The residents of the Back Bay kept their horses and carriages in a variety of locations. Some built stables behind their homes or in one of the nearby areas where they were permitted, such as on Stanhope Street or the flat of Beacon Hill, west of Charles Street. Alternatively, they used commercial boarding and livery stables or joined “club” stables, where members maintained stalls for their horses and storage space for their carriages.
In the late 1870s, the block of Newbury between Hereford and Massachusetts Avenue (originally West Chester Park) was developed as a location within the neighborhood for private, commercial, and club stables.
A total of 33 stable buildings were built in the block, 29 private stables, three commercial stables (on three of the four corners), and one club stable.
Most of those buildings remained stables until about World War I. Frequently, the private stables also were the homes of the coachmen and their families, and of the stablemen, grooms, and hostlers employed in the stables. As automobiles replaced horse-drawn vehicles, the buildings evolved into private garages and eventually were converted into commercial use.
Of the 33 original stables on the block, 27 original buildings remained in 2022.
The webpages linked below discuss the Back Bay stables in more detail:
- Overview. Development of the stables serving the Back Bay, including private stables behind residences, stables on Stanhope Street and the flat of Beacon Hill, and the Newbury Street “stable block” between Hereford and Massachusetts Avenue.
- North side of the Newbury stable block. More information on the development of the north side of Newbury between Hereford and Massachusetts Avenue, including information on each building from the time it was built until it was converted into commercial use.
- South side of the Newbury stable block. More information on the development of the south side of Newbury between Hereford and Massachusetts Avenue, including information on each building from the time it was built until it was converted into commercial use.