Sears' Crescent and Sears' Block

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Sears' Crescent and Sears' Block
CourtStreet Boston 2009 928.JPG
Sears Crescent (5-story red brick, on left) and Sears Block (4-story gray granite, on right)
Location Boston, Massachusetts
Coordinates 42°21′34″N 71°3′34″W / 42.35944°N 71.05944°W / 42.35944; -71.05944Coordinates: 42°21′34″N 71°3′34″W / 42.35944°N 71.05944°W / 42.35944; -71.05944
Built 1816
Architect Unknown
Architectural style Italianate, Other, Federal
NRHP Reference #


Added to NRHP August 9, 1986

Sears' Crescent and Sears' Block are a pair of adjacent historic buildings at 38-68 and 70-72 Cornhill in Boston, Massachusetts. It is adjacent to City Hall and City Hall Plaza, Government Center, Boston.

Sears' Crescent was constructed in 1816 as a series of Federal period commercial rowhouses. Around 1860 these were given a unified curving facade with Italianate styling. The Sears Block, built in 1848, is a rare surviving instance of granite post-and-lintel construction. Both buildings were developed by David Sears, a leading mid-19th-century developer of Boston who was responsible for the filling of Back Bay. They are the only buildings that remain on the original route of Cornhill, one of Boston's oldest streets, most of whose route has been lost or obscured by urban renewal.[2]

The buildings were added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1986.[1]

The Sears Block is now the location of the "Steaming Tea Kettle", an 1873 trade sign commissioned by the Oriental Tea Company that was located on a Court Street building demolished in 1967 during the construction of Government Center.[3] The kettle was refurbished and reinstalled in 2016 after being damaged, apparently by a truck.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b National Park Service (2008-04-15). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ "NRHP nomination for Sears' Crescent and Sears' Block". Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Retrieved 2015-09-05. 
  3. ^ Wurman, Richard Saul (2004). Access Boston (7th ed.). Access Press. p. 43. ISBN 0-06-054762-6. 
  4. ^ Rosen, Andy (5 October 2016). "Landmark steaming kettle sign to return to Government Center". Boston Globe. Retrieved 30 October 2016. 

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