Here is what 176 Marlborough Street looked like circa 1922. This residence was built in 1876 and was one of six contiguous houses along that block of Marlborough that were built by Eben Dyer Jordan, the founder of Jordan Marsh. He built 166 Marlborough for his daughter and her husband and the other five were quickly sold.
The photo is part of the City of Boston Archives Street Lighting Collection. The city was creating a record of the street lighting fixtures and the note on this photo says:
"Electric street lamp on converted gas post with electric light fixture with white dome & clear glass globe. Installed in 1909."
Here's the same scene in 2011 with a new gaslight replacing the old gaslight that had been so proudly electrified in 1909.
Today, a street tree stands in the place of the former electric lamp and you see fences and gardens in front of the townhouses but not in early photos. Many homes in the Back Bay were winter residences where families lived for the "winter season." In the summer months, they would have been closed up while the family moved to their summer estates.
You'll see many references to "winter season" in the genealogy of this residence on the award winning site, Back Bay Houses: Genealogies of Back Bay Houses.
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Words: Penny Cherubino
Photography: 1922 photo is used under this creative commons license. Second photo © 2011 Penny Cherubino