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Boston 1872 Gallery: Franklin Street



Franklin Street runs through the center of downtown Boston. In the early 1800's central Franklin Street consisted of 3-story brick residences entirely designed by the famous American architect Charles Bulfinch. Bulfinch's design gave Franklin Street a distinct bow-shaped arch known as a Tontine Crescent which he had seen in Europe. The original residential buildings of Bulfinch's design were removed by the 1860's however to the present day Franklin Street still retains Bulfinch's distinct crescent arch shape.

Architectural drawing by Charles Bulfinch of the Arch Building on Franklin Street which defined the Tontine Crescent shape of the street ca 1840.
The Cathedral Building at the corner of Devonshire Street and Franklin Street ca. 1870

The south side of Franklin Street near Hawley Street ca 1870.
The south side of Franklin Street.

The Revere Bank building the north corner of Franklin Street and Devonshire Street ca. 1867
Buildings along Franklin Street at the corner of Federal Street newly constructed just a few years after the Great Fire of 1872.
The south side of Franklin Street ca. 1870
The north side of Franklin Street ca. 1870
The north side of Franklin Street near Washington Street ca. 1870
Franklin Street near Arch Street ca. 1870
Cathedral of the Holy Cross on Franklin Street ca. 1855. The church steeple is of Bulfinch's Federal Street Church. These buildings were all replaced with commercial buildings by 1870.
Fire ruins near Franklin Street looking north toward the newly constructed Post Office on the north side of Milk Street.
A view down Franklin Street ca. 1870 featuring the Tontine Crescent shape distinctive to Franklin Street.
A view looking west along Franklin Street near the intersection of Devonshire Street ca. 1870.
The prominent Library Pavilion building designed by architect Chracles Bulfinch was the focal point of Franklin Street in the 1850's. The arch in the building later became Arch Street which still bears the same name to the present day although the Pavilion building itself was removed by the 1870's.
Another view of the Library Pavilion building on the south side of Franklin Street ca. 1856.
Residences on the north side of Franklin Street ca. 1856.
Another view of the residences on the north side of Franklin Street ca. 1856. The buildings were all replaced with larger commerical buildings by the 1870's.
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