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Boston 1872 Gallery: Summer Street



The evolution of Summer Street is typical of how downtown Boston transformed from blocks of private homes in the early 1800's to an entirely commercial district by the 1870's.

Looking down Summer After the Great Fire of 1872. To the right are the remains of Shreve, Crump & Low after a coal gas leak exploded, and further down the street is Hovey's dry goods strore which was saved from the fire.
The front facade of Hovey's dry goods retail store on upper Summer Street. The Hovey building was designed by Boston architect Nathaniel Bradlee in 1853 and completed in 1858.

Thorndike Hall, Trinity Church, and the Mercantile Library along the north side fo Summer Street ca. 1860. These buildings and most other buildings on Summer Street were destroyed during the Great Fire of 1872 which started in the basement of a hoop skirt factory at 87 Summer Street just two blocks east of this corner.
At the corner of Summer Street and Washington Street was the Shreve, Crump & Low jewelry store which was established in 1796 across from Paul Revere's silversmith shop. This building was destoyed by a coal gas explosion the day after the Great Fire of 1872, after which the store moved to 225 Washington Street, where it still exists today and on the web at www.shrevecrumpandlow.com

Looking to the corner of Summer Street and Washington Street ca 1870, to the left is the facade of Shreve, Crump & Low jewelery store.
Upper Summer Street after the Great Fire of 1872. On the left is the front of Hovey's store, on the right is the ruins of Trinity Church.
The ruins of Trinity Chruch on Summer Street after the Great Fire of 1872.
Fire ruins at the intersection of Summer Street and High Street just after the Great Fire of 1872.
The ruins of Shreve, Crump & Low jewelery store after a coal gas explosion after the Great Fire of 1872. The store was relocated to 225 Washngton Street where it is still in business to the present day.
An 1867 fire insurance map for the Summer Street area of downtown Boston. The color of each building represents the primary building material: red for brick, blue for granite or stone, and yellow for wood.
An 1871 fire insurance map for the Summer Street area of downtown Boston. The map is drawn to scale and notes the address, height, and primary materials of each building.
A residential mansion at the corner of Summer Street and High Street ca 1850.
Residences at 36 Kingston Street ca. 1860.
The church at Church Green near the intersection of Summer Street and Bedford Street, was vacated and removed by 1870 to be replaced by a 5-story commercial building.
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