Boston Public Library

Bainbridge Bunting Photograph Collection

Bainbridge Bunting (1913-1981) was an architectural historian who received his doctorate from Harvard before beginning a long career as a teacher at the University of New Mexico. Most of the photographs in this collection were taken by Bunting in the 1940s as research for his dissertation The Architectural History of the Back Bay District in Boston. The balance of the collection includes photographs by Bunting of his family, as well as adobe architecture in New Mexico and photographs commissioned by Bunting for his 1967 book, Houses of Boston's Back Bay: An Architectural History, published by Harvard University Press.

Houses of Boston's Back Bay remains a heavily used resource on both neighborhood and architectural history. Bunting's photographs were taken during an interesting period in the history of the Back Bay, and Boston in general, a time when the city was fiscally challenged and the luster had worn off what had been Boston's most fashionable neighborhood. The publication of the 1967 book heralded the renaissance of the neighborhood and created momentum for the historical preservation of the Back Bay and its architecture.

Special thanks to Thomas High of for help in identifying photographs from the collection.

Critical funding to support long-term preservation of and enhanced public access to Boston Public Library collections, including this one, was provided by the Associates of the Boston Public Library.

Locations in this Collection: