The Seaport World Trade Center is located in the heart of the Seaport District of South Boston. It is presently a convention center and exhibition hall and a luxury hotel covering 800,000 square feet (74,322 square meters).
It was originally built in 1901 as the Commonwealth Pier in order to handle the largest vessels of the time that serviced the Boston Waterfront. It was an important maritime hub for Boston as it facilitated both passengers and cargo well into the 1970's. At the time of its construction, it was the largest pier building in the world.
The Commonwealth Pier in Boston is believed to be the starting point for the deadly Second Wave of the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918 which killed 50 to 100 million people globally. Here it was first noted that sailors fell ill with the flu. Since Boston was such a major port, the flu easily spread with departing ships to many major ports in the United States.
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