Renovated Government Center walls will be Scollay capped

Scollary Square sign at Government Center

Photo by MBTA.

Workers today carefully removed the "Scollay Under" tiled sign from a Blue Line wall at the Government Center station today. The T reports it'll be put in storage and then replastered to a wall in the renovated station when it opens in two years.



Free tagging: 


Actually, the station is officially named

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"Government Center At Scollay Square" - though you'd probably be hard pressed to get anyone at the T to publically admit to that. For many years now, most of the white on green "Government Center" banners on the Green Line platforms have also included "At Scollay Square" in black lettering on the white banner underneath.

This nonsense was the MBTA's compromise to the former WRKO talkmaster Jerry Williams. After Mr, Williams succeeded in suckering convincing the Massachusetts voters into repealing the state's original mandatory seat belt law through an initiative petition, he made it his life's mission to change the name of Government Center station back to Scollay Square Station..

Must be something in the water coolers at the 'RKO studios, even when they were a rock station (anybody else remember listening to Dale Dorman in the early 1970s).


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Re-assigning "Scollay Square" to "Guvmint Station" does not work. Like calling those shitty monstrosities over by the River "West End Towers" or whatever it is. Sorry, you shat on the West End and fucking destroyed it, you don't get to use the name now to give some sort of cachet to your crappy real estate endeavors. Same deal with Scollay Square. It's gone. For better or worse we've got Government Center. Where we'll make the secretaries feel better.

Rename It Anything But "Government Center"- Just "Scollay"

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The station is no more at the center of government than are Park, State, or a number of other stations. You could argue geographically, but it's certainly not the central station people go to interact with most government offices. The name doesn't reference any particular street name or navigational landmark in the city, it has no historic significance, and it's ... well, it's just not an attractive sounding destination.

There are no useful street names at the location; Court, Cornhill, and Brattle are too small and obscure; Tremont or Cambridge would be unhelpful and confusing. A useful name would be City Hall, or City Hall Plaza; it's almost as boring as Government Center, but it would be an improvement.

Unless someone comes up with something better, I my choice would be to call it Scollay, not Scollay Square; there's no such place anymore; just Scollay Station with the lower level Scollay Under. (just like Park Street Station and Park Street Under) Many people already know the name and associate it with that general location; it has a colorful history that could be marketed to make the area (including City Hall Plaza) a more interesting area. Best of all they already have some gorgeous signs!
The "Scollay Under" tilework on the outer track walls has been partly visible for quite a while, but the ones that were just uncovered are a wonderful surprise!

The detail on the letters is amazing; each piece cut to fit the curves, which also taper in and out in width, and the extra outline in the darker color tile curving around the letters too; beyond craftsmanship, it's artistry:

These others behind the tracks at the far end were already visible:

I'm still heartbroken over the destruction of the ceiling tile at State Street; it was more beautiful than any other station; so I'm glad the MBTA recognizes the value of this historic tile and is making an effort to preserve it!


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Okay which one were you taking photos.. I was there around 5pm taking photos. Lots of folks taking photos.

Scollay tiles are dull

Those tiles are pretty workmanlike. Can't they just throw them away and spend the money replacing them with something more creative?

Waiting for the Arborway train....

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One time I was at Haymarket Station waiting for a train. A tourist, guide book in hand, asked me why he hadn't seen any "B" trains. I explained that he could take another green line car to Park St. to pick up the B line. After thanking me, he said, "Maybe you can answer my other question. My guidebook says that the E-line to Arborway is temporarily out of service. How long has it been closed?" I thought for a moment. "Since 1985." I answered. "Oh," he answered, "So it's not likely to re-open this week while I'm visiting Boston."

So, now that the MBTA has established

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they are interested in preserving relics of their past, then maybe we can get them to finally restore the tiled "Symphony" signs they removed (and replaced with white tile) back in the early 1980s.


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which makes sense? getting new trains or beautification project? Its hard not to think that most of this is to benefit some contractor's fat pocket. Disgusting

Maybe get a grip?

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It's an $80-million project. They have to redo all the walls, anyway. You really think taking a couple of tile signs down and putting them back up is going to be lining somebody's pockets?

Maybe anon has a point

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Why should the T be ADA compliant? How dare they use federal money to do so?


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and you really need 80 million dollars of taxpayers money to take a couple of tiles down?


So its 80 million dollars to take the tiles down and put them back up then!