Curious Architects

Anyone who has visited the new office knows we work in pretty close quarters; we’re that little one-story building at the intersection of Mass Ave and Tremont St, surrounded (dwarfed) by typical Boston, brick Rowhouses at the edge of the South End.

We, or at least myself, with boundless curiosity and childlike need for knowledge, have always wondered: How did the space come to be? What was it previously?

Locals and passersby will certainly notice a significant transformation of the streetscape over the past six years, thanks in no small part to our neighbors and friends at HAYCON who handled the historic restoration of the Calvin Swallow House to which we are attached. While we’re not sure (yet) what, if any, historic purpose the building was constructed for, using a simple feature of Google Street View (a great way to explore a new city), we looked back through the previous years that the Google Car has lapped our storefront. It turns out, interestingly enough, that our compact corners used to house Sallie’s, an eatery selling breakfast, “sandwhiches,” dinner, ice cream and beverages. Adjacent to Sallie’s was Fred & Emma’s Fish Market, and Brown’s Market.

Closer inspection seems to indicate that these establishments were long abandoned by the time the first Street View images were captured in 2007.

It is always  fascinating to discover the various permutations of the city’s buildings, especially prior to restoration, as Boston has had a storied – often complex – relationship with urban renewal and revitalization. And while we may not be serving up sandw(h)iches, we’d like to think we’re a positive addition to the neighborhood.

For further information on the historic restoration of the Calvin Swallow House,click here.