Back Bay Development: 1865-1869

Overview1855-18591860-1864 – 1865-1869 – 1870-18741875-18791880-18841885-18891890-18991900-19091910-2015

By the late 1860s, the filling of the Back Bay had reached Hereford street on the north, along Beacon and Marlborough, and Exeter further south.

Detail from 1871 plan of the Back Bay; A Set of Plans Showing the Back Bay 1814-1881, by Fuller and Whitney

Detail from 1871 plan of the Back Bay; A Set of Plans Showing the Back Bay 1814-1881, by Fuller and Whitney

The map to the right, prepared by civil engineers Fuller and Whitney in 1881, shows the progress of the land fill by 1871.

Construction continued at a moderate pace in the post-Civil War period, but increased in 1869. Of the 143 buildings built in the residential portion of the Back Bay between 1865 and 1869, 62 (43%) were built in 1869.

During this period, two churches were constructed in the residential portion of the Back Bay: the First Congregational Church (later the Church of the Covenant) at 67 Newbury (northwest corner of Berkeley) and First Church Boston at 60-64 Marlborough (southwest corner of Berkeley). Both churches had previously been located elsewhere, the Central Congregational Church in the South End and the First Church in Chauncy Place in Boston.

Arlington and Commonwealth (ca. 1869), detail from photograph courtesy of the Boston Public Library Print Department

Arlington and Commonwealth (ca. 1869), detail from photograph courtesy of the Boston Public Library Print Department

Also during this period, the first multiple dwelling was built in the residential portion of the Back Bay: the Hotel Hamilton at 260 Clarendon (northwest corner of Commonwealth).

The map below indicates when a building was first constructed on a specific lot through 1869. Included are lots within the residential portion of the Back Bay as defined for purposes of this website, plus buildings on the north side of Newbury. The dates used are based on original permit applications or similar documentation, when available. When no such documentation is available, the dates provided in Bainbridge Bunting’s Houses of Boston’s Back Bay are used.

Following the map is a list of the 142 buildings constructed between 1865 and 1869 in the residential portion of the Back Bay.

Original Construction through 1869

Click here for a link to maps showing the progress of construction from 1855 through 2015, in slideshow format.

Below is a list of the 143 buildings constructed between 1865 and 1869 in the residential portion of the Back Bay. Houses indicated as demolished were replaced by 2015.

