Aerial view of Fort Hill Square, Boston, Mass., ca. 1868

Collection Type

  • Photography


ca. 1868



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Aerial view of Fort Hill Square in Boston, Massachusetts with commercial and domestic facades. Fort Hill was one of the three peaks of the city, extending from Pearl Street, Batterymarch Street, Broad Street, and the harbor, and was eighty feet high. The hill was originally called Corn Hill because of the cultivation of that crop. The first fort in Boston was built there, beginning on May 24, 1632. The fort protected the city from sea attacks through the late eighteenth century. In the 1800s, the area was developed into a residential square with brick row houses. In the mid-1860s, the section became very congested and was redeveloped as a commercial district. In 1869, the city was authorized to level the hill, and the work was completed by July of 1872. The park between Oliver Street and High Street was named Fort Hill Square on December 15, 1875.


Descriptive Terms

urban environments
exterior views
aerial views
squares (open spaces)
row houses
albumen prints


Verso of mount: Old Fort Hill 1868 From A.H. Rickards 35 Congress St. Care Janitor [in a different hand:] [underlined: Old Fort Hill] [in a different hand:] Boston, Massachusetts; Dupe, verso: [twice, in different hands:] FORT HILL [in a different hand:] Boston, Massachusetts

Additional Identification Number

OVP Photo Database Number 83
OVP Number OVP0033

Physical Description

1 photographic print : albumen, mounted ; 10 x 13 inches

Collection Code


Collection Name

General photographic collection

Reference Code


Image Dimensions

10 x 13 (HxW)(inches)


Fort Hill (Barnstable county, Massachusetts) [peak]

Record Details

Material Type

albumen prints


Architectural photography
Fort Hill (Boston, Mass. : Neighborhood)
Fort Hill Square (Boston, Mass.)


Gouge marks on recto; top center of mount crushed in; paper clip impression on top edge of recto of mount; light staining across recto and verso of mount. Dupe faded and stained with warped mount.

Description Level


Related Items

Aerial view of Fort Hill Square, Boston, Mass., circa 1868

Historical/Biographical Note


City of Boston. A Record of the Streets, Alleys, Places, Etc. in the City of Boston, 1910, 193-4.
Southworth, Susan and Michael Southworth. AIA Guide to Boston, 2008, 120.