After the Great Fire of 1872 burned a large portion of Downtown Boston and destroyed the Russia Wharf structures on Atlantic Ave, the city decided to extend Congress St. over the wharf and across a new bridge connecting Downtown to areas being filled in South Boston (now Seaport). The wharf was the center of Boston’s trade with Russia in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The original wharf buildings were destroyed in the Great Boston Fire of 1872, and the land area was extended by building over the wharf and filling the spaces surrounding it. Three new Russia Wharf buildings were built on the original site of Russia Wharf, near where the Boston Tea Party took place in 1773. Permits were issued in 1897 for the Russia Building and its two neighbors facing Congress St. Opening in 1898, the principle occupant of the Russia Building (seen here) was the Library Bureau, manufacturers of the “Perfected Card System,” library and office Supplies, with branches in other major cities. The buildings were designed by the renowned firm of Peabody and Stearns, who were VERY busy at the end of the 19th and early 20th centuries around Boston.