Draper Company – 1902 to 1912

A few observations on this picture. In the left foreground is the block where the Main Office, now (2012) the Atria-Draper Place assisted living facility is, was built in 1910-11. At that time there were several houses there. The office at the time of the picture was across Hopedale Street from that block. The Hope Street Bridge can be seen in the left background. The trolley tracks, that came up Hopedale Street and had ended at Freedom Street for several years, had been extended in 1900, and the bridge where it crossed Hopedale Pond can be seen at the right. The shop along Freedom Street appears exaggerated to me. It seems to go back forever. When that building had gone up, not long before, the Red Shop that had been there for some years was moved to the north side of Freedom Street, where it stayed until 1951, when it was moved to the east side of the pond and set up as a Draper museum. A faint view of a train and the houses at Bancroft Park (or Bancroft Parkway as it was known then), can be seen in the background. As is true of several other pictures I have on this site, I took a photo of this picture which is framed and under glass, so I was unable to get it
anywhere near as sharp and clear as the original An original of this is in the hallway downstairs at the Bancroft Library. Nearby are pictures showing the Draper shops in 1916 and 1944.

The postcard picture below looks like basically the same as the picture above, except that it was colored, a few more trees were put in the foreground, and a bit of the trolley bridge was eliminated. Also Freedom Street ends at Hopedale Street rather than continuing through to the bottom of the picture.

By the time the 1912 view at the bottom was done, the new Main Office had been completed. Again, Freedom Street side doesn’t extend toward the bottom of the picture. It also looks like the artist decided not to bother including the trolley bridge. I’d say it goes far enough to the right so that it should be there, but it isn’t. Another change in the bottom picture is an increase in the number of stacks a little to the left of center.

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