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September 26, 2019

30 Amazing Pics Capture Street Scenes of Massachusetts in the 1920s

Photographer Leon Hampartzoum Abdalian was born in Cilician Armenia, Ottoman Empire (now Turkey), circa 1884. He moved with his family to the United States in April of 1896 and eventually settled in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston.

Abdalian was largely self-taught. For most of his career as a photographer, which lasted from 1913 into the 1960s, he also worked full-time as a conductor on the Boston Elevated Railroad.

Abdalian was primarily a large-format photographer, specializing in photographing historical sites and the park system. Locally, his photographs were published in the Boston Globe, Boston Traveler and Boston Herald newspapers.

In 1930 during the Massachusetts Tercentenary celebration, the Boston Daily Record hired Abdalian as the “Photographer of Historic Shrines” and published a series of his photographs of historic monuments and buildings. He also had photographs published in the National Geographic magazine in March of 1920 as part of an article on business in Massachusetts.

Abdalian retired as a conductor in 1951 but continued his career as a photographer into the 1960s almost to the year of his death in 1967.

These amazing photos from Boston Public Library are part of his work that Leon Abdalian took street scenes of Massachusetts in the 1920s.

57–59 Mt. Vernon Street, 57 was home of Charles Francis Adams, 59 was home Thomas Bailey Aldrich, Beacon Hill

83 Mt. Vernon Street, home of William Ellery Channing

Beach and Atlantic House hotel, Nantasket

Charles River Bridge, West Roxbury

Church of the Presidents, Quincy

City Hall, School Street

City Point, South Boston

Copley Plaza, Copley Square

Copley Square Library, New Old South Church and Copley Plaza

English High School

Garrison Inn (doorway and stage coach), Newburyport

Granary Burial Ground and Park Street Church

Hotel Pemberton, Nantasket

Hotel Somerset, Commonwealth Avenue view

King's Chapel at Tremont Street and School Street, Boston

Louisburg Square, surrounded by Pinckney Street and Mt. Vernon Street

Mechanics Building, Huntington Avenue

Nantasket Beach, view of chairs and bathers

New armory, 856 Commonwealth Avenue

New State House, taken from Boston Common

Old South Meeting House, view of Washington Street and Milk Street

Palm garden, Nantasket Beach

Revere Beach

Roller coaster, derby racer, Revere Beach

The First Church in Plymouth and Burial Hill

The Moseley Memorial Building, Massachusetts General Hospital

Washington Street looking toward Spring Lane, School Street, Milk Street, and Old South Meeting House

Whitney Building, Clinton Street and Commercial Street

Wolfe Tavern, Newburyport

Y.M.C.A. building, Huntington Avenue




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