This post covers information about how your home might have looked and how to restore it. The previous post covers researching the history of your home, and the people who lived in it.
Maybe your family has owned a home for generations, or maybe you are living in a brand new to you home? No matter your situation, you may be curious about your home’s past. Or maybe you’re interested in what style your home is, or how to paint it in a historically accurate manner? You can find out some of this information online, using the resources in this guide. You can also visit your local branch of the Boston Public Library, or come to the Arts department at the Central Library in Copley Square for more information.
How Did My House Originally Look?
The Boston Public Library’s collection of blueprints for buildings circa 1900-1966 has moved to the Boston City Archives in West Roxbury. For more information on how to access the blueprints through the Boston City Archives, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Post-1966 building plans have been microfilmed by the City’s Inspectional Services Department. They are located at 1010 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA 02118 and their phone number is (617) 635-5300.
Most of the photographs owned by the Boston Public Library have been digitized and uploaded to Digital Commonwealth. While you may not find a direct photo of your home, there are many street views that may show your home, among others. Historic New England or other local historical associations may also have valuable photographs. Books in the Local History section of the Boston Public Library, particularly the Then & Now or Images of America series of books, may have photos of your street or neighborhood from the past.
What Style is My House?
The Abrams Guide to American House Styles
Identifying American Architecture
American Architecture Since 1780
Boston's Triple-deckers (many resources)
What Color Might My House Have Been Painted in the Past?
How Can I Restore My Historic House?
Fabrics and Wallpapers for Historic Buildings
Renovating & Restyling Vintage Homes
Caring for your Historic House
Repairing Old and Historic Windows
We hope these resources will be helpful to you as you research your home. If you have any questions please feel free to email email@example.com.