fact or fiction? boston same size as central park

again i was watching a program this evening and it was stated that boston is roughly the same size as central park i have visited both but found it rather odd as i dont remember boston being tiny nor central park being gigantic

Boston is 47 square miles, while all of Manhattan is only 22 square miles. I believe Central Park only makes up a couple of those square miles.

thanks waterdog this information i heard was on the E! network on a show called wild on hosted by my girl jules asner

waterdog, that’s a new one.

And since you mentioned Wild On, I’m going to have to go on a little rant. Their friggin’ logo thing, with the letters of wild each rotating has always annoyed me. The first three letters are symmetrical, while the d rotates between a d and a b. So it ends up saying “wilb on” as often as it does “wild on”, which to me is just stupid.

And as a Bostonian, had I seen this, I’d have half a mind to call them up and yell at them. I mean, they weren’t even close.

Maybe they meant “200 years ago, Boston was the same size as Central Park”?

Or perhaps “Boston’s downtown district is the same size as Central Park”? I’ve heard many times that downtown Boston is quite compact for a city of that size, since the basic layout predates the automobile and was built on a pedestrian-friendly scale. But I have no idea if it’s even in the same order of magnitude as Central Park.

Central park is a rectangle that stretches from 59th street in the south to 110th street in the north. Eight blocks north and south in Manhattan is a mile, so that’s a shade over 6 miles (Manhattan is about 12 miles north and south). It goes from 5th Avenue to 8th Avenue east to west, which is probably under a mile, but let’s be generous and call it a mile. This makes the area of central park about six square miles.

Boston may be 47 square miles (sounds right). When first settled Boston was the Shawmut Peninsula, narrow enough at the neck that ships could cross their bowsprits over it (assuming they didn’t run aground on the shallows). Boston’s been added to a LOT since then, and there’s been an amazing amount of landfill added to fill out the peninsula (Manhattan’s been added to enormously, too. Castle Clinton used to be offshore). Having seen a lot of early maps, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Shawmut peninsula was less than 6 square miles. But I seriously doubt if anyone on E! network was comparing Central Park to 17th century Boston. I’d be surprised if E! recognized the existence of anything prior to 1960.

They probably mean “Boston proper,” which comprises the North End, the Financial District, Beacon Hill, Back Bay, and the South End. That’s a rather small area, easily the same size as Central Park. You can walk from the Old North Church in the North End to, say, the intersection of Boylston Street and Mass. Avenue, at the edge of the Back Bay, in probably not more than an hour, tops.

I agree with missbunny. There are many ways to define Boston, Greater Boston, Metro Boston. Natives like myself don’t worry about it too much, but depending what was used I could easily believe it’s no bigger than Central Park. Just keep in mind it’s not what everyday people would probably mean by “Boston”.

Hold on there, Cal. You got some of yer calc-a-lations wrong.

Manhattan’s N-to-S blocks run twenty to the mile, not six. That makes CP a hair over 2.5 miles long. Eyeballing a scale map, it looks a bit over a half mile wide. (E-W blocks vary in length, so guestimating is all I’m gonna do for that dimension).

Anyway, you can get the rough square-mileage from that; meanwhile the NYC Encyclopedia sez it’s 843 acres.

stuyguy-- you’re right. Been too long since I’ve been there.

Monaco, at .75 sq. mile, is smaller than 1.25 sq. mile Central Park. This doesn’t answer the OP but I’ve always used the Monaco comparison with visitors.