Developer erects apartments on site of porn palace

It's a happy ending for the Hayden building, located on Washington Street, on the edge of Chinatown and Downtown Crossing.

The five-story office building, long run-down and in rough shape, has been renovated as four apartments, with retail at street level. Most-recently, the first floor was a bank. In the 1970s, it was an X-rated "peep show" cinema and gay bathhouse.

During its 135-plus year life, the building has been home to "tailors, jewelers, engravers, printers; a dental parlor advertising $6 false teeth and innovative cocaine-free dentistry “without the least particle of pain or danger’’; a uniform company and an employment service; a record shop; an Army-Navy store," according to the Boston Globe.

A re-dedication of the renovated building, built circa 1875 by H.H. Richardson (of Trinity Church fame), was held yesterday. According to the Boston Herald, the developer faces a unique challenge:

“I still don’t know what we’re going to do with our collection of porn films from the 1970s,” Historic Boston executive director Kathy Kottaridis said during yesterday’s celebration of the project. “We still have them over in our Roxbury offices.”

Photos of the interior & exterior, pre-renovation: Historic building to be reborn as housing - Boston.com

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