Cy Young at Huntington Avenue Grounds, Boston

Cy Young, warming up at Boston’s Huntington Avenue Grounds in 1908. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Bain Collection.


The scene in 2014:


Finding the precise location of this photo is tricky, since nothing in the 1908 photo still exists.  The top photo was taken of Cy Young, the winningest pitcher in baseball history, during his last year with the Red Sox.  At the time, the Sox played a few blocks south of what would become Fenway Park, at the Huntington Avenue Grounds.

The site of the field is today part of the Northeastern University campus, and in this courtyard is a tribute to Cy Young and the old baseball field.  In the foreground is a granite home plate marker, and 60 feet away in the distance is a statue of Cy Young.  The Cy Young statue is on the approximate location of the pitcher’s mound (which can be seen behind and to the left of Cy Young in the 1908 photo), but home plate would have actually been further to the right of where the 2014 photo was taken (which is now a building).

Because of that, it is likely that the 2014 photo was taken from approximately the same location, looking in roughly the same direction, as the 1908 photo, although the lack of any landmarks makes it difficult to be exact.

Football at Fenway (2)

A football game at Fenway Park, sometime between 1947 and 1956. Photo courtesy of Boston Public Library.


The same view in 2006:


As mentioned in my previous post, football was a common occurrence at Fenway Park. However, this photo was taken a couple decades after the other one – a couple telltale signs are the right field bullpens and the light tower, which was not added to Fenway until 1947.  I don’t know the exact date of the first photo, or whether this was a college or professional game, but it could be a Boston Yanks game.  The Yanks were a short-lived NFL team that played at Fenway Park from 1944 to 1948, which would put it within the time frame of the first photo, and the scoreboard above the bleachers has “Boston” and “Visitor” as the two teams, which suggests this was a professional team that regularly played home games here.

Football at Fenway (1)

Fenway Park, hosting a football game in 1934. Photo courtesy of Boston Public Library.


The same scene in 2007:


Football at Fenway may seem strange today, but the park was home to several professional football teams, including the Boston Redskins from 1933-1936, and the Boston Patriots from 1963-1968. The top photo was taken during the Redskins’ time at Fenway, but the game in the photo is actually a high school game – Dorchester High against Mechanical Arts High, on October 12, 1934.

The second photo also shows a lower-level team playing on a major league field – here, the Pawtucket Red Sox are warming up prior to its 2007 Futures at Fenway game. In many ways, Fenway Park is still very much the same as it was in the 1930’s, but one obvious difference is the lack of lights – Fenway would be the second to last MLB park to get lights, in 1947. Another change is the fact that the Green Monster was not yet green, and instead was covered in advertisements. Today, the green color is there, but as of late it has slowly been getting re-covered in ads, as seen in the 2007 photo.

View from Bunker Hill Monument, Boston (5)

The view from the Bunker Hill Monument, sometime between the 1860s and 1880s. Photo courtesy of New York Public Library.


The view in 2010:


This view is zoomed in on the Boston Navy Yard, and some of the buildings are easily identifiable in both – in fact, all four of the visible shipyard buildings in the 2010 photo are also in the first photo.  Further away, in East Boston, much of the land in the 2010 is new – the harbor was filled in to create Logan International Airport. One of the runways is barely visible in the upper center.

In the navy yard, the ship visible on the far right of the 2010 photo is the World War II-era destroyer USS Cassin Young.  It contrasts sharply to the wooden sailing ship in the first photo, which I believe is the USS Ohio, a ship of the line built in 1820.  By the time this photo was taken, she was being used as a receiving ship.  The Ohio was in Boston from 1850 until 1883, when she was sold and burned for scrap metal.

View from Bunker Hill Monument, Boston (4)

The view from the Bunker Hill Monument, sometime between the 1860s and 1880s. Photo courtesy of New York Public Library.


The view in 2010:


The view looking north from the Bunker Hill Monument.  Many of the buildings in Charlestown remain the same as they were in the original photo, although the large building in the lower right has been replaced by an even larger building in the same location.

View from Bunker Hill Monument, Boston (3)

The view from the Bunker Hill Monument, sometime between the 1860s and 1880s. Photo courtesy of New York Public Library.


The same view in 2010:


These two photos show three sections of Boston – Charlestown in the foreground, East Boston in the distance, and the North End of Boston barely visible to the right.  Other than the approach ramp to the Tobin Bridge, not much has changed in Charlestown – many of the houses in the foreground can easily be identified in both photos.  On the waterfront, many of the buildings at the former Boston Navy Yard are still there, and have been incorporated into the Boston National Historical Park. ln the distance, East Boston has been substantially expanded for Logan International Airport, which is barely visible on the far side of East Boston.