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Hub Apartment Rents 100, 75 and 50 Years Ago vs. Today

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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.

—1913—
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

—1938—
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
$2,524

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
$2,324

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

—1963—
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
$726

DORCHESTER 3 RMS on beach, white kitchen, parking space, residential area, utilities and heat, near M.T.A., $24 week, adults
$732

ALLSTON Apt. in 2-fam house, nice area, 3 bedrms, liv. rm, din. rm. kitch. nr trains. Avail Dec. 15, $110. unhtd; adults preferred
$841
· Our Renters Week 2013 archive [Curbed Boston]