Work of Many Years Wiped Out by Flames.

Value of Harcourt Building Studio Contents Put at $200,000.

The fire early yesterday morning in the Harcourt building on Irvington st wiped out a whole artist colony and the loss will be never known in dollars and cents. There were in all 30 studios and in most instances the contents were a complete loss, as they were not insured. One of the greatest sufferers is Miss Macomber, who had several old Italian subjects that were very valuable. Her collection as a whole was undoubtedly the most valuable in the building.

One of the largest and finest pictures had been removed from the building and is now at the St Botolph club. It is the property of artist Paxton.

Mr De Camp, Instructor at the art museum school, was also a tenant, and his loss will be considerable.

Arthur M. Hazard, formerly of the Thorndike, had a studio in the building and his collection was estimated to be worth $10,000.

F. Holland Day of 9 Pinckney st had stored in his studio pictures and prints upon which he placed great value. He said last evening:

“It was practically the work of 25 years and I have not the slightest conception of the value of the collection.

“I am very sure the majority were like myself, without insurance and several must have suffered a great loss.

“I would not venture a prediction as to the total loss, but fancy it must reach very nearly $200,000.’’

Artist Tarboll had a large collection of valuable works of art moved out of the building recently. He occupied two studios at one time.

It is said that the building cost in the vicinity of $150,000. It is a total loss.

The Hutchings & Votey organ company’s loss is reported to be about $125,000 and that suffered by the Walker lithograph plant is considerable.

Fred Holland Day – Josephine Peabody – Kahlil Gibran – Fenway Studios (Harcourt st)

12 Nov 1904, Sat The Burlington Free Press (Burlington, Vermont)


Many Boston Artlntm Driven from Home by Disastrous Fire. Boston, Mass., Nov. 12

The two-story brick building extending between Irving-ton and Harcourt streets in the Back Eay, and known as the “Harcourt Studios,” was gutted by fire tonight. The loss is total and fully $200,000.

The building was occupied by the Hutchings-Votey Organ company, George H. Walker, publisher and lithographer; the Banchard Machine company, the Pennsylvania Metal company, and about 50 artists studios. Many artists slept in the building and several of them were asleep when the fire broke out and were rescued by means of ladders by the firemen.

So far as known all escaped without injury. The fire was first discovered in the basement of the machine company’s premises, the janitor of the building having been awakened by the smoke. He aroused the inmates, but before all could escape the fire had cut off the ordinary exits. Among those taken from the windows were Miss Hannah Danforth and Miss Mary Macomber. Many of the studios had valuable paintings on their walls. Some of those were thrown into the street and saved in a more or less damaged condition, but many were destroyed. Among the tenants were W. W. Churchill and William W. Paxton, both of whom it is said will lose heavily. The fire is thought to have originated in spontaneous combustion.

13 Nov 1904, Sun The Boston Globe (Boston, Massachusetts)