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Tremont Street: 1906

Boston, Massachusetts, circa 1906. "Tremont Street Bldg., looking south from Keith's Theatre." Detroit Publishing Co. glass negative. View full size.

Boston, Massachusetts, circa 1906. "Tremont Street Bldg., looking south from Keith's Theatre." Detroit Publishing Co. glass negative. View full size.


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Below is the same view from May of 2013.

Tremont Street - Boston in the springtime

Great picture of Tremont Street on what was probably one of those unusally warm April days in Boston. The young people in shirtsleeves while the older folks still wear their winter garb attests. Open windows and a few awnings add to the summery atmosphere (except for the vacant building at Keith's right.

The Façade

is a gorgeous example of Art Nouveau. It's something you don't see a lot of outside of Europe (in my experience), which is a shame. Calling it a monstrosity is the same attitude that resulted in Penn Station being demolished.


What strikes me most about this image is the radical and total changes in clothing styles. Less than 50 years removed from the Civil War, the men's suits look almost modern and minus the straw hats would not raise eyebrows on the streets of the 21st-century Boston. The same cannot be said of the ladies' attire. Fashion changed radically in the twenties and again in the sixties. The women's clothes shown here are a throwback to the Civil War era with hints of Victorian modesty tossed in for good measure. Some might say that men's clothing hasn't changed very much in the last 150 years excepting collars, colors and buttons. The photos I've seen of the Civil War era present a much different and far less stable picture of American trends, yet this one looks deceptively fashion forward.

Something mundane

We would never see a dog walking off leash by itself on a busy city street today. No one seems to being paying it any mind in this photo.

Glass house

On the top floor is the photo studio of "Chas W. Hearn", an expanse of glass facing the sun. Must have predated the era of electric lighting for photos, or accommodated both.

The advantage of the subway

If this picture was taken 10 years earlier, it would have shown a street clogged with streetcars. But the construction of the Tremont Street subway in 1897 resulted in a much quieter street (at least until the cars took over). I'm pretty sure the only building still standing here is the Majestic Theatre (now the Cutler Majestic Theatre and owned by Emerson College) -- off in the middle distance on the other side of Tremont with the hard to decipher neon sign on top.

Mitchell's Studio

Mitchell's sign offers 30 photos for 25 cents, your pictures on "Postal Cards" and photos for your watch fob. However, their specialty is "Ping Pongs." Could we be talking table tennis here? I don't think so. Anybody know?

["Ping-pongs" were wallet-size portraits. - Dave]

Presenting ... The Fadettes

I'd have paid to see them, judging from the praise found here.

In the first place, it was a pretty sight to witness these twenty or more young women in their pretty costumes of varied colors and styles, but it was when they began to play that they won the hearts of the music lovers in the audience.

Delicious monstrosity

That is one ugly wedding cake of a building. There's enough gingerbread there to feed an army. Fascinatingly hideous!

A lost treasure

It was demolished in the early 1950s and for many years its former site stood empty as a parking lot. In 2004, much of that parking lot became a stage extension and loading docks for the Opera House (the former B.F. Keith Memorial Theatre).

The former entrance at 547 Washington Street still stands and is now a retail store.

From here, with lots more images and information:

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