The view of Park Street church, taken in about 1904, looking up Tremont Street with Boston Common on the left. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.
A few years later, probably around 1909-1910. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.
The scene around 1923. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.
Tremont Street in 2014:
Built in 1810, Park Street Church was the tallest building in the United States from its construction until 1846. Although it’s not as prominent in the skyline as it was when the earlier photos were taken, it still stands out when walking along Tremont Street and the Boston Common. The church is still in active use, having had a number of notable pastors, including noted abolitionist Edward Beecher, the brother of Uncle Tom’s Cabin author Harriet Beecher Stowe.
One less obvious landmark in both photos is the Park Street subway station. Opened in 1897, it was, along with the nearby Boylston Street station, the first subway station in the world, and was still fairly new when the first photo was taken. The entrances and exits are the same in both photos, and the station remains a busy MBTA station on the Green Line and Red Line.
On the other side of Tremont Street, many of the buildings from the earlier photos are still around today. The most obvious is the R.H. Stearns Building, the tall building on the far right of the 2014 photo. The building was home to the R.H. Stearns department store from 1908 until 1977, when it closed, but the building itself is still there. In the first photo, the department store was in a different building, with the two towers and the large flag. This building was demolished to make way for the present building in 1908.