Beacon Street looking west from Charles Street, Boston (1)

The view looking west on Beacon Street from Charles Street, between 1865 and 1870. Image courtesy of the Boston Public Library.


The same view in 2014:


The buildings in the distance in the first photo would have been almost brand-new; these are part of the Back Bay neighborhood, and would have been built within about ten years before the photo was taken.  The buildings in the foreground, however, are much older.  The granite rowhouses just past the brick building on the far right of the first photo are still there; they were built in 1828, almost a decade before the Public Garden across the street was even established.  The brick townhouse next to it in the foreground was probably even older, although it was demolished at some point, probably around 1917, when the tall apartment building in the 2014 photo was built.

Central Congregational Church, Boston

Central Congregational Church at the corner of Berkeley and Newbury in Boston, around 1904. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.


The same building, now the Church of the Covenant, in 2015:


The church was built in 1867, one of the first in Boston’s then recently filled in Back Bay.  By the time the 1904 photo was taken, the Back Bay looked very much like it does today, albeit with fewer skyscrapers.  Still, though, many of the low-rise residential buildings from 1904 are still there, including a few visible in both of these photos.  At the time of its construction, the church was the tallest building in Boston, and retained its title until the construction of the Custom House Tower in 1915.