Monday, August 1, 2011

Ferdinand's Store - Roxbury

Ferdinand & Co., Warren and Washington streets, Roxbury 1884 (BPL Flickr group).

Ferdinand's 1884.

The old Ferdinand's building at the corner of Warren and Washington streets was in the news recently when another re-development plan was announced by the city. I'll leave the contemporary sad story of property to others and take a look at the history of the site.

The original wood frame store opened in 1869, and is shown above. It was prominently located at the north edge of Dudley square, on the main road from the South End and Boston proper. They sold furniture, stoves and other housewares.

Ferdinand's 1899

The current building, along with a wood frame warehouse, was erected in 1895 as the Ferdinand Blue Store. It was designed by John Lyman Faxon, a follower of H.H. Richardson, designer of Trinity Church at Copley square. Faxon also designed building for Dartmouth and Princeton, and was the architect for the First Baptist Church in Newton.

At this time, the elevated line was in place, and the dotted line on the map above shows the north-going path of the tracks running beside the buildings and re-joining the southbound tracks on Washington street.

Ferdinand's 1931.

By 1931, considerably more space had been added along Warren street. Ferdinands claimed to be the largest furniture retailer in the region. I haven't learned yet when the store closed. If and when I do, I'll add the information here.


  1. I love ur blog. All the info about Boston is so interesting.

    Where do you get ur maps from. I am always trying to find high quality historic maps of Boston and I can never find them.

    Thanks and I can't wait to read more!

  2. The public library web site has maps.

  3. My 86 y/o mother is spending more and more time in the past, very forgetful of present but clear about the past, especially, dancing to Irish music at the Dudley Street Opera House in Roxbury w/ her friend, Lillian. Cost to get in was 50cents and bands came up from NY i.e. Matty Touhy. She describes it in detail; I told her I would find a picture of it on-line. I haven't been able to find one. Can you help? She also mentions a bar that was across the street "where all the fellows would go during intermission."

  4. Try the book Roxbury, by Anthony Mitchell Sammarco. Lots of old photos - worth a try,