Arlington: Marlborough to Commonwealth
West Side
8 Arlington (1869)
Beacon: Arlington to Berkeley
North Side South Side
119 Beacon (1865)
121 Beacon (1865)
125 Beacon (1866)
Beacon: Berkeley to Clarendon
North Side South Side
165 Beacon (1869)
169 Beacon (1866)
171 Beacon (1866)
173 Beacon (1866)
175 Beacon (1866)
179 Beacon (1867)
187 Beacon (1866)
189 Beacon (1866)
197 Beacon (1866)
199 Beacon (1866)
Beacon: Clarendon to Dartmouth
North Side South Side
182 Beacon (1866) 211 Beacon (1866)
184 Beacon (1866) 213 Beacon (1866)
186 Beacon (1869) 215 Beacon (1866)
222 Beacon (1865) 217 Beacon (1866)
224 Beacon (1865) 219 Beacon (1866)
223 Beacon (1869)
225 Beacon (1869)
227 Beacon (1869)
229 Beacon (1869)
231 Beacon (1869)
233 Beacon (1869)
239 Beacon (1869)
241 Beacon (1868)
243 Beacon (1868)
245 Beacon (1868)
247 Beacon (1868)
249 Beacon (1869)
251 Beacon (1869)
253 Beacon (1869) (Demolished
Beacon: Dartmouth to Exeter
North Side South Side
236 Beacon (1869)
238 Beacon (1869)
Beacon: Exeter to Fairfield
North Side South Side
286 Beacon (1869)
288 Beacon (1869)
290 Beacon (1869)
300 Beacon (1869)
302 Beacon (1869)
Beacon: Fairfield to Gloucester
North Side South Side
377 Beacon (1869)
379 Beacon (1869)
381 Beacon (1869)
383 Beacon (1869)
385 Beacon (1869)
387 Beacon (1869)
389 Beacon (1869)
391 Beacon (1869)
393 Beacon (1869)
395 Beacon (1869)
Beacon: Gloucester to Hereford
North Side South Side
401 Beacon (1867) (Demolished)
403 Beacon (1867)
405 Beacon (1867)
407 Beacon (1867)n
409 Beacon (1867)
411 Beacon (1867)
413 Beacon (1867)
415 Beacon (1867)
417 Beacon (1867)
419 Beacon (1869)
421 Beacon (1869)
423 Beacon (1869)
425 Beacon (1869)
427 Beacon (1869)
429 Beacon (1869)
431 Beacon (1869)
433 Beacon (12 Hereford) (1869)
Berkeley: Beacon to Marlborough
West Side East Side
300 Berkeley (1867) 301 Berkeley (1865) (Demolished)
302 Berkeley (1867)
304 Berkeley (1869)
Berkeley: Marlborough to Commonwealth
West Side East Side
294 Berkeley (60-64 Marlborough): First Church Boston (1867)
Berkeley: Commonwealth to Newbury
West Side East Side
247 Berkeley (45 Newbury) (1869)
249 Berkeley (1869)
Clarendon: Beacon to Marlborough
West Side East Side
273 Clarendon (1869)
275 Clarendon (1869)
277 Clarendon (1869)
279 Clarendon (1869)
Clarendon: Marlborough to Commonwealth
West Side East Side
260 Clarendon (1869) (Demolished)
Commonwealth: Arlington to Berkeley
North Side South Side
11 Commonwealth (1868)
13 Commonwealth (1868) (Demolished)
15 Commonwealth (1866)
17 Commonwealth (1866)
19 Commonwealth (1867)
21 Commonwealth (1868)
23 Commonwealth (1868)
Commonwealth: Berkeley to Clarendon
North Side South Side
41 Commonwealth (1869) 50 Commonwealth (260 Berkeley) (1868) (Demolished)
43 Commonwealth (1869) (Demolished) 54 Commonwealth (1866) (Demolished)
45 Commonwealth (1869) 56 Commonwealth (1866) (Demolished)
47 Commonwealth (1869) 58 Commonwealth (1866)
60 Commonwealth (1866)
68 Commonwealth (1869)
70 Commonwealth (1869)
72 Commonwealth (1869)
Dartmouth: Beacon to Marlborough
West Side East Side
319 Dartmouth (1869)
321 Dartmouth (1869)
Hereford: Beacon to Marlborough
West Side East Side
12 Hereford (433 Beacon) (1869)
Marlborough: Arlington to Berkeley
North Side South Side
17 Marlborough (1865) 16 Marlborough (1865)
21 Marlborough (1866)
23 Marlborough (1866)
25 Marlborough (1866)
27 Marlborough (1866)
29 Marlborough (1869)
31 Marlborough (1869)
33 Marlborough (1869)
35 Marlborough (1869)
37 Marlborough (1869)
39 Marlborough (1869)
41 Marlborough (1865) (Demolished)
Marlborough: Berkeley to Clarendon
North Side South Side
53 Marlborough (1867) 60-64 Marlborough (294 Berkeley): First Church Boston (1867)
57 Marlborough (1867) 70 Marlborough (1868)
89 Marlborough (1867) 72 Marlborough (1866)
91 Marlborough (1869) 74 Marlborough (1866)
76 Marlborough (1866)
78 Marlborough (1866)
80 Marlborough (1866)
Marlborough: Clarendon to Dartmouth
North Side South Side
103 Marlborough (1866) 104 Marlborough (1866)
106 Marlborough (1868)
110 Marlborough (1868)
112 Marlborough (1868)
114 Marlborough (1868)
116 Marlborough (1868)
118 Marlborough (1868)
120 Marlborough (1868)
122 Marlborough (1868)
124 Marlborough (1868)
126 Marlborough (1868)
128 Marlborough (1868)
130 Marlborough (1868)