FC 98 Lost Boston with Anthony Sammarco
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This week on Fieldstone Common our featured guest is Anthony Sammarco, the author of the book Lost Boston.
Bio – Anthony Sammarco
Since 1997, Anthony Sammarco has taught history at the Urban College of Boston, and his course “Boston’s Immigrants” is based on his book of the same name to highlight the city’s diversity. He was named educator of the year in 2003 and he serves on the UCB’s Leadership Council. Mr. Sammarco received the Bulfinch Award from the Doric Dames of the Massachusetts State House and the Washington Medal from the Freedom Foundation and was named Dorchester town historian by Raymond L. Flynn, mayor of Boston. He was elected a fellow of the Massachusetts Historical Society, is a member of the Boston Author’s Club and is a proprietor of the Boston Athenaeum. In his volunteer work, he is treasurer of the Victorian Society, New England Chapter, and a trustee of the Forest Hills Cemetery Educational Trust. He is past president of the Bay State Historical League and the Dorchester Historical Society. He lives in Boston and in Osterville on Cape Cod.
A nostalgic journey back in time to visit some of the disappeared buildings and places in all their grandeur, before the wrecking ball and decline set in.
From the 1850s up to the present day, 68 different losses are represented here, including schools, churches, theaters, grand mansions, dockyards, racetracks, parks, stores, hotels, offices, and factories. Organized chronologically starting with the earliest losses and ending with the latest, the book features much-loved insitutions that failed to stand the test of time, along with old-fashioned hotels and sports facilities that were beyond updating or refurbishment. Losses include Franklin Place, Boston City Hall, Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Hancock House, Gleason’s Publishing Hall, Fort Hill, Franklin Street, Boston Coliseum, Boylston Market, Merchants Exchange, Haymarket Square, Boston Public Library, Horticultural Hall, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Revere House (Hotel), Huntington Avenue Grounds, Charlestown City Hall, Molasses Tank, Cyclorama, Readville Trotting Park and Race Track, East Boston Airport, Boston Latin School, East Boston Ferries, Braves Field, Massachusetts State Prison, Boston Opera House, Boston Aquarium, The Howard Athenaeum, and Dudley Street Station.
Title: Lost Boston
Publisher: Pavilion Books (2014)
Oversized Hardcover – 144 pages with lots of photos and an index.
Lost Boston is available for purchase from Amazon.com and other booksellers.
In this interview Anthony Sammarco and I discuss the great variety of building and public places that have been removed from the Boston, Massachusetts landscape. They range from the Old Feather Shop to prisons, ferries and baseball fields. There was even a Victory Garden in what is now a park-like Copley Square. We discuss why the demolitions occurred and the way some buildings still remain but have been transformed. We also talk about the Boston Athenaeum as a historical repository and the importance of local history in the lives of neighborhood residents.
Links mentioned during the interview:
- FC 87 with Anthony Sammarco discussing Howard Johnson
- The Boston Athenaeum
- Architect John Fox, biography on WikiPedia
One copy of Lost Boston is given out to the Fieldstone Common audience courtesy of Pavilion Books.
The winner is:
- To be announced next week
Congratulations to our winner and thanks to Pavilion Books for their generosity in donating the book!
Make sure you qualify to win the giveaway next week by signing up for the Bonus List! Once you sign up your are in the running each week!
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Hi, Marian! I just finished listening to the podcast & I have my very own Lost Boston story: for the 1st 2 years of my life, my parents taught at Thompson Academy on a Thompson Island in Boston Harbor. My mom says that, like other faculty, we lived in a dorm on the island. About 4 years after my dad left that position, the main building, which was designed by Charles Bulfinch & built in 1833, burned down. Four years after that, the academy closed down. Years later the grounds and buildings were repurposed for the Outward Bound program.
I have no memory of my time on Thompson’s Island, but I do have the Academy’s 1965 yearbook that my parents kept.
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