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The North End was the northernmost of the three projections from the original Shawmut Peninsula. It was on this piece of land that much of the original city of Boston grew on. Even in the mid-1600s, the North End was a distinct community in Boston, because of its isolation from the rest of the city. The North End's location made it a desirable place to live in the 1700s, and many of Boston's famous colonial buildings can be found here.

Irish immigrants settled here in the mid-1840s because the north End was the American terminus of the Cunard Steamship Line. Later in the 19th century, Eastern European Jews and Italians settled in the neighborhood. The Italian-American presence is still felt in most of the neighborhood today, especially on the main streets.

In the mid-20th century, the North End was cut off from the rest of Boston by the Central Artery elevated expressway, which carried I-93 through Boston. Some businesses closed as a result of the isolation, but the neighborhood remained relatively healthy. The Central Artery quickly became a focal point for traffic, and congestion on the expressway contributed to the Central Artery/Tunnel Project, unofficially known as the "Big Dig". Putting I-93 underground began in 1991, and eventually reached its completion in 2007.


The Traffic Tunnel Administration Building, on North Street. The structure was built in 1932 for the construction and maintenance of the Sumner Tunnel underneath the neighborhood.



Looking west up Richmond Street, one of the many winding streets in the North End.



Buildings at Richmond & North Streets.



A building at North & Richmond Streets, dating back to 1850.



The Pierce-Hitchborn House, on North Square. The house was built in 1711 and was the first brick dwelling in Boston.



Buildings on the north side of North Square. It was in the center of this picture that the original North Church, later called the Second Church of Boston, stood. Some research suggests that Paul Revere hung the lanterns from this church, instead of from the steeple of Old North Church.



The Paul Revere House, on North Square. The house was built in 1680 and is Boston's oldest house.



Paul Revere bought the house in 1770, and lived in the house until about 1800. The house deteriorated, eventually becoming a tenement in the 1870s. When the house was threatened with demolition, it was preserved and restored in 1907 to its presumed appearance.



Buildings on North Square at Prince Street.



The Mariner's House, on North Square. The structure was built in 1847 and provided temperance boarding for seamen. The structure is still used as a boardinghouse for mariners.



Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church, on North Square at Sun Court and Moon Streets. The church was built in 1833 and was originally the Seamen's Bethel. The church was bought by Italian immigrants in 1884, and was consecrated as a Catholic Church in 1888.



St. Stephen's Church, on Hanover Street. The church was built in 1804 by Charles Bulfinch for the New North Congregational Society. Paul Revere cast the copper bell, which still hangs in the belfry, back in 1813.



St. Stephens Roman Catholic Church was originally Congregational, but was bought by the Catholic Church in 1862.



The Paul Revere Mall connects Hanover Street with Unity Street. The centerpiece of Paul Revere Mall is the statue of Paul Revere.



The statue was completed in 1885, and was erected in 1940.



Houses on Unity Street. On the right is the Clough House, built in 1715.



Old North Church, on Salem Street.



The steeple is the third on the church, replacing a slightly more Victorian steeple that toppled in 1954 from Hurricane Carol. That Victorian steeple itself replaced the original steeple, which toppled in 1806 from another hurricane.



Old North Church was built in 1723, with the steeple added in 1740.



Old North Church is officially known as Christ Church in the City of Boston, and is an Episcopal parish in the Diocese of Massachusetts.



The church boxes of several prominent colonial Bostonians are marked, including this one used by Robert Newman. Newman was a sexton who hung two lanterns from the church's steeple at Paul Revere's instructions. The lanterns signalled to Patriots in Charlestown that the British were beginning their journey to raid Concord by boat from Boston Common, as opposed to by land over Boston Neck.



Houses on Hull Street.



The Skinny House, on Hull Street. The house was built in 1874, and is only 10.4 feet wide. It is Boston's narrowest house.



Copp's Hill Burying Ground, at Hull & Snow Hill Streets.



Copp's Hill Burying Ground was established in 1659, and is Boston's oldest cemetery.



The oldest gravestone in Copp's Hill Burying Ground is that of David Copp, dating from 1661.



Buried in Copp's Hill Burying Ground is Robert Newman, who hung the lanterns in Old North Church that signalled the coming of the British to Paul Revere, who then rode out into the countryside.



Houses on Snow Hill Street.



Houses on Hudson Street at Snow Hill Street.



Houses on Charter Street.



The Ozias Goodwin House, on Jackson Avenue. The house was built in 1795.



Copp's Hill Terrace, designed by Charles Eliot, offers views to the north of the Charlestown neighborhood. Charlestown's prominent landmarks, the Bunker Hill Monument from 1842, and the U.S.S. Constitution from 1797, stand out above the rest of the neighborhood.



Houses on Copp's Hill Terrace.



Buildings on Commercial Street.



Houses on Sheafe Street.



Houses and a corner restaurant at Thatcher & Margin Streets.



The Nuzzo Building, on Thatcher Street. The structure was built in 1912.



The Vermont Building, on Thatcher Street. The old warehouse building was built in 1904.



A street scene of apartments, townhouses, and street decorations on Endicott Street.



The Italian lifestyle can still be seen in the narrow alleys between houses. Here, families carve out tiny personal spaces on Pond Street Place like they did on the winding urban footpaths of Italy's hill towns.



Buildings on Cooper Street.



Houses on Cooper Street.



Businesses on Salem Street.



An Italian restaurant on Salem Street.



Businesses on Salem Street.



Buildings on Hanover Street. Hanover Street is the main road through the neighborhood. The street, once known as "the Long Back Street" and Orange Tree Lane, began as a footpath that provided access for native tribes to the beach, so that they could gather seafood.



Businesses on Hanover Street.



