Lexington Battle Green
Storytelling: Key Dates: April 19, 1775
KZLA has developed landscape designs for this historically significant open space. This is the hallowed ground where the American Revolution began with Colonists pitted against the British redcoats. The design strives to improve access, and improve the aesthetics making material choices that are appropriate in this setting. The work will make improvements to the monuments, memorials, art, burying ground and Belfry.
The construction documentation process began in fall 2019.
Town of Lexington
2017 to Present
"The first blood was spilt in the dispute with Great Britain," as George Washington wrote in his diary. After the battle, Samuel Adams exclaimed to John Hancock, "What a glorious morning for America!"
It was here, on the Lexington Green, around 5 a.m. on the morning of April 19, 1775 that the first shots of the battle between the British regiments and the American colonial militia first took up arms against one another. The British troops had marched under cover of darkness en route to Concord to confiscate the guns that the militia had hidden away. Alerted by William Dawes and Paul Revere, American rebels were waiting for them.
To set the stage: It has been 5 years since the “Boston Massacre”. Tensions are high in the Town of Boston. The port has been closed; there are thousands of British soldiers living in the Town, some comfortably in the homes of Loyalists to the Crown, others camping in open spaces like the Boston Common. Boston is effectively an island, surrounded by water, and Boston Neck – the narrow strip of earth connecting the Town to the mainland – has been fortified by British General Gage to make it as difficult as possible for anyone to get in or out. Because of these restrictions, food is getting harder to come by with so many troops and Loyalists in the City. (Many loyal to the crown have left their country homes in Cambridge and Watertown to be under the protection of the British military.) Both sides are covertly trying to locate any artillery or munitions available and secret them to discrete locations.
On April 18th, General Gage has been given the order by Parliament to march his troops into Concord to retake reported stockpiles. Advance British patrols are spotted making the trek towards Concord. As the British regulars are assembling on Boston Common around 10 p.m. the signal has gone out from the steeple of the Old North Church. William Dawes heads south along Boston Neck. Paul Revere is rowed across the Charles River to Charlestown. They both are headed west to sound the alarm and rally the militia.
Captain John Parker, a native of Lexington and elected captain of the local militia, gave a sworn statement about the events of the day just days later: "I [...] ordered our Militia to meet on the common in said Lexington, to consult what to do, and concluded not to be discovered, nor meddle or make with said Regular Troops (if they should approach) unless they should insult us; and upon their sudden approach, I immediately ordered our Militia to disperse and not to fire. Immediately said Troops made their appearance, and rushed furiously, fired upon and killed eight of our party, without receiving any provocation therefore from us."
Since 2017, KZLA has been involved with the Town of Lexington in developing plans to rehabilitate the Lexington Green. Plans include making monuments more accessible, restoring the historic ornamental fountain below the Lexington Minuteman statue.
For more information, see: https://www.nps.gov/mima/learn/historyculture/april-19-1775.htm