Located at the center of South Boston, this 5.43-acre park features an elliptical-shaped plan that dates to the 1850s. At the center is the Dorchester Heights Monument, a 115-foot-tall marble monument completed in 1901 by Boston architects Peabody & Stearns in the Georgian Revival Style. The monument commemorates the fortification of Dorchester Heights in which American soldiers during the Revolutionary War placed cannon on this strategically important site which overlooked Boston and the harbor, leading to the British evacuation of the city.
Excel (South Boston) High School, designed in the Greek Revival style, was constructed in the east end of the park in 1901, replacing one of Boston’s earliest reservoirs. In 1951 Dorchester Heights was designated as a National Historic Site and in 1978 became one of eight sites comprising Boston National Historical Park when the National Parks and Recreation Act authorized the transfer of the site from the City of Boston to the National Park Service. Dorchester Heights National Historic Site was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1966.