When a giant gas tank sat in the middle of the North End

Endicott and Lafayette in the North End

In some ways, the view down Lafayette Avenue from Endicott Street hasn't changed much since a photo in the Boston City Archives was taken some time between 1917 and 1920: All the buildings are the same - and even the fire escape on the building on the right has gone unchanged.

But, of course, there is one towering difference, as you can see in this smushup f that old photo and one taken a couple weeks ago: Today, when you look down the tiny street, you see the trees of DeFilippo Playground, rather than the large gas tank that used to dominate the neighborhood (the playground is still sometimes referred to as the Gassy).

Also, you don't tend to see urchins just hanging out on the street anymore.

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