Boston: Midtown Condos
Midtown features large department stores as well as restaurants, general retail establishments, and street vendors.
Midtown is a shopping district that is a small part of downtown Boston, Massachusetts, located due east of Boston Common and west of the Financial District. It features large department stores as well as restaurants, souvenir sellers, general retail establishments, and street vendors. The section of Washington Street between Temple and Bromfield streets (and portions of Winter and Summer streets) are closed to most vehicular traffic; pedestrians may walk freely in the street.
Following the success of the Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Boston decided to redevelop the Washington Street area into a pedestrian-only mall, which was unveiled in 1979. At first, foot traffic and business in the area declined, but it slowly returned as the popularity of the mall as a shopping area increased, helped along by a cart vending program.
Between 1895 and 1917, Downtown Crossing became the hub of department store shopping in Boston. In 1841, Eben Jordan and Benjamin L. Marsh opened the first Jordan Marsh store as wholesalers, which later grew into a retail department store. Another major store, Filene’s, was founded in 1881. Originally known as William Filene’s Sons Co. the store expanded, opening the “Automatic Bargain Basement” in 1909. Gilchrist and Kennedy’s also opened in the neighborhood, though both are now closed. These stores attracted more middle-class visitors, including those from the suburbs, and anchored other retail services, including food and restaurants. Nationwide, downtown department stores faced challenges after World War II due to suburbanization and competition from big box stores.