Back Bay Houses
Government and Organizational Resources
Genealogies of Back Bay Houses

Boston’s Back Bay is a miracle of preservation. It is one of the largest examples of intact Victorian and Edwardian residential architecture in the United States. Built as one of Boston’s premier neighborhoods, it fell into decline for many years, but was saved by a combination of dedicated residents, architectural preservationists, and good luck.  Today, its architecture is protected by law and the vigilant oversight of the Back Bay Architectural Commission.


A great deal has been written on the history of the Back Bay and the architecture of the houses.  A number of outstanding resources exist and more information is being added all the time through the work of historians, preservationists, and others.


Many people, and especially those who live in the Back Bay, are interested in the personal histories of the houses – who lived in them and how they were used over the decades.  This website, which was a recipient of a 2014 Preservation Achievement Award, is designed to provide at least an entrée to that information. 

Read on. 

Other Resources

The Greenest Building: Quantifying the Environmental Value of Building Reuse

Until now, little has been known about the climate change reductions that might be offered by reu

Piano Row: Cycles of History

Piano Row: Cycles of History is an original film documentary about the evolution of Bost

Historic Ladder Blocks—An Endangered Resource in Downtown Boston

With no local protection or means of preventing demolition, the Ladder Blocks are at great risk o

Boston Modern: The Spirit of Reinvention

Boston Modern: The Spirit of Reinvention events and booklet are part of the Modern Module program

Boston's Changing Neighborhoods

On February 4, 2016 the Boston Preservation Alliance hosted an Urban Forum: “Boston’s Changi

Easements as a Tool for Preservation

Here in Boston there are a few ways we can protect a building or other historic resource.

City of Boston Archives

201 Rivermoor Street
West Roxbury, MA 02132
(617) 635-1195

Neighborhood Preservation Workshops

The Boston Preservation Alliance’s Neighborhood Preservation Workshop was a pilot program that ra

Inspectional Services Department (ISD)

1010 Massachusetts Avenue
5th Floor
Boston, MA 02118
(617) 635-5300

Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA)

One City Hall Square
Floor 9
Boston, MA 02201
(617) 722-4300

Boston Landmarks Commission (BLC)

City of Boston Departments and Commissions

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