Skip to main content

5000. Public Works Department

 Record Group
Identifier: 5000
Chapter 9 of the Ordinances of 1910 established the Department of Public Works and abolished the Engineering Department, Street Department and Water Department. The ordinance took effect February 1, 1911. The water works system and the sewer works system of the Public Works Department were abolished and transferred to the Boston Water and Sewer Commission by Chapter 436 of the Acts of 1977. The Public Works Department directs the general construction, maintenance, and cleaning of approximately 808 miles of roadways throughout the City. It also provides snow and ice control for all City streets. In addition, it operates drawbridges, maintains City-owned street lights, signalized intersections and supervises contracts for the removal and disposal of solid waste. The Department also operates the City's recycling program.

Found in 15 Collections and/or Records:

Abandoned or derelict automobile reports

 Series — Multiple Containers
Identifier: 5000.013
Scope and Contents

Includes Public Works Department copies of abandoned or derelict automobile reports with photographs attached.

Dates: 1984-1985

Approved plot plans

Identifier: 5000.016
Scope and Contents

Plot plans approved by the Division Engineer on behalf of Public Works Commissioners to simply verify the relationship gradewise of the proposed building to the abutting street, and acknowledge that there is sewer and water available.

Dates: 1970-1971

Cablevision plans

Identifier: 5000.006
Scope and Contents note

This series of plans for the Public Works Department illustrate where underground cable lines where laid in the early 1980s by Cablevision of Boston. Arrangement is by neighborhood and street.

Dates: 1983-1984

Commissioner of Public Works correspondence files

Identifier: 5000.001
Scope and Contents This collection includes the incoming and outgoing correspondence files of the Commissioner of the Public Works Department from 1961-2010. It includes the files of Commissioner James W. Haley (1961-1965), Commissioner John F. Flaherty (1965-1968), Commissioner Joseph F. Casazza (1968-2007), and Chief of Public Works and Transportation Dennis Royer (2006-2010) The files are arranged alphabetically by subject and include correspondence along with reports, publications, photographs and other...
Dates: 1961-2010 with gaps

Complaint index

Identifier: 5000.017
Scope and Contents

Index card file to complaints filed with the Public Works Department.

Dates: circa 1870-1960

Driveway permit applications

Identifier: 5000.007
Dates: circa 1960s-2012

Permit indexes

 Series — Box 1
Identifier: 5000.014
Scope and Contents

Includes miscellaneous volumes that appear to be indexes to permits for conduits, drains, etc.

Dates: circa 1920-1960s

Projection permit applications

 Series — Box 1
Identifier: 5000.015
Dates: circa 1969-1983

Public Works Department annual reports and publications

Identifier: 5000.002
Scope and Contents

Includes copies of the annual reports of the Public Works Department for 1913-1914, 1916-1930, 1948-1959, 1962, 1964, 1966-1970, 1972-1977, 1980-1993 with gaps and miscellaneous publications. Annual reports can also be found in the City Documents series.

Dates: 1913-1993 with gaps

Public Works Department contracts

Identifier: 5000.004
Scope and Contents

Specifications and contracts for Public Works Department projects kept by the Public Works Department Bridge and Ferry Division and Contract Office.

Dates: 1911-1992 with gaps

Public Works Department photograph collection

Identifier: 5000.009
Scope and Contents

Photographs collected by the Public Works Department showing Transit construction and street scenes.

Dates: circa 1880-1970

Public Works Department scrapbooks

Identifier: 5000.005
Scope and Contents

Scrapbooks kept in the Public Works Department library. Includes scrapbooks of the City Engineer, scrapbooks on the subway, real estate transactions, and miscellaneous topics.

Dates: 1871-1919

Sidewalk vending licenses

 Series — Box 1: [Barcode: 00001624]
Identifier: 5000.012
Scope and Contents

Licenses granted to individuals permitting the storage or sale of merchandise in a public street. (Chapter 584 of the Acts of the Legislature of 1907, and amendments thereof) The license includes the name of the individual, the authorized location, and the type of goods to be sold. Majority of licenses appear to permit the sale of food (prepared or fresh), drink, clothing, and other retail goods.

Dates: 1964-1987 with gaps

Street listings

Identifier: 5000.003
Scope and Contents Includes two copies of "A Record of the Streets, Alleys, Places, Etc. in the City of Boston" published in 1902 and 1910. These volumes include all streets, the date the street is supposed to have received that name, description of the street, and information on laying out, discontinuance of street and name changes. Also includes copies of "Boston Streets also its avenues, courts, places etc. showing the numbers and divisions of those extending through more than one ward or precinct together...
Dates: 1902-1999 with gaps

Underground conduit plans

 Series — Box 1
Identifier: 5000.008
Dates: 1984-1985