Apartments hereabouts are expensive, no doubt about that. But have they always been expensive? Or, to put it another way, how expensive have they been down the ages? Through the magic of the Boston Globe archives and using the trusty inflation calculator from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, we're able to roughly compare rents a century, 75 years, and a half-century ago with rents today. Below you'll see a classified ad for an apartment, usually rentable by the week, exactly as it appeared at the time, followed by what the same apartment might rent for today per month. We'll start the year after the Sox' second World Series.
CAMBRIDGE—7 rooms, upper floor, 2-fam house, electric lights, mission dining room, rent $28; 5 rooms, lower floor, 13 min walk from Harvard sq., rent $26. 71 and 73 Reservoir st.
Rent today: $2,648 and $2,456
CHARLESTOWN—26 Stone st. New 2- and 3-room suites, rent $2, $2.25 and $2.50 a week, hot range, gas, no children, fine for new married couple; take Bunker Hill car, get off at Sprague st.
Rent today: $188 to $236
BEACON HILL—Finely fur rooms, will appreciate if seen, gentlemen 72 Pinckney st.
Rent today: N/A (though we're assuming the ladies would appreciate nowadays, too)
60 ST BOTOLPH ST, Suite 3—Warm, pleasant rooms, $2 to $3, call evenings
Rent today: $280
DOR.—6 sunny rms., on bus line, all renovated, $30. 1085 Dorchester av.
Rent today: $1,992
THOROUGHLY RENOVATED. 6 rms., bath, piazza, steam heat, cent. hot water service, $38. 3118 Washington st., Jamaica Plain
BRIGHTON 5 Oak Sq.—Attractive 6-rm, apt., hot-water htr., all modern, handy to everything; rent only $35; you must see it to appreciate
BACK BAY FENS NEWLY renovated, kitchenettes, 2 rooms, $22.50; 4 rooms, $27.50 up. MR. OBSER 67-71 Symphony rd; MR. BRADLEY. 37-42-41 Symphony rd.
$1,492 and $1,824
BROOKLINE THE CONCORDE New Luxury Apartments 50 Green St., Coolidge Corner
Large 1-Bedroom Apts., New Building, Heat, Hot Water & Parking Included: $150-$160 Per Mo.
$1,147 to $1,224
BACK BAY 3 RMS on Queensberry st., in clean attrac. bldg., $95
DORCHESTER 3 RMS on beach, white kitchen, parking space, residential area, utilities and heat, near M.T.A., $24 week, adults
ALLSTON Apt. in 2-fam house, nice area, 3 bedrms, liv. rm, din. rm. kitch. nr trains. Avail Dec. 15, $110. unhtd; adults preferred
· Our Renters Week 2013 archive [Curbed Boston]