Fort Point Channel

National Historic District

Note: a separate walking tour of the Seaport and FPC includes selected sites from this area.

For most of its history, the Fort Point Channel area was an industrial and warehousing district strategically located at transportation intersections. Originally it was a transfer point from wagons to channel barges or ferries. With the coming of railroads in the 1830s, commerce shifted to rail, and a new compact industrial area with substantial buildings of brick and stone developed on the South Boston side of the Channel. In the twentieth century it linked commuter rail, Amtrak, bus, subways, and major interstate highways.

As the century advanced, artists moved into empty warehouses near the Fort Point Channel. Eventually others followed, as the warehouses had become hip. Rents increased and loft spaces were converted to pricey condominiums, driving out those who had rescued the district. Artists organized campaigns and put up posters to protest changes that excluded them. This compact district survives nearly intact, with the industrial structures converted to offices, galleries, museums, and loft apartments or condominiums, though development is approaching fast from both the Seaport and South Boston.