In 1897 Midway Street opened between Richards and Binford streets to the west and parallel to A Street. The turn of the century also marked a change in the District, as Massachusetts became the center of the world’s wool industry with Boston and in particular the Fort Point Channel District at the center of wool trade and storage. By the 1930s, 60-70% of U.S. wool passed through Boston. The industry would grow right through World War II, but start a precipitous decline in 1947. The wool market declined through the 1950s and 1960s, but despite the decline, BWC retained ownership of most of their property and continued to maintain most buildings or pursue other tenants. Artists discovered the District in the 1970s, and by the 1980s, 200 artist had formed the Fort Point Arts Community. The revival of the Boston real estate market in the mid- to late-1990s marked a period of divestment of their holdings in the District by the Boston Wharf Company, including a number of buildings on A and Midway Streets. The properties were purchased by Beacon Capital Partners LLC in 2000, which demolished two buildings, developed two buildings on Midway Street for condominium housing, sold a building to the artist community, and eventually sold the remaining holdings in the area to Commonwealth Ventures LLC in 2007.
Clipper ships and barges, wool and sugar, molasses and beer have all found their way up and down Fort Point Channel in Boston’s long history. Great ships could once sail and berth here, until Boston grew into the harbor and narrowed the waterway in the 1800s. Trains and then trucks later replaced the sea for shipping. By the 20th century, the Channel District began a new life, and the industrial architecture seen today was built. It was home to a remarkable number of industrial innovations, from the safety razor to valentine message candy. The brick and granite buildings that form the rich architectural heritage of the Channel District were designed by architect M.D. Safford and built for Boston Wharf Company. They were marked with the bronze medallions still seen and appreciated today.