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Almshouse, Boston

Image courtesy Historic New England

Print Title:

Alms-House, Leveret Street


One of a series of engravings produced by Abel Bowen for Caleb Snow's 1825 book History of Boston published by Bowen and printed by Munroe and Francis. The "New Alms House" as it was called in the text, was built on the banks of the Charles River in 1800 and stood there until May, 1825. Built of brick faced with white marble and covered with a slate roof, the building measured 270 feet by 56 feet, held three kitchens, workrooms, a chapel, and forty-seven rooms.

Print Source:

This print, identified by some scholars and collectors as a probable source for the pattern featured here, has not been fully authenticated. It is included in this exhibit as a possible inspiration for the printed pattern.

Both the Ridgway and Stevenson versions reverse the building direction and both contain trees and figural groups not visible in this version. Stevenson uses more figures and a larger lawn in front of the structure than Ridgway.

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Pattern & Print Source Comparison

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Almshouse, Boston
Ralph Stevenson (& Son)


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Alms House, Boston
John & William Ridgway