Old and New Targets


THE steam-riveter has not yet begun his devastating work as these words are written, but, in token of the fact that the Back Bay district of Boston is literally built upon a bay, the noise of the mixing of concrete for deep foundation piers is already heard in the land immediately behind the Atlantic Shop. This land is the wide double yard in the rear of Numbers 8 and 9 Arlington Street, Boston, into which the Atlantic Monthly Company moved its offices about two years and a half ago. In the few years before that time the Atlantic business had twice outgrown its habitation, first in Park Street, then in Mount Vernon Street.

This has now happened again with the consequence that, during the past winter, plans were made and a contract was signed for the extension of the present offices, formerly two dwelling-houses, over the liberal space behind them. By October next it is expected that a new six-story structure, facing Marlborough Street, will be ready for occupancy. Three magazines and a book-publishing enterprise are not in complete health when they stand still. All four of these Atlantic enterprises are steadily and healthfully growing.

As new buildings go up in cities, old inhabitants are wont to wag their heads and talk of change. But what, in the light of history, is a new building operation at the corner of Arlington and Marlborough Streets? It will be a hundred years in the summer of 1924 since Lafayette paid an historic visit to Boston. On that occasion he stood on Flagstaff Hill on Boston Common, fired with his own hand a cannon aimed at a target floating in the Back Bay, and scored a hit just above the bull’s eye. The target was moored not far from the site of the present Atlantic offices. If we are going to talk about changes, let us moralize upon the targets now located by the range-finders for the Atlantic batteries. But rather let us not moralize at all.