A place to recall and celebrate the wonderful stores of a Downtown Boston now alive only in our memories

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

A Place Called....Avon Street

Hello, Retro Boston Lovers!!

Hello, Ron!! You asked me to locate where Avon Street used to be and I shall try to do that so you can find the exact spot the next time you walk in Boston.

Many people who live and work in Boston today have no idea just how the streets have changed in the last forty or so years in and around the downtown area.

Avon Street ran between the two blocks that contained the vast Jordan Marsh Company store and connected with Chauncy Street at one end and Washington Street at the other.
It was almost directly across from Temple Place on Washington Street but just a bit askew...as so many streets where in old Boston:-)

Avon Street's demise was part of the redevelopment project of the mid 70's and early 80's that saw the fall of the Annex Building complex of Jordan Marsh Company and the rise of the ill fated... Lafayette Place. Bedford Street used to run all the way to Washington Street and almost meeting up with West Street, but this section of Bedford Street was also swallowed up in the large project. The old RH. White's building that had sat on this corner since the 1870's was sadly lost in the early stages of the project in 1975.

My last memory of Avon Street would be from about 1980 or 1981 after the Annex Building complex was gone and just a large, gaping hole in the ground. You could still enter or leave Jordan Marsh using the Avon Street doors(of the new 1977 addition that replaced the old Main Store) and walk along the long wooden wall that protected you from the big drop into the construction site on the other side. I think that auto traffic was now blocked from using the street and it was not long after that it was consumed by the vast hole as the foundation for the new shopping center was being built.

The Bostonian Society image from 1975 shows the corner of Avon Street as it connects to Washington Street(just opposite Temple Place) with the old Main Store of Jordan Marsh on one side with the blank clock face atop and part of the Annex Building complex of the large store on the other.
The shopper's map from 2010 has a red X to mark the spot today.

Hope that helps!

Now have look the next time you walk down Washington Street and see if you can locate the ghost of little, old Avon Street:-)



denholms said...

It is so sad that we have lost some of those beautiful buildings.... Charles, the bag gap with construction, was that when they were building LaFayette place next to Jordans?

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