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Old 03-24-2009, 05:05 PM   #21
ablarc
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Re: Boston & Cambridge - 1950's

^ That's the Tremont Street portal. That awful brick cylinder church squats there now. This whole area has been butchered.

Tunnel is said to still be there.

Streetcar ran out Tremont Street.
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Old 03-24-2009, 11:37 PM   #22
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Re: Boston & Cambridge - 1950's

That tunnel is still there. It sits under what is now known as Eliot Norton Park and also under the Church of All Nations. The portal, Eilot Street, I think, connects to the tunnel that you see go under the outbound tracks at Boylston Street.

The Ballantine sign would be roughly where the 1970's housing is across from the Josiah Quincy School. The street to the left is Broadway. That is why just up until One Charles was built, the little street between it and Motormart was called Broadway. It used to start in Park Square, go south through the Raddisson/57 Hotel, through Bay Village, across the Pike/Train Tracks, go by the Herald and over into South Boston.

The MBTA, or then the MTA, closed up that portal in 1962. Up until that time the trolleys running from there would go down Tremont Street to Camden Street at the Lower Roxbury/South End line. The T had a car barn there that was then sold off to be developed with multi-family housing as was the Clarendon Hills car barn in Somerville.

The trolleys were replaced with buses (the #43). The route was known as the Burma Road in the 1960's and 1970's by MBTA drivers because of all the warlike environment to make it down Tremont Street to Egleston. (That's from my dad who drive the route back then.)
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Old 03-25-2009, 08:01 AM   #23
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Re: Boston & Cambridge - 1950's

I just wet my pants. Best photos, ever.
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Old 03-25-2009, 08:38 AM   #24
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Re: Boston & Cambridge - 1950's

The amazing thing about these photos is that right around the same time they were being taken, there was a group of people who were looking over maps of the city and saying, "No, no! This is all wrong. We must tear it all down and build it better."

Thankfully, the photographer knew better and was able to capture at least some of it before it was lost.

Of course photographs (especially B&W's) don't tell the whole story, so maybe we shouldn't judge too harshly based on what we see here.

Last edited by statler; 03-25-2009 at 10:31 AM.
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Old 03-25-2009, 10:28 AM   #25
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Re: Boston & Cambridge - 1950's

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That tunnel is still there. It sits under what is now known as Eliot Norton Park and also under the Church of All Nations. The portal, Eilot Street, I think, connects to the tunnel that you see go under the outbound tracks at Boylston Street.
Urban legend has it that the head of the MTA specifically placed the church there so that trolley service can never be restored.
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Old 03-25-2009, 11:25 AM   #26
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Re: Boston & Cambridge - 1950's

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The amazing thing about these photos is that right around the same time they were being taken, there was a group of people who were looking over maps of the city and saying, "No, no! This is all wrong. We must tear it all down and build it better."
Well put! I wonder what people will say in 50+ years when looking at today's photographs of Boston?
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Old 03-25-2009, 11:56 AM   #27
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Re: Boston & Cambridge - 1950's

^ If by then architects will have re-learned to design nicely-detailed buildings on smaller lots, perhaps they'll say: "Why did they forget in the early 21st Century how to design an urban building that doesn't bore us to death? They had so much to look at for guidance."
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Old 03-25-2009, 01:22 PM   #28
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Re: Boston & Cambridge - 1950's

How come the old west end got razed in the first place?
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Old 03-25-2009, 01:31 PM   #29
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Re: Boston & Cambridge - 1950's

^^This was posted by a gentleman with the name pwsmith on the old Skyscraperguy forum.

Quote:
Great thread... Being born in1929 it brought back many memories. Some good and some bad. I left Boston in 1950 thinking Boston was an old, dirty and corrupt city (AKA Curley) with no future. I was right for the time. Scolly Sq. with its tattoo places, burlesque houses, taverns, prostitutes and drunken sailors made me ashamed of the city. It made the combat zone of the 1970?s look like a haven. I remember Atlantic Ave .with its El. as an old street with nothing very attractive. Full of horse crap (as was Washington Street) along with all the freight cars in the middle of the street. I often remember riding the El with my Mom as a young boy. The only thing I remember with any fondness at the time was arriving at South Station and seeing the trains. Quincy market (see picture) was a dirty mess with lots of flies and more horse crap and garbage. The old cobble stone streets were impossible to walk on for any women with high heels and very dirty and difficult to clean. (Again look hard at some of the photos)

?There wasnt much worth saving. I guess you had to live it to understand. Im glad much of it is gone?

