Located on Beacon Street the Boston Athenaeum is the perfect blend of beauty, history and intellect. Behind its somewhat austere entrance lies a delicate world where art and literature coalesce and the ghosts of Boston's literary luminaries reign.
Fonded in 1807, the Athenaeum is one of the oldest and most distinguished private libraries in America. While a private institution the library's first floor, which includes an art gallery with changing exhibitions, is accessible to the public. Tours of the entire facility are offered weekly.
I spent many an hour here while in graduate school and every time I visit I am overwhelmed with the atmosphere's zen-like fusion of light and shadow, sculpted by the written word and illuminated by art. It's a place that eludes the everyday traveler but once found is a hidden gem in the city.