Photo courtesy of Boston Public Library, Print Department

This 1910 photograph shows Boston’s once vibrant Scollay Square – or what Bostonians now know as Government Center. Back then, this area was where the North End intersected with the West End and Beacon Hill. The square stretched from Tremont Street to Court Street and was a busy city center, including many shops, restaurants, and perhaps most notably, the famous Old Howard Theatre. It may be less known, however, that this area also played a part in the early abolition movement. In fact, in and around the square, escaped slaves were hidden as a part of the Underground Railroad.

The city decided to redevelop this area during the 1950’s and turned the space into a hub for local government. The project ended up removing close to 1,000 buildings and displacing about 20,000 residents.

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Tune in on Thursday’s to view our featured neighborhood photo from back in the day! Submit your historical photos using our Submit a Post form or tag @northend.waterfront on Instagram. Please include a caption or story telling about your photo.

See past historic neighborhood photo posts.


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