What the el?

Elevated in Boston

The folks at the Boston City Archives wonder if you can figure out when and where this el photo was taken. See it larger.

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Definitely.

This is the Atlantic Avenue El on Harrison just south of St. James' Church, before the Beach Street Turn.

From Wikipedia:

The El south of South Station was closed following a fatal wreck at the tight curve at Harrison and Beach in July 1928, and all service became a shuttle between there and North Station on the Charlestown Elevated.

I'm going to guess 1920.

Yep

Harvard Street should be crossing Harrison right under the El below where the photographer was standing. As to the date, I'm going to say 1942. Although service ended in 1938, the structure remained in place until scrapped for the war effort. A small section remained in place from Tower C (Causeway/Commercial/North Washington) to Copp's Hill Terrace until c. 1955.

Hmm...

I have heard that that building is the former street-level entrance to Beach Street Station. I'm sure beneath all the remodeling there are a few original features. It was the second El station to permanently close. Due to very low ridership (~750 pax/day) trains stopped serving it on January 4, 1919.

The Answer!

Those of you who guess Harrison Ave are correct! The date is March 27, 1942, so we suspect this is when it was being torn down, but we can't be totally sure.