Friday, May 11, 2018

The More Things Change....

From Dave Brigham:

I spend a fair amount of time walking through Boston with my son. Some of the areas are new to me, others are places I've walked countless times in my nearly three decades of living in and around the city. There was a time, in what seems like a previous life, where I walked through Downtown Crossing, and past this building on Winter Street, on a regular basis for work. I went to a holiday party, or some such event, at the building next to this one. But that was all back before I paid attention to the architecture around me, and to ghost signs and named buildings and other hidden pieces of history.

40 Winter Street was built in 1866. The architect was Nathaniel J. Bradlee, who also designed, among other buildings, the Boston Young Men's Christian Union, Danvers State Hospital, the reception house at Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge and the Jordan Marsh department store, which was demolished in 1975, according to Boston: A Historic Walking Tour by Anthony Sammarco. Notice the "B" and Roman numerals above the GameStop sign.

In its earlier years, the building was occupied by, among other businesses, Child's World, a periodical that I believe was also known as The American Sunday School Union; The Advocate of Peace; the American Congregational Association; Schonhof & Moellers bookstore; and a private classical school operated by George W.C. Noble.

So while it's a bit jarring to see the bold, modern, red-and-white GameStop sign on this Second French Empire-style building (thanks, Anthony Sammarco), the building's partial use as an entertainment destination for the younger set isn't completely out of step with its past use.

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