which occupies a total area of 32,000 square meters. The new structure was finished in 1987 and towers at 182 feet and has 16 stories. The magnificently crafted building boasts of the four-star Boston Harbor Hotel which has 230 rooms, 100 upscale condominiums and vital marine facilities.
The designer of the new Rowes Wharf is Adrian Smith from the architectural firm Skidmore, Owings and Merrill. According to him, Rowes Wharf is made of ?a steel deck and beam frame? covered with a brick, granite and pre-cast concrete wall. It features a courtyard which includes a public plaza which leads to the waterfront. The courtyard is crowned by majestic arches. An observatory topped with a copper dome is found on top of the building and offers a 360-degree vista of Boston. A free-floating platform is also available which is frequently used for concerts and other events mostly held during the summer season.
Rowes Wharf is one of the embarkation points for water taxis, an alternative mode of transportation that is gaining popularity. It is expected that the creation of a new park near Rowes Wharf will elevate further the status of the area.