Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Great Boston Fire of 1872 – 46 Incredible Vintage Photos That Show the Terrible Ruins of Buildings After the Fire

The Great Boston Fire of 1872 was Boston's largest urban fire, and still ranks as one of the most costly fire-related property losses in American history.

The conflagration began at 7:20 p.m. on November 9, 1872, in the basement of a commercial warehouse at 83-87 Summer Street.

The fire was finally contained 12 hours later, after it had consumed about 65 acres (26 ha) of Boston's downtown, 776 buildings and much of the financial district, and caused $73.5 million in damage. At least 30 people are known to have died in the fire.

Here a collection of 46 vintage photos showing the terrible ruins of buildings in Boston after the fire.

Photographic panorama of the 'Burnt District' of Boston, after the Great Fire, November 9, 10, 1872

Post office building after the fire

Post office from Milk Street

Post office on left

Rear of old post office

Remains of Claflin Larrabee building

Remains of Donahoes block, Franklin St.

Ruins of Centaur Liniment near City Hall

Ruins of the Great Fire

Ruins of Trinity Church, Old South Church, new post office

Sargent Brothers' store, Winthrop Square

State St. block, Pearl St. walls, Sailors' Home

Summer St. cor. Washington

Summer Street south side, looking toward Broad St.

Trinity Church

Washington St. looking north

Washington St. north from Winter (Old South Meeting House in background)

Washington St., east side

Bachelder's Wharf, Federal St.

Bank of North America

Boston in ruins

Building remains

Burr, Taft & Co. Devonshire St.

Cor. High and Summer St.

Cor. Pearl & Milk St. to Oliver

Cor. Washington & Milk St.

Corner of High and Summer Streets

Corner of Milk and Federal Streets

Federal St. (H. M. Williams 42 India St.)

Federal St. (post office . . . fire engine)

Federal Street, Hunt and Company

Franklin St. (Old South Meeting House in background, tents and men in foreground)

Franklin St. north side

Franklin St.

From the Sailors' Home (Fort Hill)

Looking up Milk St. to Washington

Milk St. (edge of burned area)

Milk St. edge of fire

Milk St. looking north

New post office, Milk St.

On Milk St.

Part of Boston Harbor and Summer St.

Part of the view of a panorama of Fire

Pearl and Milk Streets looking southwest.

Pearl St. (with people)

Liberty Square, Water Street, cor. Kilby Street, facing State Street. Claflin Guards, Newton, Co. C., 1st Regt., Mass Militia

(Photos: Boston Public Library)

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