|The Gridley Street Historic District (photos 1 to 7) is a small group of commercial blocks illustrating redevelopment of Boston's Central Business District in the decades following the Great Fire of November 9-10, 1872. Significant for its associations with the post-fire leather industry, the district transitioned to a broader range of wholesale uses in the late 19th century, further expanded by the addition of office space for business and professional services in the 20th century. District buildings represent changes in commercial real estate investment and development in Boston from the 1870s to ca. 1930. The rising value of land and buildings contributed to a shift in the responsibility for ownership, construction, and management of commercial properties, from wealthy individuals to securities-based real estate trusts and, ultimately, large corporations. Architecturally, the district illustrates an evolution in the design and construction of Boston's historic commercial properties, from the early post-fire mercantile block of attached masonry buildings, to the steel-frame, multistory office tower introduced in the second quarter of the 20th century. The group is an uncommon survivor of historic commercial buildings at the edge of Boston's business district, in an area dominated by high-rise towers and building demolition associated with highway construction. District boundaries include the Richardson Block, 119 High Street and 115-149 Pearl Street (BOS.AU), a row of nine attached buildings previously listed in the National Register (NRIND 1986). Retaining integrity of location, design, setting, materials, workmanship, feeling, and association, Gridley Street Historic District meets Criteria A and C of the National Register at the local level.