G r a p h i c s

Then & Now

Hover over the images and click and hold with your mouse to slide the bar left and right to see “then” and “now” images.


The Quincy School was founded in 1847 to serve the rapidly growing city. It provided education for the successive waves of immigrants in the South Cove – Irish, Jews, Greeks, Syrians and Chinese. It was a pioneer in urban education – the first school with graded classrooms and a seat for every student. In 1976, the school moved into the new Quincy Community School which incorporated community facilities into the building. The building is now occupied by the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association providing space for classes, meetings and community groups.



Then: First Church. Founded 1860
Now: Garment Building. Built 1910

The First Christian Church was built around 1860 to serve the first settlers in the South Cove mostly Yankees in-migrating from rural New England. It was replaced by a garment building about 1910. In 1928, Kneeland St. was widened and one bay of the building was removed creating a truncated building. Today it houses various Chinese businesses. The row houses to the left of the church remain mostly intact but now occupied by restaurants etc.


The Municipal Building at Oak and Tyler Streets was opened in 1914 as part of Mayor James Michael Curley’s campaign to improve the lives of the immigrant neighborhoods. The building provided a gymnasium, baths for men and women and a branch library. It served Irish, Italians, Jews, Greeks, African-Americans, Syrians and Chinese.

The building was torn down about 1970 for the site of Tai Tung Village, a subsidized housing project sponsored by the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association. Tai Tung Village provides 214 apartments along with shops and restaurants. The Friend of the Library have been organizing to bring a branch library back to Chinatown.

The 1914 photo is in the Boston Public Library collection and is on Flickr.




Then: The Washington St El Portal.
Now: The Metropolitan and Tufts Medical Center.

From 190- until 1980, the Washington St El started its descent into the tunnel at Oak St. When the Orange Line was, it opened up the adjacent sites for development.

Now this formerly dismal area is teeming with activity. In the foreground is the side yard of the Oak Terrace with … units of housing. After a long battle to prevent the building of a garage by Tufts Medical Center, a plan was worked out to meet divergent needs. On the left is now the … Bldg of TMC. Just visible on the right is the corner of the Metropolitan complex with …units of housing and several community organizations.