Boston | A Continuous Lean.

Two Days in Boston’s First Skyscraper

Aug 15th, 2011 | Categories: Boston, History | by Michael Williams

Completed in 1893, the Ames building is considered by many to be Boston’s first skyscraper; though, even at the time of its opening, it was never Boston’s tallest building. That honor belonged to Church of the Covenant. The Ames building also ranks as the second tallest masonry load-bearing wall structure in the world, behind Chicago’s Monadnock Building, and was constructed using sandstone from the Cleveland Quarries Co. that was carted to Boston all the way from Amherst, Ohio. (Sidenote: As a child I swam in the Amherst quarry that produced the sandstone used in the construction of the Ames Building.)

The Ames Building was commissioned, paid for and built to house the headquarters of the Ames Shovel and Tool Co., which was run by the wealthy Oakes Ames. In addition to being an industrialist, Oakes Ames was a Congressman from Massachusetts (and a fairly corrupt one at that) and was largely responsible for overseeing the construction of the Union Pacific railroad. Coincidentally, the town of Ames, Iowa (which is famous for the Republican Straw Poll that took place this past week) is named for Oakes Ames due to his involvement with the railroad.





Weekend Video | Alden Shoes

Oct 12th, 2008 | Categories: Boston, Footwear, Made in the USA, Video | by Michael Williams

Earlier in the year The Boston Globe published an article and an accompanying video about the venerable U.S. shoemaker Alden and their continued domestic production. The short piece of video is an interesting look at the state of New England shoe manufacturing, or the lack there of. Globe staffer Emily Sweeney adds a bit of authentic Massachusetts favor to the piece by dropping her R’s throughout the segment.

The video was found through the very well done blog Sleevehead. Worth a look and a bookmark.

[brightcove vid=1388771169]