The Boston Globe

Sustaining startups in a no-frills building (manual elevator included)

By Scott Kirsner

September 15, 2016

Walk down Kingston Street from the fringe of Downtown Crossing toward the newly rehabbed Chinatown Park, and you’ll see Sparkling New Boston on your left and Gritty Old Boston on your right.

The tower on the left offers $3,000-a-month studio apartments and an excellent restaurant, Townsman, that dishes up a $33 duck breast from the Hudson Valley. The six-story building on the right has no restaurant, no Starbucks, no central air conditioning, no marble-lined lobby, and no commanding views. Built in the late 1880s by a cousin ofRalph Waldo Emerson, the Kingston Building has elevators so old they still have metal accordion doors and require operators to level them off at the right floor.