Just your basic day at Washington and Winter downtown

Gilchrist's at the corner of Washington and Winter streets in downtown Boston

Marion Trikosko captured the scene at the intersection of Washington and Winter streets, looking towards Tremont Street in what we now call Downtown Crossing, one August day in 1964. Gilchrist's is now the Corner, Albert's is an AT&T store.

From the Library of Congress's collection of Boston photos and drawings.



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Gilchrest had bodacious

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Gilchrest had bodacious blueberry muffins.
Warm and hot and right out of the oven.

I remember

Gilchrist's almond macaroons, which my mother always brought home. We got the blueberry muffins at Jordan Marsh.


And in the 1960s

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NONE of these stores decorated for Christmas until the day after Thanksgiving. That's right, NO Christmas decorations the day before Thanksgiving, full Christmas decorations two days after Thanksgiving.


Both one way

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Both streets were one-way by the 1960s -- Washington towards the north, Summer/Winter towards the west [Boston Common].

Older photos show a stand in the middle of the intersection where a policeman stood to direct traffic.

Response to ‘No Traffic Lights’

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There wasn’t much vehicular traffic back then, so lights weren’t necessary. People looked (dressed) so much better in those days. Downtown Crossing (or simply ‘Downtown’ as it was known) wasn’t scary the way it is today. The department stores were wonderful...sigh. Thanks for the great photo which brought back tons of memories!


In 1964

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It was full of nice white American people. Now it's full of hopheads, teenagers, foreigners, minorities, criminals, walking dead, aliens, etc.

I’ll tell you how it’s scary

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I was robbed by a drug addict who had a knife. I never used to see threatening looking people hanging around back then (absolutely no racial implications—The person who robbed me was white). And yes, I was expecting someone to mention the Combat Zone, but the discussion was Downtown Crossing (basically what surrounds and branches slightly from the intersection of Washington, Summer and Winter Streets) not including the Combat Zone which was further down Washington Street and away from the shopping district.

Start with the homeless

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Start with the homeless people yelling at each other, then consider the open drug dealing, and go from there.

Not as scary?

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And the Combat Zone which was right down the street, just a hop, skip and jump away, was, um, what?