FBG Project M-015
• Source: JDG-1
Warehouse for Boston Wharf Co
- Contract: Apr 1903
Completed: Nov 1903
- Architect: Morton D. Safford (Boston Wharf employee)
- Standing in converted use
This project was located through a number of local notices as a 5-story brick and granite warehouse for Boston Wharf Co, possibly for wool. It was not previously known as an FBG project.
Surprisingly, nearly all original (1885-1910) buildings stand in this area, and a 1980 historic district report gives copious information about all of them, most of which were built by or for the Boston Wharf Co. Review of the 1980 report pinpoints — after considerable confusion of similar details — the current 316 Summer Street, at the corner of A Street, as the FBG project. (Note that the report uses 312, or 312-310 Summer Street; the 1970 map and current references use 316. “Confusion of details” indeed…)
According to the 1903 information, the building was:
- bounded by Summer, A, and Congress Streets (guy pole information);
- 5 stories and flat-roofed, of brick and granite construction, 114 foot frontage and 70 feet deep;
- to be completed by 15 Nov 1903.
The 1980 report for 316  Summer says it was built for Boston Wharf in 1904 (probably not placed in service until then). At first glance, the building is too long to be the FBG project, about 70×240 feet. A closer look shows that half of this appears to be separate construction, with the original Summer-and-A Streets portion being almost exactly 70×114. The building has elegant street facings of pale yellow brick, unusual for both the area, the purpose and FBG. However, the alleyway side shows traditional red brick construction, as well as a clear section of “seaming” between the building components.
Confusing the issue is that the building is only “5 stories” from the elevated Summer Street and is clearly at least 6 stories from the alleyway side. However, building stories are a flexible term when used in general description; some buildings have a slightly exposed basement, a ground floor and then 5 upper stories, which can be described as 6, 6 or 7 stories depending on the context.
The report in all other ways confirms this building as the FBG project, including its original long use as a wool warehouse; the height anomaly can be overlooked. The report also notes the year of construction and architect as important data, but does not note FBG as builder.
A 1970 map of buildings in the area locates this project, along with the delightful coincidence of the two NECCO warehouses nearby.
Multiple local notices approving use of guy ropes across streets. (Even the 1980 report, which includes many details of construction, does not mention any builder.)
- Standing in converted use at 316 Summer St. Appears to be a mix of offices and condos. Agent notes indicate it was renovated in 2011 (but also list it as built in 1897…)
- Boston Evening Transcript, 24 Mar 1903:
- Boston Evening Transcript, 10 Apr 1903:
- Boston City Council report, 27 Apr 1903:
- Boston City Council report, 27 Jul 1903 (2):
- Construction view from Bricklaying System (note confirmation of Summer St being elevated at the time):
- 1980 Boston Wharf district historical survey:
- 1970 map of Boston Wharf area buildings, 316 Summer highlighted at center in green. (Note also NECCO buildings at top center, highlighted in blue!):
- https://archive.org/details/bostonwharfcohis00bost/page/n31/mode/2up — Historic district report, 1980
- https://archive.org/details/bostonwharfcompa00bost/page/n1/mode/2up — 1970 map of Boston Wharf area