This Rare Footage In The 1950s Shows Boston Like You’ve Never Seen Before

Many of us have taken out-of-town guests on tours of Boston, or perhaps tried some official city tours ourselves. But what if you could take a trip around your neighborhood as it appeared in 1958? Well, with this rare footage that might prove possible.

Although is has been labeled “1964,” the start of this video indicates that it was filmed in 1958. It was shot during a drive through Boston and gives us a peek into how our city appeared in the past. While the historic structures remain the same, the film shows what many neighborhoods, including South Boston, Back Bay, Brookline, Cambridge, and more that have changed quite a bit over the years!

As you go along for the ride, you’ll take a route that travels familiar roads like Storrow Drive, Tremont Street, Mass Avenue, William J. Day Boulevard, Route 9, and Soldiers Field Road. You’ll also pass over Longfellow Bridge, through Government Center, and by South Station. The surrounding cars (with their cool tail fins) appear gloriously retro to modern eyes!

You’ll notice that there is far less traffic than we typically encounter in these same spots today, but, not everything is different… it looks like the Boston “driving style” hasn’t changed much across the decades!

Did you spot your neighborhood? What surprised you most about the footage?

Share your recollections (or stories you have heard) about Boston life during the 1950s in the comments, or on the Only In Boston Facebook page.

If you want to travel much further back in time, view this video that takes you on a ride through Boston in 1903!