Boston Public Library
Exhibitions

The Great Boston Fire, 1872 – Item 4 of 5

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[After James Wallace Black], Panoramic View of the Ruins After the Great Fire in Boston, From a Point Opposite Trinity Church in Summer Street, 1872. Courtesy Print Department.
The destruction left behind by the Great Fire of 1872 was colossal, as depicted in this panoramic view of the smoldering burned district, based on a photograph by J.W. Black.  Sixty-five acres of buildings were lost in the blaze.  This striking image shows a Boston that has literally been leveled, as firefighters resorted to detonating explosions and destroying buildings in the path, in a futile attempt to stop the spread of the fire.  Remarkably, the area was rebuilt and back to business within two years.

 

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