Scollay signs tiling up at Government Center

Another Scollay Square tile sign found

The MBTA reports workers gutting Government Center for its two-year renovation have uncovered yet another tiled sign from back in the days when the stop was known as Scollay Square, back when Boston still had a Scollay Square.

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    I Agree.

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    Preserve these if at all possible. A sign or plaque next to them explaining the history of the name would be nice, too.

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    How many is this?

    Seriously, what is this, the 5th? 6th? 7th tile sign? Unbelievable how they just plastered/paved/bricked over everything.

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    Still, it's better than what they did at Symphony

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    in the early 1980s, where they physically replaced the inlaid tile signs in the station walls (which dated from the opening of the station in the 1930s) with blank white tile, one piece at a time.

    At least the Mass. Historical Commission were able to stop the T from putting up cinder block walls in Boylston Station in the early 1990s to block off view of/access to the outside tracks that used to go to the Tremont portal (they put up wrought iron fences instead).

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    I would like to think that

    I would like to think that there are enough transit junkies at the T, who themselves are into saving this stuff, who realize that saving and exposing these remnants are about .5% of the project's total budget and go a long way to give people something to feel special about.

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    Wait... one question...

    Wait... one question...

    The Symphony bit is outrageous. But I'm not sure putting up cinderblock walls in Boylston Station sound as much of a crime - if it at all. It would change the feel of Bolyston from the historical age of the station and remove the view of the outside tracks. But wouldn't it also decreased hearing of the screeching (though increased echo from the inside tracks may counter balance that) from the outside track have some merits - both for comfort and maybe hearing?

    The outside tracks I'm referring to

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    are on the station platforms, and not the "outside" tracks between Boylston and Park. They haven't been actively used by streetcars since the City Point line was closed. So, the cinder block walls (which were halfway erected before MHC got involved in the matter) wouldn't have much effect on reducing noise within the station.

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    Ohhhh... I thought you meant

    Ohhhh... I thought you meant between platforms, not the behind the platforms where we see the old PCC trains are stored. Yes, that would be outrageous. A way to slowly undermine its existence from public knowledge and thus eventually provide opportunity to remove completely then await a day we'll make use of it again.

    Almost happened before

    The MBTA almost placed a signal box right in the middle of the tracks towards the Pleasant St Incline, but community opposition was quickly mustered to stop it. The signal box is located immediately next to the area, but on the very end of the platform instead. So it seems there's an actual effort to render the tunnel useless on a regular basis. After all, even more recently, Silver Line Phase III was to fill in the tunnel and then carve out a wider tunnel that could fit buses. Like, what the hell? Who is trying to eliminate potential rail service to Dudley via Boylston? It's to a point where you stop believing it is a coincidence, and you realize the MBTA truly wants to eliminate the possibility.

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    Tracks

    The outbound track exists down to the Shubert Theatre area, as far as I know. I believe the inbound track is all scrapped. The tracks would be the easy part. There's a completed tunnel just sitting there, unused.

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    Hadn't realized that.

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    Now if only the same community could actually muster the support to get the MBTA to replace Washington Street Silver Li(e) service with actual streetcars. Too bad current senior management seems to be made up mostly reincarnated National City Lines executives.

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    After the MBTA abandoned plans to run buses through the tunnels

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    ...they tried to turn them into a utility room for the Silver Line. (this was after they decided to switch plans and run the tunnels along Boylston and Charles St. instead of Tremont).

    They really want to do something to keep people from asking them to reactivate those tracks.

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    What reasons can they have

    What reasons can they have against that tunnel? Is it something somewhat reasonable like not wanting to see street running starting from end of the tunnel? Or something more sinister like an our management still hate trains that much?

    The "no street running" excuse

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    is such a non-starter. Especially given the width of Washington Street within the current Silver Li(n)e "faux BRT" service area.

    Not to mention the number of other American cities that have introduced new in-street light rail systems within the past thirty years.

    True

    That's true. Just that at least I can comprehend if the management still have fear of street running. I can predict their aims and know what's their line.

    Meanwhile just wanting to kill the tunnel of any chance of reuse with still decades more waiting if it ever happens and thus long after they retire is pretty much spiting it for a future generation (like my generation). Dealing with spite is a lot different than dealing with people who have a difference in how to run things. There's something to reason against people who have the same goal but a difference in policy towards it. Not so much for the former. All you can do against that is try to hold the line until they go away.

    Signs and ornamental tile

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    Signs and ornamental tile were recently destroyed at State Street, Arlington, and Chinatown stations during the last decade of renovations.

    The "Massachusetts" mosaics at Hynes are covered by about 10 coats of lead white paint and brick partitions but otherwise intact.

    Anyone else remember the ornate head houses behind Old South into State Street station which were also destroyed a few years ago?

    The MBTA has an awful track record of destroying beautiful ancient things and replacing them with cheap off the shelf garbage.

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    Old Tile

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    The old tile was destroyed in all of the Red Line stations in the 1990s. Each station used to have its own accent color that the mosaic was done in (i.e. the station name and borders around the edges). Andrew was yellow, I think Broadway was green (there are still some mosaic signs in Broadway). You used to be able to tell what station you were in just by looking out the window at the color of the tile. The stations were horribly maintained and looked like something out of Escape from New York by the 1990s (the level of crime and gneral lawlessness added to the apocolyptic theme). In some stations they covered up the old tile with new walls or wire raceways for new electrical but in many others they chissled the old tile off the walls and ceiling and replaced it with spray on cement or just sanded it down to the cement foundation and painted it.

    Other Colors

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    You're correct on Andrew and Broadway. South Station was blue. I seem to recall Washington (Downtown Crossing) was red? Park Street maroon.

    I suppose it's a matter of conjecture over which station had fallen into the worst disrepair, but even as a child in the 60's and 70's - with Ashmont my stop, to transfer to the trolley - Shawmut was always dismal and foreboding.

    Suldog
    http://jimsuldog.blogspot.com

    The Blue Line platform at

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    The Blue Line platform at Government Center is essentially the original 1916 platform, raised in 1924 for rapid transit trains, but only cosmetically updated in the 1960s modernization. The majority of the Green Line platform however is 1963 construction, only the wall along the westbound track and a small closed-off part of the Brattle loop platform is original 1898 construction. They aren't going to find many pre-1960s artifacts at the Green Line level, but the Blue Line should be full of them.

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    Methinks the past is telling

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    Methinks the past is telling us that we should re-name it Scollay Square. We've got the signage...

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    Super , now Martin should

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    Super , now Martin should move and build a proper City Hall , and bulldoze that commie bastard design of concrete, and build ScollaySquare 2.0 , especially a Joe & Nemo's. Match it all up to the signs, sweet niblets .

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    The Fatal Flaw

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    The fatal flaw in the logic of that fun song is that, according to one of the verses, she threw him a sandwich each day. If she had thrown the poor bastard a nickel, instead, he could've got off.

    Suldog
    http://jimsuldog.blogspot.com

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    The other flaw

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    Unless fare collection at underground stations was different back in the 1940s, she would have had to pay to enter the station every day as well.

    Not to mention the implication that the train Charlie was on (presumably an Arborway one)didn't actually stop at Scollay Square station.

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    Scollay Signs

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    I think the MBTA should sell these old signs at auction. I bet they could make at least a little profit.

    They are worth more as a

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    They are worth more as a tourist attraction in this station than a one time sale at auction.

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