Back in the day, diamond shingles were all the rage

Alley in old Boston

The folks at the Boston City Archives wonder if you can place this scene. See it larger.



Free tagging: 


    The impulse is to date it to

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    The impulse is to date it to the car, but... Looking at the clothing/style of the girl in the foreground, I'd say later. Late 40s or early 50s.

    The car... I'd guess that someone had bought it in the 30s/early 40s, before production was reserved to the war effort. There seems to be another car behind it, more rounded, maybe 40s?

    Where? Still thinking on that. Could be all sorts of places - Charlestown, Roxbury....

    The building at the end of the block might be the key.

    Of course, one of the others probably had SCMODS and is already running the plates and will blow my little speculations out of the water.

    What Rob said

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    rounded car in back, dress on the girl to the right of the street etc. looks to be about early 1940s.

    The building in the back looks somewhat official and fairly flat ground. Could be like an executive residence for the Brigham and there are some really cool wood frame houses with lots of gingerbread etc. back there - so I'm guessing Longwood Medical Area.

    That's A School

    1880's construction based on the Mansard Roof and design.

    My gut tells me that this an late 1930's photo taken for housing project development takings, maybe Orchard Park or Mission in Roxbury.

    Might not be the Brigham since most of the buildings over there were more three decker with the slanted roof. The hospital grounds then were almost rural in character until the 50s.


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    How so?

    Not that it matters. This building is much smaller than the Normal school in the link. Window pattern quite different.

    Seems too small to be a school.

    Center bay

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    I think they meant the center bay is recessed in the blackline drawings while the photo above shows a center bay popped out, or proud, of the rest of the facade.

    except it is

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    The roof line suggests that the center bay is an "outie"

    OK. Rereading OriginalPatPayaso's comment

    The building in the picture is inverted from the drawings you link to. Good thing you're not a building contractor.

    I think they used inverted to mean the opposite of the drawings, not that the center bay in the photo is inverted.

    So in conclusion

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    I think it's a good thing that originalpatpayaso is not a construction contractor because nobody can figure out what the hell s/he is talking about? :-) s/

    Those aren't shingles

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    That's tar paper - a popular siding option early in the 20th century.

    There are things growing in

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    There are things growing in there...fences protect the plants. (I'm guessing vegetables).

    Something is weird about this

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    Why are so many people outside? (Bet you didn't see the little kid crouching behind the fence on the left, in the front.)

    Why does the woman in the back right seem to be dressed-up and posing?

    What's with the tops of the fences on the right.

    Very odd.

    Chicken run - urban 1930s style

    The fences on the right are set up as a chicken run - keep predators out, keep the chickens in.

    People outside? People used to go outside and do stuff - chores like laundry, tend the chickens, meet the various delivery people, etc.

    I'm guessing the Aaron Davis

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    I'm guessing the Aaron Davis School on Yeoman Street in Roxbury...near what is now Orchard Park.

    The Answer

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    Thanks for playing, folks! This photo shows Reeds Court in Roxbury. The photo is undated, but it is filed with similar photos of Roxbury taken in the late 1930s (Mostly 1938 and 39), so we think that its from about those years.

    Then the building at the end is the Aaron Davis school

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    The school is on plate 38 at the invaluable WardMaps:
    The Reeds Court is on plate 2:

    I don't think there's a single scrap of any of the buildings in this photo still extant.,-71.0764396,3a,75y,33.25h,76.71t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sJ45uskU1FM9Akb2x06DqGw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656


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    Unmarked street. No distinctive terrain. Nothing distinctive in the background. Building not there anymore. Street not there anymore. No visible building numbers.

    In the words of Phill Jupitus, What kind of a hellish quiz IS this?

    Eccles' Theorem

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    Any test capable of fully discriminating all the degrees of knowledge must contain insoluble problems.

    My Irish relatives lived on

    My Irish relatives lived on Eustis Street in Roxbury. It has changed since then. Maybe you have a photo of Eustis Street around 100 years ago.

    If it was a school, it's a

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    If it was a school, it's a bit small. Not likely it's in use as a school now, though it may still be standing.

    Lots of other buildings - small to medium residences - have mansard roofs.

    The structure on top does seem to push for it to be a school or commercial building, or at least an apartment building. Looks like water tank or exhaust fan assembly above a central shaft or stairway?

    The other houses on the street... You still see one or two tar paper sided buildings around town, and a few houses with that elaborate trim. Not too many with fabric awnings, though.

    Paved street.

    Looks like a street that either dead-ends at that building at the far end, or maybe a little more likely - goes in one-way, turns 90 degrees, goes a bit more, turns 90 degrees again, comes back out to the same main road it started from.

    It appears that

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    the busy bodies are blabbering about the babe in the bikini (top)

    Aaron Davis School is right

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    Reed's Court was off of Yeoman Street, between Chadwick Street and Albany Street. So if you looked northeast on Reed's Court, you'd be looking towards Yeoman Street and the Aaron Davis School would be in the background. (Info from the 1915 Bromley Atlas of Roxbury, which I downloaded from the Mass. State Library website.)

    I seem to remember another photo of Reed's Court in this Archives series a few months ago. That photo was looking the opposite direction and in the background was a corner of the Dearborn School on Ambrose Street.


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    Footlight Club Bldg?