City and State: Boston, MassachusettsListed: 1983
Type of district: National Register historic district, Massachusetts State historic district
Main Intersection: Beach and South Streets
The Leather District is a commercial area in the southern part of Boston’s Central Business District. The buildings on the district’s 50+ parcels of land were built on the sites of low-rise houses in the last decades of the 19th century to support the shoe and leather trade. This historic use gives the district its name. Most of the masonry commercial buildings are 6 stories in height and constructed in the revival styles popular at the time, primarily Romanesque Revival and Classical Revival. Built after Boston’s devastating fire in 1872, these structures had to meet strict safety codes and were, therefore, not very innovative. Most of them are constructed of red brick with flat roofs, continuous floor levels, cornices, and band courses.