Old Corner Book Store
Formerly Dr. Thomas Crease House, 1718

Historic photo: old corner book store Shown here before it was saved for history, the old corner book store is notable as the launch pad for publishing in the Americas.

Set on the corner of School and Washington Street this Anglo Dutch-styled colonial building sits on the site which was originally Anne Hutchinson's home. It was destroyed in the fire of 1711, and rebuilt by its owner Dr. Thomas Crease.

In 1829, Timothy Harrington Carter converted the building to house seven presses, and went about printing and selling books. In the 1840's, the team of William Ticknor and James Fields established the royalty system, which for the first time bound authors to publishers, and rewarded them both a signing fee and a ten percent portion of sales.

The greatest writers of the era: Charles Dickens, Henry David Thoreau, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Nathanial Hawthorne established Ticknor & Fields as a leading book publisher. The firm further promoted its writers after purchasing the literary magazine Atlantic Monthly.

After the first decade of this century, a series of retail stores and restaurants inhabited the space. In 1960 Walter Muir Whitehall, Director of the Boston Athenaeum, and John Codman, chair of the Beacon Hill Architectural Commission raised funds and public support to preserve the building. The Boston Globe supported this by entering a long term lease, and for several years provided space for the Globe Corner Book Store.

Copyright © 2001 Dave Wieneke. All rights reserved.

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