The folks at the Boston City Archives wonder if you can place this scene. See it larger.
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So different from what Staniford Street is now. I used to work at one of the replacements.
Chris K. posted an answer on the Archives Twitter site, and I concur: 33 Hawkins Street.
Hawkins St. used to run from Sudbury St. to Chardon St. in what is now the Government Center area. Part of the street actually survives today, as a stub-end off of New Chardon St. (making a loop with a remnant of Bowker St.)
The building at far right is a Boston Edison substation at 25-29 Hawkins St. I recognize that square plaque, just to the right of the man's head. Similar plaques can still be found on old Edison (now Eversource) substations around the city. Notice the fireproof shutters on the upper floor windows.
In the 1906 Bromley atlas, 33 Hawkins was a 3-story wooden building owned by Sarah G. Bancroft; 35 Hawkins was a 4-story brick building owned by E. C. & G. A. Graves.
Across the street, next to the photographer, was a "Wood Yard" owned by the city. That odd metal post at the left may be related to that. For the full photo, go to the Archives Twitter page and you'll see that the post has a valve and some sort of fitting at the top, which leads to a spout coming down.
The elaborate building at far left, with the awnings and mansard roof, was the City of Boston "Charity Bureau", which actually faced onto Chardon Street. The building in this photo is gone today, but some of the buildings in that complex survive today as the Boston Night Center, facing Bowker Street.
A lot of sailors engaged the services of jobbers there until around 1960, when the BRA ruined all the fun.
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