These old photos show Back Bay has been amazing for more than 100 years

News Back Bay Boston
A postcard featuring Boston’s Back Bay.
A postcard featuring Boston’s Back Bay. Boston Public Library via Digital Commonwealth

It is hard to imagine the now-idyllic streets in Back Bay used to be swamp land, but it’s true.

The development of the area began in the mid 19th century, and by the end of the 1800s the city had filled in more than 450 acres in to make usable land.

Look at Back Bay through the years:

Because construction moved from east to west and lasted about 50 years, the change in tastes and styles during that period can still be seen in the architecture today.