5400/5410. Building Division
Record Group Term
The Building Department was established by Chapter 280 of the Acts of 1871 “An Act to Provide for the regulation and Inspection of Buildings, the more effectual Prevention of Fire and the Better Protection of Life and Property in the City of Boston.” This act was superseded by Chapter 419 of the Acts of 1892. This act, although amended from time to time, remained in effect until August 1, 1907, when it was superseded by Chapter 550 of the Acts of 1907, which remained as the Building Law of the City of Boston until 1943. Chapter 479 of the Acts of 1938 as amended, “An Act for the Codification, Revision and Amendment of the Laws Relative to the Construction, Alterations and Maintenance of Buildings and other Structures in the City of Boston” was passed by the Legislature on June 27, 1938, with the provision that it take effect upon its acceptance by the Boston City Council, whereupon the Council proceeded to hold a series of public hearings on proposed amendments submitted by architects, builders, property owners and various civic organizations. As a result of these hearings, numerous amendments to the act were accepted by the City Council. The Act was approved by the Council in 1943. Since 1943, the code underwent several minor and a number of major amendments or revisions. On January 1, 1975, the Massachusetts State Building Code, Chapter 802 of the Acts of 1972, as amended, went into effect in the City of Boston and superseded all previous codes. The Building Department and the Housing Inspection Department were abolished and all powers and duties transferred to the Inspectional Services Department by Chapter 19 of the Ordinances of 1981.
Found in 19 Collections and/or Records:
Scope and Contents Files from 1972-2002 arranged alphabetically by address. Files from 2003-2014 are arranged chronologically. Files generally include copy of the certificate, inspection reports and other materials submitted during the application process.
Dates: 1972-2014 with gaps
Scope and Contents Building permit files of demolished buildings, also called "Takedowns." File jacket usually includes original building permit, permits for repair or renovation, violation notices, correspondence and permit to repair or raze (Takedown permit).
Dates: circa 1880s-1990s
Scope and Contents Photograph files of buildings ordered razed by the City of Boston. Photographs document condition of building just prior to demolition and usually include photograph of lot after demolition.
Dates: circa 1950-1990
Series — Multiple Containers
Series — Box 1
Scope and Contents Records relating to the collapse of the Hotel Vendome which killed nine Boston firefighters on June 17, 1972. Includes files of permits, correspondence, etc. of the Hotel Vendome at 154-170 Commonwealth avenue that were reviewed during the investigation into the collapse; correspondence relating to the investigation; final report of the investigation; and supplemental report on the reconstruction.
Dates: circa 1911-1973
Scope and Contents Plans filed with building permits in paper form from circa 1902-1970 and on aperture cards from circa 1970-1995. Contact the Inspectional Services Department, Building Division for access to plans on aperture cards.
Dates: circa 1902-1995
Scope and Contents Miscellaneous building/alteration permits and logs of permits issued and applications filed. Includes permits to do alterations, 1874-1876, 1886 and 1888; logs of daily entry sheets of new construction, alterations, elevators, fire escapes, takedowns, etc., 1946-1947, 1950-1959, logs of gas fitting permits, 1939, 1953-1963; log of electrical permits, 1956-1959, log of plumbing permits, 1953-1957; log of applications to install boilers, engines, ovens, sprinklers, etc., 1958-1962; log of unsafe...
Series — Box SB - 015
Series — Box SB - 015
Scope and Contents Includes photographs of Building Department offices from circa 1917 including Commissioner's Office, Inspectors' desks, plans area, and document file vault. Also includes photographs of Building Department offices in the New City Hall, 1968.
Dates: circa 1917, 1968
Item — Box 1