1154 Boylston Street in Photographs

A photographic history of the home of the Massachusetts Historical Society.
by Megan K. Friedel, MHS Photograph Cataloger



The Massachusetts Historical Society's current home at 1154 Boylston Street opened its doors in March of 1899. The new building -- the seventh location of the Society since its founding in 1791 -- was designed by Edmund March Wheelwright, then the city architect of Boston. It was, by most accounts, an appropriate and dignified building for, as Society president Charles Francis Adams put it, the "serious character" of preserving local and national history. The Boston Herald also predicted that the Boylston Street building "will be known as one of the surest storage batteries of historic knowledge in the city."

Over a century later, 1154 Boylston Street continues to welcome researchers and visitors to the Massachusetts Historical Society. Additions to the building have accommodated the Society's growing staff, activities, and collections. Most significantly, during the last eight years, the Society has been engaged in a long-term project to renovate or replace nearly everything in the building. In June, the final phase of construction was completed.  These photographs depict some of the renovations and changes made to 1154 Boylston Street from 1899 to the present.

The Massachusetts Historical Society invites you to join us in celebrating our "new" building.  The Society is open to the public Mon., Tues., Weds., and Fri. from 9:00am - 4:45pm and on Thurs. from 9:00am - 8pm.

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