Old Corner Book Store

While the Old Corner Bookstore is a stop on the Freedom Trail  and an attraction within Boston National Historical Park, it is now a commercial building that is currently leased by Chipotle Mexican Grill. Other than stopping in for a meal, there is nothing to do at the site.

The Old Corner Bookstore is the oldest commercial building in Boston. It actually started out as a pharmacy in 1718 and didn’t become associated with the publishing business until 1829 when Timothy Carter opened the Old Corner Bookstore. By 1845, most of the building was occupied by the publishing company Ticknor and Fields, a major player in the 1800s with clients like Henry Longfellow, Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Louisa May Alcott, all Boston area residents. When William Ticknor died in 1864, his partner James Fields sold the building to Edward Dutton, another publisher, and over the subsequent years various publishing and other retail firms occupied the space.

This historic commercial building has been an apothecary, a bookstore in 1828 and now a restaurant.  This historic commercial building has been an apothecary, a bookstore in 1828 and now a restaurant. Constructed in 1718, the Old Corner Bookstore is downtown Boston’s oldest commercial building and was home to the 19th-century publishing giant Ticknor and Fields, producer of many venerable American titles including Thoreau’s Walden, Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, Longfellow’s Midnight Ride of Paul Revere, and the Atlantic Monthly including Ward Howe’s Battle Hymn of the Republic. Saved from demolition in 1960, the building’s leases help subsidize important historic preservation projects in Boston’s neighborhoods.

 

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