July 2014, Jamaica Plain

street lights

southwest corridor  (sonya kovacic)

southwest corridor (sonya kovacic)

Boston currently has about 2,800 gas-powered street lamps, which can be found in Beacon Hill, Back Bay, Charlestown, and the North End. Although they are well-known for showing off Boston's historic charm, the lamps only date back a few decades (and are even newer than several of the electric lamps).

By 1913, all of the street lamps in Boston city proper had been converted to electric — it wasn't until 1962 that the city began re-installing gas-powered lamps in select neighborhoods.

Since 2011, many of the current gas lamps have had solar-powered igniters installed. Rather than staying lit all day, the lamps are automatically timed to light at nightfall.


A local organization wants to use exterior lighting on historic sites at night to create a "Diamond Necklace."