Downtown Boston

Old State House - Michael Carey

The Old State House is a historic building that used to serve as the seat of the Massachusetts General Court. The historic image on the left was taken on on December 30, 1965 and the image on the right is what the Old State House looks like today. Still looking the same today, the the only difference that can be seen is the street pattern change and a few new buildings.

Harrison Whorf: The following before picture was taken on Jun 1966 of the Ames Building. This was an office building for the Ames families plow company and was Boston's first skyscraper. The building's design was inspired by Richardsonian Romanesque style of architecture. Since then, building has been converted into a boutique hotel; however most of the exterior, along with the mosaic ceiling and the marble stair case remains original.


The two images show Faneuil Hall, the left one from around 1964 to 1968 and the right one being contemporary. From the lively block that the contemporary picture was taken, around the same area in the historic image is just a dirt road. In the historic image, many of the same buildings that still stand today can be seen, although there are a few new additions in the contemporary image. Today, this area is a popular shopping area.


Below are two images of the Old State House, the historic one being taken in December 1965 and the other one being contemporary. Side by side, not much has changed between then and now, other than the addition of some trees and a bus stop. The Old State House is one of the oldest public buildings in the United States and today it is a history museum. 

This slider shows the Old South Meetinghouse standing among renovated and new buildings showing the renewal of the area 

Alexander Cate: This slider shows an image of 1965-1968 of a recently burnt building in front of the Old State House. A new building, 28 State Street, now occupies this space, hence the new angle for the recreation photo.

LeeNisby: Photographs of Boston's previous City Hall taken in May of 1963 and February of 2018. As you can see the building has maintained most of its original design and architecture since this historic photograph was taken.

Lee Nisby: Photographs of Boston's current City Hall taken between 1964-1968 and February of 2018. This building still maintains most of its original architecture despite many of its surrounding buildings being far larger and more modern.

Nate Violette: The two photographs show Boston's City Hall, first documented under construction in the mid 1960s and most currently in October of 2018. Boston City Hall is currently being maintained while the surrounding hardscape and skyline have changed drastically.

Ben Cassola: Based on the photos of Government Center, the similarities between the historical and recreated is that the whole area is still surrounded by bricks on the walkways and other open areas. On the other hand, there are drastic differences between both photos where Government Center is completed and buildings have been constructed all around.

Matthew Desrochers

The original image is of the Boston City Hall in December of 1975. Approximately 7 years after construction of the building was completed. The photograph takes place on the east side of the City Hall plaza. Besides the City Hall building, in the background there is what has been known as the Bank of New England Building, located on 28 State st, it is the 17th tallest building in Boston. In the current day recreation of the photo, the main difference one can see Is the presence of another building in the background. This building is located on 60 State street and is the 13th tallest building in Boston. The City Hall building, as well as center plaza, remains unchanged. Many plans to destroy, sell or modify the building, and unused public plaza have been proposed, yet none followed through. If this photo was taken in December the plaza would be filled with what’s known as Boston Winter. Usually consisting of holiday activities, such as a skating rink.

(JakePirulli) Taken between 1964-1968 the original image shows the construction of the Eastern side of City Hall. City Hall become and iconic example of Boston brutalist architecture. Across the street is the New England Holocaust Memorial.

Michael Tran: Boston City Hall is depicted in the photographs below. The historic photograph was taken in 1966. The photographs are taken by the back entrance of the JFK building. In 1966, there is a railing and a parking lot full of cars. Fast forward to February 2019, there are a bunch of trees and no parking lot. The railings have been replaced with a bunch of circular domes.  

Jason Fisch: The photos below show Boston City Hall, first nearing the end of construction, and then what it looks like today. With the exception of the towers of the Boston public market in the center of the image and the immediate foreground where work is being done in the history image, the area looks very similar from this angle and the Old North Church is still visible in the background. Interestingly, the words "Boston City Hall" have not yet been carved into the building, seen on the right of the present day image.

Government Center in the Snow - Cameron Ryde

In the 1990s, Massachusetts agreed to the renovation of 80 major transit stations to settle a lawsuit resulting from the Big Dig. The last of these to be renovated was Government Center. In 2013, the renovation contract was rewarded to Barletta Heavy Division. In 2014, Government Center closed for two years while renovations took place. One of these renovations was a new entrance as we can see in the picture.

Cole Durvett: This slider indicates the change in the John F. Kennedy Federal Building from construction in the 1960's to the building in 2019. The recreated image shows the completed building. There are new buildings going up in the background and the new government center station is on the right side of the picture. The layout of the streets are very similar in both photos.

The original photo shows the Old State House and the construction of the Citizens Bank during the 1960's. Today, the construction of the bank has been completed, along with adding height to other building behind the Old State House. The area around the State House continues to grow upwards, making this historical building small and out of place in comparison.

Talia Venditti

The most notable and important change between these photos is the New England Holocaust Memorial installed in 1995. Today, the Union Oyster House's sign can be seen from City Hall Plaza through the glass towers of the memorial.

