Boston's Oldest Buildings and Where to Find Them

Joseph M. Bagley

As Boston approaches its four-hundredth anniversary, it is remarkable that it still maintains its historic character despite constant development. The fifty buildings featured in this book all pre-date1800 and illustrate Boston’s early history. This is the first book to survey Boston’s fifty oldest buildings and does so through an approachable narrative which will appeal to nonarchitects and those new to historic preservation. Beginning with a map of the buildings’ locations and an overview of the historic preservation movement in Boston, the book looks at the fifty buildings in order from oldest to most ­recent. Geographically, the majority of the buildings are located within the downtown area of Boston along the Freedom Trail and within easy walking distance from the core of the city. This makes the book an ideal guide for tourists, and residents of the city will also find it interesting as it includes numerous properties in the surrounding neighborhoods. The buildings span multiple uses from homes to churches and warehouses to restaurants. Each chapter features a building, a narrative focusing on its historical significance, and the efforts made to preserve it over time. Full ­color photos and historical drawings illustrate each building and area. Boston’s Oldest Buildings and Where to Find Them presents the ideals of historic preservation in an approachable and easy­-to-­read manner appropriate for the broadest audience. Perfect for history lovers, architectural enthusiasts, and tourists alike.

Cover Image of Boston's Oldest Buildings and Where to Find Them
Paper: $29.95 | E-book: $25
ISBN-13: 9781684580392
Pages: 240 | Size: 7 in. x 10 in.
Date Published: April 24, 2021

City archaeologist Joseph Bagley has a special way of bringing Boston’s evolution to life.

Boston Magazine


  • Winner, 33rd Annual Preservation Achievement Awards

    Boston Preservation Alliance
  • Winner: Historic New England Book Prize 2022

    Historic New England
  • Bagley is wry and witty . . . demonstrating superior deductive skills and rousing the public to see the value of their past around them.

    New Boston Post
    for "A History of Boston in 50 Artifacts"
  • City archaeologist Joseph Bagley has a special way of bringing Boston's evolution to life.

    Boston Magazine
    for "A History of Boston in 50 Artifacts"
  • The author's engaging writing style keeps the pages turning. Recommended.

    for "A History of Boston in 50 Artifacts"
  • As Boston's city archaeologist, Joe Bagley knows more about the Olde Towne's historic structures than do most people. He shares that knowledge... This however, is not a book about architecture - as Bagley says in his introduction, "it is about Bostonians... and what makes Boston, Boston."

    AAA Explorer

About the Author

Joseph Bagley is the city archaeologist of Boston, a historic preservationist, and a staff member of the Boston Landmarks Commission. He is the author of the award-winning A History of Boston in 50 Artifacts.

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