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By adamg - 4/8/24 - 11:26 am
Cover of Darkness at Noon, about a solar eclipse in 1806

From the Hagley Library.

Seems Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee declared a state of emergency in advance of today's eclipse - and it runs through Wednesday, because who knows what demons the eclipse will unleash, no doubt with claps of thunder and the fiery odor of brimstone? Read more.

By adamg - 4/5/24 - 3:58 pm
Man leaning against window of Pioneer Food on Beacon Hill

Nishan Bichajian photographed this man sometime between 1954 and 1959 as part of anMIT project funded by the Rockefeller Foundation called Perceptual Form of the City, focused on urban planning, in particular how individuals navigate large cities.

The same storefront in 2022: Read more.

By adamg - 4/4/24 - 2:04 pm
The Cave

Photo between 1955 and 1959 by Nishan Bichajian. See it larger.

What's now a little used alley across Tremont Street from Lagrange Street (so obscure the Google Street Views car has never been down it) was once an entrance to a nightclub that was part of a restaurant complex where Boston's elite would meet to greet and eat - and until 3 a.m., if you can imagine. Read more.

By adamg - 3/26/24 - 6:19 pm
Purity Supreme shopping cart still out and about

Rob Colonna spotted this Purity Supreme shopping cart outside the Quincy Elementary School in Chinatown today. The last Purity Supreme closed in 1997.

By adamg - 3/26/24 - 1:48 pm
Remains of bridge support across Spring Street

Abutment for where the bridge used to be. Behind the pole are detritus-covered stairs to the top of the embankment.

A developer is getting ready to build four single family homes off Spring Street in West Roxbury, on a former railroad right of way on which steam locomotives once paused to pick up passengers at a small train stop before thundering across a bridge over Spring Street, hauling commuters from Dedham to Park Square in Boston. Read more.

By adamg - 3/19/24 - 1:19 pm
New England Aquarium under construction

In 1966, a news photographer captured the construction of the concrete structure around what would become the giant tank at the heart of the New England Aquarium - which opened to the public in 1969, giving us a generation of children who could walk like a penguin: Read more.

By adamg - 3/11/24 - 1:08 pm
Ad for the Tremont Turkish Bath

1899 ad (source).

Long, long before the AMC Boston Common went up at the corner of Tremont and Avery streets, the site was the home of the Tremont Theatre, where an enterprising Swedish immigrant put in a swimming pool and a Turkish bath in the basement - open all night, at least for men. Read more.

By adamg - 3/9/24 - 12:25 pm
Etching showing the death of Attucks

The City Council will consider a measure to permanently honor Crispus Attucks, the first man to die in the Boston Massacre. Read more.

By adamg - 3/1/24 - 2:26 pm
Protesters showing support for Sacco and Vanzetti

On March 1, 1925, people who supported a new trial for Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, convicted of a 1920 robbery turned double murder in Braintree, marched through the North End and Scollay Square for a rally at Faneuil Hall, where Boston City Council President James Moriarty joined their cause. Read more.

By adamg - 2/23/24 - 9:48 am

Writing in the Pilot, Thomas Lester explains how the main route between Roslindale and Mattapan squares was named for Roslindale's first Catholic pastor, who helped set up what is now Sacred Heart Church on Brown Avenue at what is now one of Boston's non-highway highways.

By adamg - 2/20/24 - 3:22 pm
46 Winchester St. in Bay Village in 1954

In 1954, 46 Winchester St. in Bay Village was home to the Latin Quarter nightclub.

Until very recently, it was an unassuming parking lot that doesn't look at all like the sort of spot that would play a role in transgender history and Boston's mid-20th-century reputation as a center of puritanical small-mindedness (and now it's nine-unit luxury townhouse): Read more.

By adamg - 2/5/24 - 9:23 am
Rendering of the UFO that hovered over WBZ by a WBZ employee.  The X in the lower right represents a flashing light; the arrow the object's movement

Rendering of the UFO that hovered over WBZ by a WBZ employee. The X in the lower right represents a flashing light; the arrow the object's movement.

In the 1950s and 1960s, a unit at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, collected and investigated UFO sightings - including a number in the Boston area (two in West Roxbury alone). Read more.

By adamg - 2/2/24 - 11:29 am

On the Channel considers and reviews the Summer Street Steps and wonders how, with all the billions of public and private dollars poured onto the blank slate that used to be the Seaport, that's what we wound up with - complete with loudspeakers pumping out pop music like some mall in the 1990s. Read more.

By adamg - 1/26/24 - 11:10 am
2000 Commonwealth Ave. after it collapsed

Photo by Stanley Forman, from the BPL Brearley Collection.

On Jan. 25, 1971, a nearly finished 16-story apartment building at 2000 Commonwealth Ave., near Boston College, collapsed, killing four construction workers and injuring a couple dozen more in a slow domino-like pancaking that started with a roof collapse. Read more.

By adamg - 1/22/24 - 11:03 am

All Tom Baker Doctor Who Prime Computer Ads

Artair Geal discovered these 1980s ads for Prime Computer, which turned the old Carling Brewery on the shores of Lake Cochituate into a minicomputer powerhouse, and which apparently dabbled in romance advice on the side: Read more.

By adamg - 1/21/24 - 2:29 pm

On the Channel explores the pothole that just keeps getting bigger on Thomson Place, an increasingly busy Fort Point Street because Boston Public Works won't fix it, not because the department is shirking its duties but because of the street's oddball status as a private way. With a detailed history of why the street remains a private way, going back to the turn of the 20th century.

By adamg - 1/20/24 - 12:32 pm
Old Boston Stone on Marshall Street

Boston Stone (lower left) on Marshall Street sometime before 1930.

The Boston Landmarks Commission resorts to pesky facts to show that the Boston Stone might have had a more mundane origin than being the point to which all Boston-area mile markers refer - although it is possibly an indicator of how long Masshole drivers have been around: Read more.

By adamg - 1/8/24 - 12:48 pm

The Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism recounts the saga of Charles Taylor, a native Liberian who went to Bentley and lived in Roxbury, returned to Liberia to become a government official, fled after he was charged with embezzlement, was picked up by US marshals and put in the Plymouth House of Corrections, from which he escaped in 1985 to become the leader of a bloody campaign to become the country's dictator.

By adamg - 12/29/23 - 9:19 am

Aline Kaplan recounts the transformation of what had been a way for men to relieve themselves in private rather than in the Frog Pond into today's Earl of Sandwich.

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