Back Bay Development: 1875-1879

Overview1855-18591860-18641865-18691870-1874 – 1875-1879 – 1880-18841885-18891890-18991900-19091910-2015

By the end of the 1870s, the land fill operations had extended to Massachusetts Avenue (then West Chester Park).

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

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

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

The slow pace of building construction that had begun in 1873 continued through most of the decade, with the low point in 1875, when only three houses were constructed. Construction increased in 1879; of the 140 buildings built in the residential portion of the Back Bay between 1875 and 1879, 60 (43%) were built in 1879.

The map below indicates when a building was first constructed on a specific lot through 1879. 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 140 buildings constructed between 1875 and 1879 in the residential portion of the Back Bay.

Original construction through 1879

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 140 buildings constructed between 1875 and 1879 in the residential portion of the Back Bay.  Houses indicated as demolished were replaced by 2015.

Beacon: Dartmouth to Exeter
North Side South Side
280 Beacon (1877) (Demolished) 271 Beacon (1876)
273 Beacon (1876)
275 Beacon (1876)
277 Beacon (1876)
Beacon: Exeter to Fairfield
North Side South Side
320 Beacon (1878)
322 Beacon (1877)
Beacon: Fairfield to Gloucester
North Side South Side
336 Beacon (1876)
338 Beacon (1877)
Beacon: Hereford to Massachusetts
North Side South Side
435 Beacon (1879)
449 Beacon (1876)
Clarendon: Marlborough to Commonwealth
West Side East Side
261 Clarendon (1876) (Demolished)
Clarendon: Commonwealth to Newbury
West Side East Side
233 Clarendon (1879)
Commonwealth: Berkeley to Clarendon
North Side South Side
49 Commonwealth (1877) 90 Commonwealth (1879) (Demolished)
51 Commonwealth (1876)
55 Commonwealth (1875)
61 Commonwealth (1879)
63 Commonwealth (1877)
65 Commonwealth (1877) (Demolished)
Commonwealth: Clarendon to Dartmouth
North Side South Side
107 Commonwealth (1879) (Demolished) 114 Commonwealth (1879)
113 Commonwealth (1876) 146 Commonwealth (1876)
115 Commonwealth (1876) 148 Commonwealth (1876)
119 Commonwealth (1879)
133 Commonwealth (1879)
135 Commonwealth (1878)
151 Commonwealth (1876)
Commonwealth: Dartmouth to Exeter
North Side South Side
169 Commonwealth (1879) 182 Commonwealth (1879) (Demolished)
171 Commonwealth (1879)
173 Commonwealth (1879)
181 Commonwealth (1878)
183 Commonwealth (1878)
Commonwealth: Exeter to Fairfield
North Side South Side
212 Commonwealth (1879)
214 Commonwealth (1879)
216 Commonwealth (1879)
218 Commonwealth (1879)
220 Commonwealth (1879)
222 Commonwealth (1879)
224 Commonwealth (1879)
236 Commonwealth (1879)
238 Commonwealth (1879)
240 Commonwealth (1879) (Demolished)
Commonwealth: Fairfield to Gloucester
North Side South Side
245 Commonwealth (1877) 248 Commonwealth (1878) (Demolished)
247 Commonwealth (1878) 250 Commonwealth (1878) (Demolished)
249 Commonwealth (1878) 252 Commonwealth (1879)
254 Commonwealth (1879)
256 Commonwealth (1879)
258 Commonwealth (1879)
260 Commonwealth (1879)
Commonwealth: Gloucester to Hereford
North Side South Side
283 Commonwealth (1879)
Commonwealth: Hereford to Massachusetts
North Side South Side
311 Commonwealth (1877) (Demolished) 332 Commonwealth (1878)
313 Commonwealth (1877) 334 Commonwealth (1879)
315 Commonwealth (1878)
317 Commonwealth (1878)
319 Commonwealth (1878)
321 Commonwealth (1879)
323 Commonwealth (1879)
325 Commonwealth (1879)
Dartmouth: Marlborough to Commonwealth
West Side East Side
303 Dartmouth (1876)
Dartmouth: Commonwealth to Newbury
West Side East Side
277 Dartmouth (147 Newbury) (1878)
Fairfield: Beacon to Marlborough
West Side East Side
8 Fairfield (1879)
10 Fairfield (1879)
12 Fairfield (1879)
Fairfield: Marlborough to Commonwealth
West Side East Side
18 Fairfield (1878)
20 Fairfield (1875)
Fairfield: Commonwealth to Newbury
West Side East Side
29 Fairfield (1876) 32 Fairfield (1878)
31 Fairfield (1877) 34 Fairfield (1878)
33 Fairfield (1877) 36 Fairfield (1879)
35 Fairfield (1878) 38 Fairfield (235 Newbury) (1879)
37 Fairfield (239 Newbury) (1878)
Hereford: Beacon to Marlborough
West Side East Side
7 Hereford (1879)
9 Hereford (1879)
11 Hereford (1879)
Hereford: Marlborough to Commonwealth
West Side East Side
27 Hereford (1879)
29 Hereford (1879)
31 Hereford (1879)
Marlborough: Berkeley to Clarendon
North Side South Side
63 Marlborough (1875) 82 Marlborough (1876)
65 Marlborough (1876)
67 Marlborough (1878)
Marlborough: Clarendon to Dartmouth
North Side South Side
121 Marlborough (1877)
123 Marlborough (1877)
125 Marlborough (1879)
127 Marlborough (1877)
129 Marlborough (1879)
Marlborough: Dartmouth to Exeter
North Side South Side
167 Marlborough (1878) 174 Marlborough (1876)
169 Marlborough (1878) 176 Marlborough (1876)
178 Marlborough (1879)
Marlborough: Exeter to Fairfield
North Side South Side
228 Marlborough (1879)
274 Marlborough (1879)
Marlborough: Fairfield to Gloucester
North Side South Side
301 Marlborough (1877) 294 Marlborough (1877)
303 Marlborough (1877) 296 Marlborough (1877)
309 Marlborough (1877) 298 Marlborough (1878)
311 Marlborough (1877) 300 Marlborough (1878)
313 Marlborough (1877) 302 Marlborough (1878)
315 Marlborough (1877) 304 Marlborough (1878)
306 Marlborough (1878)
308 Marlborough (1878)
310 Marlborough (1878)
312 Marlborough (1879)
314 Marlborough (1879)
320 Marlborough (1879)
Marlborough: Gloucester to Hereford
North Side South Side
338 Marlborough (1876)
340 Marlborough (1876)
342 Marlborough (1876)
344 Marlborough (1877)
346 Marlborough (1877)
348 Marlborough (1878)
350 Marlborough (1878)
352 Marlborough (1878)
354 Marlborough (1879)
356 Marlborough (1879)
358 Marlborough (1879)
360 Marlborough (1879)
362 Marlborough (1879)
Marlborough: Hereford to Massachusetts
North Side South Side
369 Marlborough (1879) 364 Marlborough (1879)
371 Marlborough (1879)
373 Marlborough (1879)