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Beacon Hill is a historic neighborhood of Boston. It is a neighborhood of Federal-style rowhouses and is known for its narrow, gaslit streets and brick sidewalks. Today, Beacon Hill is regarded as one of the most desirable and expensive neighborhoods in Boston.
Like many similarly named areas, the Beacon Hill is named for the location of a former beacon atop the highest point in central Boston. The beacon was originally used to warn the residents of an invasion, but is now used to refer to politics and wealth. Because the Massachusetts State House is in a prominent location at the top of the hill, the term "Beacon Hill" is also often used as a metonym in the local news media to refer to the state government or the legislature.
Beacon Hill is bounded by Storrow Drive, and Cambridge, Bowdoin, Park and Beacon Streets. It is about one mile square and situated along the riverfront of the Charles River Esplanade to the west, just north of Boston Common and the Boston Public Garden.
Beacon Hill is predominantly residential, known for old colonial brick row houses with "beautiful doors, decorative iron work, brick sidewalks, narrow streets, and gas lamps". Restaurants and antique shops are located on Charles Street.
Due to the proximity of Suffolk University and its Law School as well as the Massachusetts State House, students and young professionals tend to rent apartments in the area. While inhabitants of the north slope include Suffolk University students and professionals, wealthy Boston families continue to live at the Flat of the Hill and south slope.
There are three main MBTA train stops within the Beacon Hill, most notably Park Street which accesses most of the other lines. Beacon Hill is also within walking distance of the financial district and other areas of Boston.