The Massachusetts capital is the largest city in New England and its cultural and economic heart. Founded in 1630 by John Winthrop as the seat of Massachusetts Bay Colony, Boston has a historical richness like no other city in the country. Known as the "Cradle of Modern America," the birthplace of the American Revolution still remains revolutionary in science, education and architecture.
Despite its relatively small size in comparison to giant cities like Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York, it is one of the most prominent urban areas in the USA, comprising the tenth largest metropolitan area. Deemed to be the "Hub of the Universe" by native writer and physician Oliver Wendell Holmes, Boston and the Greater Boston area now form a major hub of technology, considered by many to be second in the nation only to Silicon Valley.
Boston is also a collegiate mecca. The city and its surrounding areas contain 57 colleges and universities, including the world-renowned Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. About one in every 10 Bostonians is a student of higher learning, adding a vibrancy and youthfulness to the city.
From post-modern 111 Huntington Avenue to the Old State House, Boston exhibits a perfect amalgamation of old and new architecture. The cityscape is highlighted by the distinctive, early twentieth-century Marriott's Custom House on the east side of downtown, and the formidable, blue-mirrored facade of the Hancock Place on the west side.