Inferno: The Great Boston Fire of 1872 was written to commemorate the 150th anniversary of a devastating fire that destroyed sixty-five acres of land in Boston, from Washington Street, between Summer Street and Milk Street, fanning eastward towards the wharves projecting into Boston Harbor.
The fire was said to have destroyed 776 buildings in Boston’s downtown, causing over $73 million in damage (or $1,682,000,000 in 2022 dollars), killing an estimated twenty people, and leading to stricter building regulations in Boston.
Fires have always been a constant source of anxiety, but this inferno was cataclysmic and beyond the comprehension of many people. The city of Boston took action and appointed a city architect that would oversee all building in the city.
In this well illustrated history of the inferno, well known author Anthony Sammarco takes us from the area from one of Commercial Palaces to the Burnt District that would be rebuilt “Springing Phoenix-like from the Ashes.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)
Anthony M. Sammarco is a noted historian and author of over seventy books on the history and development of Boston, and he lectures widely on the history of his native city. His books Lost Boston, The History of Howard Johnson's: How A Massachusetts Soda Fountain Became a Roadside Icon, Christmas Traditions in Boston, and The Baker Chocolate Company: A Sweet History have been bestsellers.