Nick Aldwin snapped this photo yesterday of 1270 Boylston St. in the Fenway, showing advertising for the C.C. Whittemore Caterer - a paint job that may have been hidden from site for more than 100 years as the building and the former garage that sort of got grafted to it next door went through decades of transformations, ending up as a series of clubs and bars.
The building, slated for demolition to make way for an apartment building, was built in 1919 as the new home of a successful Back Bay caterer, so he would have more room to make baked goods, ice cream and other foods and then pack them up for shipment to customers.
But while the company's name remained prominently inscribed in cast stone on the front of the building, at least until the mid-1930s, when it went bankrupt and was bought by a maker of canned Chinese food, the side paint may have only been visible for a year. In 1920, somebody built a garage right up to the wall of the catering company.
Like the Whittemore building, which eventually became home to 1270 and later the Baseball Tavern, the garage - what's left of which you can see at the bottom of Aldwin's photo - is scheduled to make way for the apartment building. Aldwin is interested in the history of that structure, former home to Ramrod and Machine, and went down there yesterday to take a look at the demolition and noticed the Whittemore lettering.
He notes that in addition to the Whittemore name, you can also see the boarded-up window and shaft for the dumbwaiter - on the left of the photo. Whittemore may have used to move finished food - baked goods on the second floor, ice cream in the basement - to the first floor, where workers would assemble orders to be delivered.
Before the bars: The food history of 1270 Boylston.