Construction in the square

Construction work in old Boston

But which square, and when? The folks at the Boston City Archives wonder if you can place this photo. See it larger.



Free tagging: 


    Scollay Under

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    The creation or recreation of Scollay Under.


    The area doesn't look like Scollay Square to me, but I could very easily be wrong. Also, this looks almost too early to be Scollay Station, let alone Scollay Under Station.


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    Looks like a sewer project.. and don't be mislead by the vast space. Look closely, those were foundations of buildings that were there.

    And I'm willing to guess this is about 1890-1910 or so. No cars, but electric street car operation.


    Those may be a clue if they were in an area of street widening post-1872 fire.


    Filene's Basement

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    Obviously that's Filene's Basement, circa 2004.


    George T. Carter Hardware

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    Listed at 585 Washington Street - near Lafayette in DTX - was that known as Lafayette Square at one time?

    Given almost all horse drawn carriages, limited and light trolley tracks, bowlers and the slow film speed, I'm guessing earlier than a lot of the other images they post - c. 1890 - maybe even a few years earlier.


    J.G. Munro

    I did a pretty deep google search for this place and nothing came up. Salad's [sic] and whiskey? I imagine I would fancy such a fine establishment in a previous life.


    PO Square before the Great Fire?

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    Stumbled upon an article on "Dumrell's Fire". My great grandfather was a BFD Capt back in the day....I like to read about historic BFD.

    On a mild November weekend in 1872, a spark in a downtown basement turned Boston into a firestorm. In less than twenty hours, the fire reduced the city’s commercial center to sixty-five acres of rubble. ,,,Boston credited its deliverance, to John S. Damrell, its courageous Fire Chief, who directed the defense that saved the city’s densely-populated neighborhoods from Chicago’s fate, and would forever change firefighting history.

    There's a chapter in Puleo's

    There's a chapter in Puleo's A City So Grand on the 1872 fire that paints a slightly different picture. Seems that a lot of people blamed Damrell for the destruction and people were very divided on the decision whether or not to blow up buildings to try to slow the fire. It's a good book, check it out.


    Chester Square?

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    I think that might be Chester Square, where Shawmut starts as Tremont takes a turn. Circa 1890something. I don't think a single one of those buildings in the picture are still standing, the area having been leveled for newer construction and the Mass Pike.

    Shawmut Ave. & Pleasant St. (Broadway), ca. 1896

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    The construction is for the southern (Tremont St.) portal of the Tremont St. Subway. At left is Shawmut Ave.; at right is Pleasant St., which was later renamed Broadway. At the extreme bottom of the photo you can see a glimpse of Tremont Street. The buildings in that triangular block have all been demolished to make way for the new subway portal. This is the area where the Church of All Nations and Eliot Norton Park are today. We're looking basically south, a little bit east of due south.

    The subway tracks through this portal opened October 1, 1897, so I'm guessing the view is from the summer of 1896.


    George T. Carter Hardware is

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    George T. Carter Hardware is listed at 657 Washington St. in the 1873 directory, and Mr. Carter lived on Worcester St. so I think somewhere in the South End is a safe bet!

    Moved to 40-42 Shawmut Avenue later

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    According to later directories, the hardware store was located at 40-42 Shawmut Ave in later years. That would indeed put this location near the Orange Line at Shawmut and Tremont Streets.

    If I had to guess, I would call this Oak Square.

    Construction of Holy Cross

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    Construction of Holy Cross Cathedral? Those buildings across the street look like where Foodie's market, The Gallows, Union, etc are today.

    The Answer!

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    Thanks for playing folks! This is The "Triangle" after the demolition of buildings for the streetcar subway entrance at Tremont Street and Pleasant Street. The year is 1896.