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In Boston’s early years the area now known as Midtown comprised the city’s core, along with the North End. It was home to the original State House in front of which the Boston massacre took place on what is now State Street (formerly King Street). The Governor’s Mansion, called Province House, was located here as were grand townhomes of the city’s merchant class.

But as the city grew rapidly in the 1800’s and new neighborhoods like the Back Bay and South End were created from tidal flats, the area now referred to as Midtown (also called Downtown) Boston became almost exclusively commercial. In 1872 a devastating fire leveled much of the neighborhood and in its place large stone and brick (i.e. fire resistant) commercial structures rose from the ashes.

Well into the late 20th Century Downtown Boston was the retail, banking, and commercial center of New England. But demographic changes, urban renewal, and an interstate highway that cut the neighborhood off from the sea had a profoundly negative effect on Boston’s the central core.

But at the turn of the 21st Century the neighborhood began a stunning revival. Luxury residential towers began to replace parking lots and adult movie theaters. Luxury boutique hotels and hip new bars and restaurants opened their doors. And as some traditional office tenants like accountant and law firms moved to newer spaces in the Back Bay and Seaport, they were replaced by a wave of creative companies in advertising, design, and web-based services giving the neighborhood a cool and edgy vibe.

Today Midtown Boston is a neighborhood in renaissance. There are hundreds of new luxury residences planned or under construction ranging from loft spaces in former commercial buildings to soaring, 700-foot glass towers and everything in between.

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