Why hadn’t I noticed them before: oversized metal bays looming over the diminutive brick row houses and streets of Boston’s Beacon Hill. And this building on Irving Street is not an anomaly; several monster bays were seen in a walk from Cambridge Street, up the hill on Irving Street and to the left on Joy Street, as I made my way to the Boston Common. In fact, oversized bays were lurking above the sidewalk everywhere that single-family rowhouses had been replaced by tenements in the 1920s on the north slope of the Hill. Once again, real estate speculators had invented a solution to grab additional real estate value within the exiting regulatory and architectural-cultural rules of a community.

The next time there is a lull in the office, someone should document and map them all.


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