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A building plastered in ads in old Boston

Block in old Boston

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

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Tremont House

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The building to the right looks like the building at the corner of Mass. Ave and Tremont St. but the building at the center of the picture doesn’t look familiar, perhaps it was demolished to expand Mass Ave at some point?

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It’s Tremont House, arguably Boston’s first true hotel, which stood at the corner of Tremont and Beacon from 1829 into the 1890s.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tremont_House_(Boston)

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The Wikipedia article mentioned above cites (but doesn't link to) a magazine article from January 1895. The article indicates that the Tremont House was slated for demolition at that time; it shows a photo dated December 15, 1894, and notes that it was "receiving a shroud of advertising posters" on that date.

Here's a link to the magazine article; the photo is on a subsequent page:
https://books.google.com/books?id=Ro9GAQAAIAAJ&pg=PA329&lpg=PA329

Like many of these mystery photos, it was probably taken just before subway construction began, which would also make it 1895. The fact that the hotel was slated for demolition at the same time appears to be coincidental.

The building at 73 Tremont St., now occupied by Suffolk University, was built on the site after the hotel was taken down. It's between Beacon St. and the Granary Burying Ground.

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So that's why they went with the pillars out front! I thought it was just a play on a courthouse motif.

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The Tremont House was a four-story, granite-faced, neoclassical building, located at the corner of Tremont and Beacon Streets, with its main entrance on Tremont. It incorporated many hotel "firsts"

Indoor plumbing
Indoor toilets and baths
Reception area
Locked rooms for the guest
Free soap
Bellboys

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Picture probably dates from just before construction of the Tremont St. Subway, so around 1895?

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It always astonishes me to see Tremont Street as a dirt road.

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The Romans had both hotels (hospitia) and indoor plumbing. Whether any of the former incorporated the latter I don't know, but it would be surprising if they did not, as some of them were quite grand. You can even visit one of them, the House of Sallust in Pompeii. Unfortunately you cannot book a room.

I don't know whether they had free soap.

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It was the SW corner of the jct of Tremont and Beacon, with Granary Burial Ground to its SW.

https://collections.leventhalmap.org/search/commonwealth:9s161j63k

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He died in 1903. The Tremont House closed in 1895, so between those dates, probably before 1900.

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Thanks for playing, folks! Tremont House in 1895 is the correct answer. You can see a high res copy of the photo here: https://cityofboston.access.preservica.com/uncategorized/IO_e0a60fc1-b46...

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