I've acquired a set of photos of Boston doorways taken by a photographer from Malden, MA, Herbert A. Hall. The photos are all of Beacon Hill and I won't hazard a guess as to when they were taken, except to say what one always says when one doesn't know: c. 1900. They are lovely sepia toned prints and I haven't seen any of them published anywhere. The photos are numbered and if the ones I have are any indication, there might have been over a hundred of them in the complete collection of which I have eleven or twelve. If I get around to it, I may try to take some present day photos for comparison.
Now for a little Louisburg Square information. First, click here to see where the name comes from and then continue on to read a little tourist information and the official history of the street.
From Boston: A Guide Book, by Edwin M. Bacon (Boston, 1907).
Louisburg Square, with its inclosed park of lofty trees and diminuitive Italian marble statues of Aristides and Columbus at either end, suggestive of old London residential squares, connects Mt. Vernon with Pinckney Street, the latter with an air of shabby gentility yet borne with decorum. Blaxton's spring is believed to have been in the middle of this square. The point is disputed by local historians, the popular location being Spring Lane, north of the Old South Meetinghouse; but the evidence in support of the Louisburg Square situation is accpeted as conclusive by most authorities. The matter, however, is not of moment, for the town was full of springs when Blaxton "solicited" Winthrop hither. [Editor's note: The John Winthrop led Puritans had initially settled in Charlestown, but the need for a good source of water brought them across the harbor to Boston. William Blaxton, who had settled on the Shawmut Peninsula, invited Winthrop to move. Blaxton is immortalized in Boston's Blackstone Square, among other things.]
Blaxton's orchard spread back up the hill slope toward this square His homestead lot of six acres, reserved after his sale of the whole peninsula to the colonists for thirty pounds, occupied the northwesterly slope of the hill, bounded southerly toward the Common and westerly on Charles River, the water's edge then being at the present Charles Street. His cottage, with its rose garden, was on the hill slope toward the Common, between the present Spruce and Charles Streets. He moored his boat on the river, presumably at a point which jutted out from the bluff in which the hill ended, on the Charles Street Side.
At 10 Louisburg Square was the last Boston home of Louisa M. Alcott,
where her remarkable father A. Bronson Alcott, died (1888) in his
eighty-ninth year; her own death following the day of his funeral. No.
4 was the home of William D. Howells in the late seventies, when he was
a Bostonian editing the Atlantic. No. 20 is interesting as the house
where Jenny Lind was married in 1852.
On the upper corner of the square and Pinckney Street are the main
house and the chapel of the Sisterhood of St. Margaret, Protestand
Episcopal, where is St. Maragaret's Hospital, one of the most worthy
institutions of the city. The infirmaries occupy two additional houses
on this square and a neighboring one on Mt. Vernon Street. [Editor's
note: The main house and chapel is currently the residence of
Massachusetts Senator John Kerry and his wife Theresa]
From the List of Streets, etc., in Boston (Boston, 1910)
Louisburg Square, Boston, 1826; from Mt. Vernon Street, opposite Willow Street, north to Pinckney Street; shown on plan dated September 7, 1826 (Suffolk Deeds, Lib. 312, fol, 217, and Lib. 327, fol., 217); in the partition of lots, described in the above deed as between Harrison Gray Otis, et al., it is designated that the square and streets parallel therewith shall be forever reserved and kept open; the square to be built by the proprietors, and surrounded with an open iron fence and railing; it is also provided in the deed that the streets shall be ceded to the City of Boston, whenever the city shall accept them as such; there appears ot be no record of laying out of the streets by the city, or of the purchase of the green inclosure.
[A note on the photo: Please do not copy, reproduce, or direct link to this photo without permission and proper attribution. Email me for details.]