History: Out of the ashes

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The Boston Theatre area of Washington Street before fire destroyed the commercial district in 1872.


The Great Boston Fire of 1872 destroyed Boston’s commercial district in a swath running from the Boston Common to the waterfront.

Boston’s commercial district was thriving on Saturday, Nov, 9, 1872. The next day it lay in smoldering ruins after an overnight conflagration. The Great Boston Fire claimed 30 lives and destroyed nearly 1,000 buildings. Damages were estimated at $75 million -- more than $1.3 billion in today’s dollars.

History: Out of the ashes