At 117 years old, the Ferdinand Building is no longer under wraps. The almost-total demolition left the shell of the former furniture store landmark. It’s destined to become the new public-school administration building, and more important the anchor of redevelopment in the square. Rebuilding should take two years.
Even nearly abandoned and derelict for the past 30 years, the graceful, ornamented building was an obvious symbol of the erstwhile humming, vital square. Back when the Orange Line ran as an elevated train here, this area of Roxbury did just fine. More recent times when it became better known for junkies, winos, muggings and the major bus terminal to be super-cautious using appear to be over.
The Baroque Revival-style 1895 building was originally Ferdinand’s Blue Store (still carved on top). It soon claimed to be the largest home-furnishings store in the country.
Sure, it might have been more efficient to tear it down totally, but I think Bostonians are already glad they didn’t.
The facade is grand and a fitting symbol for what we do well here — press past and future Boston together.
Pix note: These were taken this morning early. They are under Creative Commons; do what you want with either, just credit Mike Ball once. Click an image for a larger view.