McLauthlin Company Building // 1855

Incorporating what is believed to be the earliest example of a cast-iron façade in New England, this brick block on Fulton Street is Italianate in its detailing, and distinguished for its arcaded design. William Adams & Company, smiths and machinists, and served as headquarters of the Adams company until its bankruptcy in 1861. From 1863 to 1977, it was occupied by the George T. McLauthlin Company, machinists and manufacturers of water wheels, steam engines, and elevators.

Several secondary sources describe the cast-iron facade of the McLauthlin Building as possibly the work of iron manufacturer and cast iron builder Daniel Badger (1806-1884). A native of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Badger was trained as a blacksmith and known to be in Boston by 1830, making decorative wrought ironwork. Badger moved to New York City in 1846, where his manufacture of ironfronts evolved into a new form of building in cast iron, predominantly in Soho and Tribeca.

The building was rehabilitated in 1977-1978 and converted to condominiums and offices. It remains an extremely significant example of Italianate architecture in the city of Boston, and one of a handful remaining cast-iron facades in the region.

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