Opposite, on the southwest corner of Main and Ferry, is the chief landmark of the commercial district, the South Boston Municipal Building, a dignified two-story brick building with a rounded corner entrance framed by engaged Doric columns and surmounted by a full pediment. The imposing "U"-shaped building epitomizes South Boston's rapid turn-of-the-century development.
The main entrance is executed in the Neoclassical style, then the preferred style for civic architecture. Built ca. 1910, the most unusual feature of the building is a tall circular arcaded brick belfry situated atop the building corner. The building was at one time a grocery store, and later the firehouse. Its tower contained a siren for the firehouse.
In these early days, there were so many warehouse fires in South Boston that the joke was that airplane pilots would fly over the town in winter to keep their feet warm.
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