Today Boston has changed and is a new and great city. All of the above is gone and I am happy to see it that way despite the criticism I see sometimes see on this form. Scolly Sq is gone. Atlantic Ave should be renamed something like Great Atlantic Ave. Quincy Market is a delight. Yet much of the old worth saving has been saved and I love it.
Although I have not lived in Boston for many year I have often visited the city and marvel at the great changes. I would move back but can?t handle the weather at my seventy-four years. Yet I never hesitate to brag on it. I now live in San Antonio TX and it is worth bragging on but so is Boston. Remember to do it. I check out this form every day an wish to thank you?and others for tis great site Keep it up!!!??pwsmith
I would love to ask Mr Smith what he thought of the N. End at the time.

Last edited by statler; 03-25-2009 at 01:42 PM. Reason: Changed Cyburbia link to Skyscraperguy link.
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Old 03-25-2009, 01:57 PM   #30
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Re: Boston & Cambridge - 1950's

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Also, check out what they took down for the Midtown Motor Inn.
I was talking about this with a friend of mine the other day, and he told me about the proposed but abandoned plan for an "Inner Belt". Apparently, Huntington Ave across from the Christian Science Plaza was seized and leveled through eminent domain for construction of the Inner Belt.
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Old 03-25-2009, 02:04 PM   #31
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Re: Boston & Cambridge - 1950's

I once saw a documentry that stated the the Inner Belt was the first federal highway project blocked by community activists.
Supposedly, it is that movement which laid the bedrock that today's NIMBY's stand upon.

I have greatly conflicted feelings about this.
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Old 03-25-2009, 02:04 PM   #32
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Re: Boston & Cambridge - 1950's

How so? The Inner Belt would have come nowhere near there. It would have been around Melnea Cass and Ruggles streets. St. Botolph Street behind it wasn't demolished.
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Old 03-25-2009, 02:15 PM   #33
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Re: Boston & Cambridge - 1950's

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Apparently, Huntington Ave across from the Christian Science Plaza was seized and leveled through eminent domain for construction of the Inner Belt.
Apocryphal story. Melnea Cass Blvd. is the ROW for the Inner Belt.
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Old 03-25-2009, 02:27 PM   #34
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Re: Boston & Cambridge - 1950's

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Apocryphal story. Melnea Cass Blvd. is the ROW for the Inner Belt.
Thanks for the info. It made sense to me at the time, since I really cannot imagine demolishing any of what used to be there for something like the Midtown Motor Inn.
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Old 03-25-2009, 02:36 PM   #35
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Re: Boston & Cambridge - 1950's

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Apocryphal story. Melnea Cass Blvd. is the ROW for the Inner Belt.
There was however going to be a smaller limited access highway running from 95 at what is today Ruggles Station into the Back Bay. This might have been what she was talking about.
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Old 03-25-2009, 02:51 PM   #36
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Re: Boston & Cambridge - 1950's

innerbelt:
http://www.bostonroads.com/roads/inner-belt/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interst...(Massachusetts)

the Christian Science had a major expansion at this time
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Old 03-25-2009, 02:56 PM   #37
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Re: Boston & Cambridge - 1950's

However, if it wasn't for the Inner Belt, I don't understand the logic of demolishing higher-value buildings (5-story apartment blocks probably including retail stores) to build a lower-value one (the motel).
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Old 03-25-2009, 03:26 PM   #38
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Re: Boston & Cambridge - 1950's

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Apocryphal story. Melnea Cass Blvd. is the ROW for the Inner Belt.
I looked a little more into it. Judging from map 14 on this Roxbury map page, a "South End Bypass" (H) was planned that would have been close to Huntington/Columbus, leading to the Pike. I don't know how far along they got with this, or if it would have necessitated clearing that length on Huntington.
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Old 03-25-2009, 03:47 PM   #39
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Re: Boston & Cambridge - 1950's

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However, if it wasn't for the Inner Belt, I don't understand the logic of demolishing higher-value buildings (5-story apartment blocks probably including retail stores) to build a lower-value one (the motel).
Remember the South End wasn't a desirable neighborhood when the motel was built. The townhouses were probably in pretty bad shape and it was cheaper to tear them down and build a crappy motel. Also the motel would have been seen, at the time, as a modern improvement over the old fashioned and dilapidated townhouses.
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Old 03-25-2009, 04:03 PM   #40
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Re: Boston & Cambridge - 1950's

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Also the motel would have been seen, at the time, as a modern improvement over the old fashioned and dilapidated townhouses.
Yes, those were the days my friend, we thought they'd never end.
Those were the days, oh yes, those were the days.
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