Frequent trolley service

Frequent trolleys

The folks at the Boston City Archives wonder if you can figure out when you could expect service like this, and where. See it larger.



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    If I'm not mistaken, and I often am, the building with the columns on the left is the original site of MIT with a little bit of the Museum of Natural History poking out beyond it. The MIT building is gone (that site is now the Berkeley Building) and the Museum is now a hardware store. The building on the SE corner with the light-colored terra cotta details still stands (but I think there are plans to replace it). Today:

    Boylston Street at Copley

    Boylston Street at Copley Square. Trinity Church is on the left along with the old Hotel Brunswick. The Hotel Cluny is on the left along with MIT's Rogers building. Berkley Building at the distant right. Most of the beautiful buildings were torn down in the 1960-70s for utter garbage.


    The same view today

    Boylston St at Clarendon St. The columned building on the left in the old photo was MIT and stood where the New England Mutual Life Insurance Company building stands today. It stood close to a similar looking building which housed the Museum of Natural History, which later moved to a new building on the Charles River Dam and re-branded itself as the Museum of Science. That original museum building is still standing and now houses Restoration Hardware (not in either view). Trinity Church can be seen on the right in both views.



    Not to sound like one of the architectural bug in amber people but when you look at what those old buildings were replaced with in either the 70s, 80s or 90s you have to just shake your head and sigh. So much architecture is such boring, cheap crap. harumph.


    I agree completely and yet

    I think the John Hancock building and Trinity Church are one of the happiest architectural pairings anywhere--I guess that's the argument for beautiful NEW architecture. Amazing to think though what a radical departure it must've been--I probably would have been out protesting it--and how sensitively it reflects and enhances the older building.


    They definitely are the most photogenic couple in the city. As far as modern architecture goes, I can appreciate stuff like brutalist abortions like City Hall and the Govt Services Center/Hurley bldg as having ideas behind them...although ideas that might better fit in the set design of Planet of the Apes (the original not that Marky Mark crap). The thing that makes me sick is when the design ideas blatantly scream "WE PUT UP THE CHEAPEST PIECE OF CRAP AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE." If the Trinity and Hancock are a beautiful, but odd couple at the dinner party, they're surrounded by a bunch of insurance salesmen in cheap polyester suits with bad combovers spilling their drinks on people while trying to pick up women that could be their daughters while their wives aren't looking.

    Cool to see that the

    Cool to see that the buildings further ahead on both sides of Boylston/Berkley right at the intersection are largely still the same in appearance now, albeit with a Starbucks (left) and Citizens Bank (right) anchoring their ground floors. Glad those have been maintained. In a way, kind of surprising how much has NOT changed from then to now compared to so much else of the downtown commercial districts.

    Was looking for clues

    Store names, addresses etc. - and then looked up and saw the Berkeley wedding cake building and that appears to be the rectory (?) extension of Trinity on the corner of Clarendon and Boylston - so yep Boylston between Clarendon and Dartmouth.

    Given even the heavy work is being done by horse, very few electrical/phone lines and the man in the top hat I'll venture a guess of 1895.

    Hugh Nawn

    It seems that Hugh Nawn was awarded a handful of contracts related to the T in this area, which is interesting to me. Also interesting that the cold weather gear the workers are wearing in this photo don't differ all that much from what workers would wear today...

    The name was well known to

    The name was well known to the Irish , as he gave work to many of them digging the streets. He was an interesting man , once courting Rose Fitzgerald in competition with Joe Kennedy, ( ).

    Here is a small plaque from the Hugh Nawn Contracting Company that can be found in the concrete in the inbound side of the disused Boylston Street entrance of the Hynes Convention Center station,


    In the zoomed in view you can make out a Type 2/3 and an old box-type streetcar. The box car has enclosed vestibules and is running on a Division 3 route, so the date must be after October 1905 (trolleys at Neponset Carhouse were the first to get their vestibules enclosed). The Type 2s/3s came along around 1906-1908. The roadwork looks related to the Boylston Street Subway extension. Given all that, the photo must've been taken around 1911. Once subway construction intensified c. 1912 all the streetcar lines were temporarily diverted to Saint James Avenue.