Boston needs more bowling

Old bowling alley

Like this place - conveniently located right across the street from an artificial-teeth place should you happen to get some teeth knocked out by a bowling bowl. But, say, where was this marvelous intersection? Brought to you by the folks at the Boston City Archives, of course. See it larger.



Free tagging: 


Government Center Was Scollay Square

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The area now known as Government Center was called Scollay Square in those days; Bowdoin Square is further west. Based mostly on the slope of the streets, this is my wild guess:



With all that demolition of buildings to make wider roads, they really must have freely flowing traffic there now. /snark

Bowdoin Sq. 1905ish

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Agreed, Bowdoin Square looking North from the Revere house (hotel that burned in 1912, not Paul Revere's house). It's now right where the Bowdoin T stop is. Used to be that Chardon St went through to Hawkins St from Cambridge there. Now New Chardon St is a block west.

The building next to the American Garage was the Boston Charity Bureau (now the Boston Redevelopment Authority).

A bit later than 1890

Note the garage being advertised - unless carriages went into garages, too, I suspect that there may have been a few cars around already.

Has To Be West End

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The streetcar tracks are the biggest clue. A short in the dark: Green Street at Lynde? All that single track and curves seems to hint at that. Only other place it could be is maybe Chinatown, but no hints of the El in the photo. Alas, the one day I don't bring my WESRy and BERy track maps to the office...

Bowdoin Sq. Bowling Alleys

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The sign reads "Bowdoin Sq. Bowling Alleys" so Bowdoin Square is a good place to start the investigation.

Looking at the BRA's trusty "Boston Atlas [] on the 1917 Bromley Atlas of downtown I see that the 5-story American Garage was at 24 Chardon Street. On the 1908 Bromley Atlas that same building was labeled as the "American Stable". So we are indeed looking down Chardon Street. Green Street leads off to the left. Cambridge Street would go off to the left, on the left side of the building with the TEETH sign. The entrance to Bowdoin Square subway station (built 1916) would have been built just to the left of where the man is standing by the dentist's office -- so this photo has to be before the subway construction began.

The building at the end of the street on the right side is indeed the City of Boston Charity Bureau, at the corner of Chardon and Hawkins Streets. (Chardon Street took a bend to the left at that intersection.) A fragment of Hawkins Street still exists, off of the present New Chardon Street, and in fact the Charity Bureau building still stands today.

New Chardon Street today is a few yards west of the old Chardon Street, so the photographer would have been standing in front of the main entrance of the present 100 Cambridge Street. The 1930s telephone company building, which still stands today, was at the corner of the old Chardon Street and would have been just off the right edge of this photo.

The view today:

The Answer

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Thanks for playing everyone! This is the corner of Green and Chardon Streets in Bowdoin Square. The date is November 9, 1912

Bowling in Bowdoin

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Sure glad that wretched hive of scum and villainy has been wiped off the earth in favor of a clean, wholesome, incorruptible government institution.