Many Italian restaurants on Hanover Street open up to the street and offer a bit of the streetlife while still inside, and also offer the ambience of the establishment to passersby.



A variety of buildings uses on Hanover Street, reflecting the street's prominence in the neighborhood.



On Hanover Street is a sign pointing to cities in Italy.



Houses on Garden Court Street. In the center is the John Fitzgerald House, which was the birthplace of Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy. Rose Kennedy was the mother of President John F. Kennedy.



Houses on Fleet Street.



Buildings on Salutation Street.



Buildings on Battery Street.



Union Wharf, along Commercial Street. The granite warehouses date back to 1846, and were renovated into residential space in 1979.



Commercial Wharf, on Atlantic Avenue. The wharf buildings were constructed in 1833. The east building, seen here, was renovated into residences in 1969.



The Mercantile Wharf Building, on Atlantic Avenue at Richmond Street. The warehouse was built in 1857 in an Italian Palazzo style.



The Commercial Block, on Commercial Street at Richmond Street. The structure was built in 1857 to match the Mercantile Wharf Building.



Townhouses on Commercial Street.




Government Center is an area of Downtown Boston that is home to many levels of government. In the neighborhood, Boston's city hall, two county courthouses, two state office buildings, two Federal office buildings, and a former state house all can be found.


The Government Center section of Downtown Boston, from the edge of the North End.



The Rose Kennedy Greenway, built on top of the Central Artery Tunnel, which carries I-93 through the city. The tunnel, known as the "Big Dig" from its start time in 1991 until its completion in 2004, replaced the Central Artery (Kennedy Express), an elevated expressway that separated the North End from the rest of Boston. The Greenway was dedicated in 2008.



The U.S. Custom House, on State Street. The structure was built in 1847 as a U.S. Custom House. In 1915, the 495-foot tall office tower was added to the existing Greek Revival building to give Boston its first skyscraper. The Custom House was converted into a hotel in 1997.



A building on Blackstone Street. This spot is the site of Haymarket, where produce and other items are sold on the street. The building dates back to the 1830s.



The Blackstone Block is the largest surviving pattern of streets dating from the 1600s in Boston, and gives an indication of how Boston was in its early days.



The Ebenezer Hancock House, on Marshall Street. The house was built in 1767 and was the home of John Hancock's brother. A shoe shop later operated in the house, and was the longest-running shoe store in the United States before closing in 1963.



The Green Dragon Tavern, on Marshall Street at Creek Square. The tavern was established in 1714, but was closed at its original location and re-opened here.



The Bell In Hand Tavern, on Union Street at Marshall Street. The tavern was started by John Watson, Boston's last town crier, hence the tavern's name.



The Bell In Hand Tavern claims to be the tavern in longest continuous operation in the United States, opening in 1795. This claim is disputed, however, with the oldest tavern operating in Newport, Rhode Island, since 1673.



Buildings on Union Street. In the center is the Union Oyster House, built in 1716. The storefronts were added to the facade in the 1930s. On the right is the Union Market, built in 1860.



The Union Oyster House, which claims the title of the oldest restaurant in the United States, opened in 1826 as the Atwood & Bacon Oyster House.



Restaurants on Union Street.



Faneuil Hall, on Faneuil Hall Square. The old food market was built in 1742.



Faneuil Hall was enlarged by Charles Bulfinch in 1806, to double it in width and height. At this time, the cupola was moved from the center to the east facade.



Along Congress Street, in front of Faneuil Hall, is a statue of Samuel Adams. The statue was dedicated in 1880. The public meeting room upstairs in Faneuil Hall was a forum for speeches on independence, made by Adams and others.



Quincy Market, east of Faneuil Hall. The market's center building, seen here, is 535 feet long.



Quincy Market was built in 1826.



The market was developed by Mayor Josiah Quincy.



Boston City Hall, from Congress Street.



Boston City Hall was built in 1968 on the site of the Scollay Square neighborhood. The structure and surrounding plaza were designed to be a celebration of government, and was meant to connect the principal parts of the city in physical, psychological, and visual aspects.



Looking down Congress Street towards State Street. On the left, behind the scaffolding, is the Second Brazer Building, built in 1896. On the right is the Old State House.



The Old State House, at Washington & State Streets.



The former state house was built in 1713 and was originally the seat of British colonial government, indicated by the lion and unicorn that symbolize the monarchy. The structure later served as the first state house for Massachusetts after independence.



The Old State House replaced the first Boston Town House, built in 1658. The current structure was gutted by fire in 1747. In 1770, the Boston Massacre occurred outside of the building.



State government moved from the Old State House to the Beacon Hill neighborhood in 1798. The building functioned as the city hall from 1830, when offices moved from the county courthouse, until 1841.



Buildings on Devonshire Street.



The Boston Company Building, on Court Street. The skyscraper is 601 feet tall and was built in 1970.



Looking east down State Street. On the right is the Stock Exchange Building. The Stock Exchange Building was built in 1891 for the Boston Stock Exchange.



The glass tower that the facade of the Stock Exchange Building was incorporated into was built in 1984.



The Boston School Committee Building, on Court Street at Court Square. The structure was built in 1909.



The Easton Building, on Devonshire Place. The building houses the National Park Service's Visitor Center.



Inside the National Park Service's Visitor's Center are flags from the time period of the American Revolution. On the left is the First Navy Jack, and on the right is the Flag of the Green Mountain Boys.



Other flags include the Bunker Hill flag on the left, the Naval and Maritime Flag of Massachusetts in the center, and the Gadsden flag on the right.



Looking south down Washington Street.



Looking south down Devonshire Street.



The John F. Kennedy Federal Building, over the Blackstone Block at at City Hall Plaza. The highrise was built in 1966.

 
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