Ally Rugg

The photograph to the left was taken in 1967. The photograph on the right was taken on February 20, 2018. The red building is the Sears’ Crescent building and the building to the right of if it is the Sears’ Block. They are located at the corner of Cornhill St and Court St. The Sears’ Crescent building on Cornhill is the home of the 41st office of The First National Bank of Boston and it was built by David Sears around 1840. Kenny_A

This photo shows part of the government center MBTA renovation as well as the trademarked T symbol. Photo by Bryon Kucharski.

This image depicts the Bowdoin transit station located in the Beacon Hill neighborhood, serving the MBTA Blue Line. Comparing the old image to the new image, a cement pole has been placed about 1 meter away from the entrance of the stairway. In the newer image, more trees have been planted around the station. The doors of the station also appear to have been replaced with a larger amount of steel rather than glass.

Once known as Scollay Square until 1950, the first picture shows the area during the process of the Urban Renewal project transforming Scollay Square into Government Center. The project aimed to fix the city with better health, wellness, and education.

JocelynFrechette: The image on the left is the historical image of City Hall from 1967. The image on the right is the recreated image from September of 2018. As seen from the two photo graphs, City Hall itself has not changed an neither has the buildings surrounding it as well.

Matthew Desrochers

The original image is of the Center Plaza Building from 1968. The Center Plaza is a building constructed in place of Scollay Square between 1965 and 1969, spanning the curve of Cambridge street. In this photo construction would have been nearly finished. Also, in the image is the majority of City Hall Plaza. The photo was taken under a portico of the newly finished City Hall Building, filling the edges of the photo, adding contrast, geometric visual appeal, and unique composition to the photograph. Both the city hall and plaza were opened to the public in 1968, the year this photo was taken. One of the two buildings visible in the background of the photo is the Suffolk County Courthouse, an addition to the now John Adams Courthouse. The original courthouse being built in 1894, with the addition and construction of the new structure in 1939. The new structure now known as the Suffolk County Courthouse, being visible in the photo, while the original courthouse, not visible, was renamed the John Adams Courthouse after renovations took place in 2002. The other tall building visible in the original photo is the Leverett Saltonstall Building, constructed in 1965, originally being used for sate offices. The building closed in 1999 for an asbestos cleanup, and renovations. As of 2017 the building became part of Sattler College. In the modern recreation photo, the two original buildings are present, with a skyline change next to the courthouse in the form of the McCormack Building. This structure, completed in 1975, is the 26th tallest building in Boston. It is home to state offices. The Center Plaza Building seems unchanged, even after being sold in 2014, and renovation plans approved in 2016. Another notable change in the plaza’s scenery is the new Government Center MBTA station. The glass structure to the left of the photo was completed in 2016. A fountain barely visible in the right side of the original photo in the plaza was shut down in 1977 and covered with concrete in 2006. The corner of this ugly slab of concrete is visible just past the red construction trucks in the right side of the modern photo. Otherwise, noticeably there are more trees and landscaping surrounding the station, and road adjacent to the center plaza building.

(Ben Harris) The old picture of Old City Hall and the recreated Old City Hall picture depict how there has been no noticeable differences in the building and architecture. All the pillars remain the same and the details on the building are the same as they were when the picture was taken in 1960-1968. The fencing in the front is the same as well.

(Ben Harris) The original Faneuil Hall building and the building today are the same and have no differences. The building still has the original brick, windows and doors. Every detail remains the same, and they haven't added anything. The tower at the top is still there and this hasn't been changed either. The only difference I see, that isn't directly on the building, are the lights in front of Faneuil Hall.

(JakePirulli)With the original photo being taken in 1965, the surrounding building have been untouched other than some exterior details. The Union Oyster House remains under the same name with little change at all.

Sara Al Sowaimel: The photo takes place in City Hall square. The photo on the left was taken after a snow storm in 1978. Both photos were taken from the corner of the Government Center City Hall building, viewing the entrance of the Government Center train station. The major change between the photos is the development of the Government Center train station which showing in the recreation photo as that glass structure.

In the picture is the Congress St. side of City Hall building after the Blizzard of 1978. On the left you can just see the top of a park bench poking through the snow which gives you a good idea as to the amount of snow they got during the storm. City Hall being built in the 1960’s has quite an interesting architecture style and draws a lot of criticism that it is outdated looking and not inviting. Although the criticism it looks like it will be here for a little while longer.

Daniel Campbell

this is the construction of city of hall and then recreation of city hall. it started construction in 1963 and is made out of solid concrete. this form of architecture is called brutalism. 

Jacob Schlosser: The photos below illustrate the exterior of South Station in Downtown Boston. As can be seen in the 1921 photo, most of Boston's public transit near South Station (including what is now known as the Commuter Rail) ran above the streets on elevated tracks. Nowadays, these train lines have been moved underground; partly to reduce street congestion and noise, but mostly due to safety concerns around having multi-ton trains rumbling over the heads of drivers and pedestrians.

Adeline Tuyishime: The 101 summer st building did not change much from what it looked like in 1999. Beside the change in window frames on the building, everything else stayed the same, however the neighbor building on the left was changed.