Prestigious Wharf and Building
As global sea trade opportunities expanded, a group of Boston investors proposed a new deep-water wharf, along with new streets and buildings. They hired architect Charles Bulfinch to draw the plans, creating Broad and India streets. Construction of India Wharf began in 1804, and soon after, Bulfinch designed the India Building that stood here for more than 150 years.
To have one's office at India Wharf was considered highly prestigious. Boston's leading ship owners had their "counting houses" on the second floor, while the ground floor was filled with sea trade-related retail businesses. The building also housed the consulates of Belgium, Russia, Norway, and Sweden.
In the 1860s, shipping to this area of Boston Harbor began to decline, largely because there was no rail access to move goods inland. A new sea wall was constructed in 1869 and fill added between the wharves, shortening Central and India wharves. A century later, the last section of the once prominent Bulfinch building was torn down.