The Hotel Bristol on Boylston Street, just west of Clarendon Street, on October 4, 1912. Image courtesy of the City of Boston Archives.
The scene in 2015:
The Hotel Bristol was built at the corner of Boylston and Clarendon Streets sometime in the 1870s, probably soon after the land was filled in as part of the massive Back Bay landfill project. I couldn’t find too much information on the hotel, and it does not appear to have been one of the city’s top hotels. It was probably more of a residential hotel, catering to long-term occupants as opposed to temporary visitors. In the 1912 photo, there were also several businesses on the ground floor, including an auto supply company on the left and a drugstore, T. Metcalf Co., to the right. Barely visible on the extreme right is the Walker Memorial Building, part of the original Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus before the school moved across the river to Cambridge. That building was demolished in 1939, but I don’t know how long the Hotel Bristol survived. It was still listed on the 1938 city atlas, but today the site is occupied by a modern office building.