|Overview – 1855-1859 – 1860-1864 – 1865-1869 – 1870-1874 – 1875-1879 – 1880-1884 – 1885-1889 – 1890-1899 – 1900-1909 – 1910-2015|
In the early 1880s, land west of Massachusetts Avenue (West Chester Park) was filled, extending the residential neighborhood to Charlesgate East at the edge of Back Bay Park (soon incorporated into the Back Bay Fens and called Charlesgate Park; as of 2015 largely obscured by the Philip G. Bowker highway overpass).
New construction in the Back Bay continued at a moderate pace during the first half of the 1880s. The first houses west of Massachusetts Avenue were built during this period at 378-380 Commonwealth.
In the early 1880s, the first instance of an existing Back Bay building being demolished and replaced occurred when the Hotel Vendome was expanded on Commonwealth Avenue. Five townhouses built and operated by the hotel were razed to permit construction of the new addition. When it was completed, the hotel’s main entrance moved from Dartmouth to Commonwealth.
The map below indicates when a building was first constructed on a specific lot through 1884. 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. If an original building was replaced or rebuilt , the date of original building (not the replacement) is shown. Thus, the date shown for 160 Commonwealth (near the southwest corner of Commonwealth and Dartmouth) is the date when the original townhouses built in conjunction with the hotel were constructed (ca. 1871), not the date of the replacement structure (ca. 1881).
Following the map is a list of the 198 buildings constructed between 1880 and 1884 in the residential portion of the Back Bay.
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 198 buildings constructed between 1880 and 1884 in the residential portion of the Back Bay. Houses indicated as demolished were replaced by 2015; buildings indicated as replacements were built on lots where earlier structures previously were located.