The finish line for the Boston Marathon is on Boylston Street in front of the Boston Public Library, midway between Exeter and Dartmouth Streets. Runners get their first glimpse of the finish after make a turn from Hereford Street onto Boylston. From there, the final three-and-a-half blocks, past Gloucester, Fairfield and Exeter streets, is filled with thousands of screaming supporters.
The Boston Marathon has been hosted annually on Patriots' Day, the third Monday of April, since 1897. Inspired by the success of the first modern-day marathon competition in the 1896 Summer Olympics, the Boston Marathon is the world's oldest marathon and one of five World Marathon Majors. The course runs through 26.22 miles (42.195 km) of winding roads, following Route 135, Route 16, Route 30 and city streets into the center of Boston. The event, run by the Boston Athletic Association (BAA), attracts an average of about 20,000 registered participants every year.
Copley Square, a Victorian Square bounded by Boylston Street, Clarendon Street, St. James Street and Darmouth Street, was created following the 1858 filling of most of the Back Bay Fens. Named after John Singleton Copley, it is the only square in the country named after an artist. The founding buildings of MIT were located int he notheast corner of the square until the institution moved to a new campus in Cambridge in 1916. Huntington Avenue diagonally bisected the square until it was terminated at the corner of Dartmouth and St. James as part of a 1966 site plan, designed by Sasaki, Dawson & DeMay. The park was redesigned in 1989, and rededicated in 1991. Today, Copley Square has come to informally represent a larger area extending approximately two blocks east and west along Boylston, Huntington and St. James.