Time for Emerson College to have its own T stop, some students say

If BU and Northeastern have Green Line stops named for them, why not Emerson? Three students in a civic design and art class at Emerson have collected more than 700 names on an online petition urging the T to rename the Boylston stop as Emerson College.

We primarily want to change the name of the station to Emerson College, to signify the college area. ... We then hope to brighten up the structure and make it look more appealing by adding color and art installations. We want to add artwork over the station to represent our students’ creativity. We overall want to make it clear for commuters where they are in Boston when getting of the T station, and as students of Emerson College, we want to have a T station represent our school, campus and student body.

The last time the T changed a stop name was in 2010, when New England Medical Center on the Orange Line became Tufts Medical Center - after Tufts agreed to pay the T $150,000 to revamp not just the signs at the station but every single subway map in the system.



Free tagging: 


Better idea

Remove the stop entirely and speed up the Green Line. The Park St and Arlington stops are close enough.

Pleased to meet you

Given that you can clearly see the Park St platform from the Boylston platform, the best thing to do is make a pedestrian walkway between the two. This way people can walk (or roll) inside on a smooth, level surface.

There's more than one kind of "handicapped"

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I've got rheumatoid arthritis, which means that I have days when I'm as able-bodied as anyone, and days when I'm significantly disabled. On those days, I don't get a wheelchair, a handicapped placard or a magic carpet to get me from point A to point B. I also don't get excused from my daily obligations, so I have to do the best I can. Stairs are hard, but so's walking on pseudo-level ground, which is the best you ever get in Boston. On those days, I'd rather struggle down a flight of stairs here than talk three blocks on the level.

And before you roll your eyes and say that I'm a rare exception, consider that we are all, at best, temporarily able-bodied. The infrastructure you build today is the infrastructure you'll use when you're not so spry, somewhere down the line.

How do you manage to ride all

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How do you manage to ride all of the sections of the T that *don't* have stations every 800 feet?

You might not be a rare exception, but subway stations that close together are. When bus stops are that close together, the T eliminates one of them.

Do you ever think about the tens of thousands of Green Line passengers, able-bodied and not, who sit in the terrible traffic jam between Arlington and Boylston every afternoon?

Oh please

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Do you ever think about the tens of thousands of Green Line passengers, able-bodied and not, who sit in the terrible traffic jam between Arlington and Boylston every afternoon?

I AM one of those passengers, and if you think that's a "terrible traffic jam", you must be new here.

I'm not new here. And neither

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I'm not new here. And neither is that traffic jam -- 10+ minutes of stop-and-go from Arlington to Boylston on a typical evening.

Just because regular passengers have come to expect this big problem doesn't mean it shouldn't be solved.

Because I'm passing through

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Because I'm passing through on a longer trip that's too far to walk (e.g. Allston to North Station).

Because I'm transferring to the Red Line and don't want to pay a second fare.

Because someone who's not a regular Green Line user wouldn't expect that a segment scheduled to take 2 minutes actually takes more than 10 on a regular basis, and would get stuck once it's too late to exit.

Because a Green Line driver can't get out and walk. Think about how much it costs the T to add a 10-minute delay onto every driver's schedule.

Park to Boylston is about the

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Park to Boylston is about the same distance as the north end of the Harvard subway platform to the southernmost berth in the bus tunnel. Do you think every big T station needs another T station inside itself?

We have systems in place for people who can't walk long distances: wheelchairs, handicapped parking permits, The Ride. Spacing subway stops unreasonably close together isn't a good solution to this problem.

Here's a problem that could have been avoided: off-peak commuter rail trains only open the car at the outbound end. This means there's a long walk down the platform at the downtown terminals. There's no way around this -- it's the only way off the platform. I don't know why nobody thought of this problem, but we're kind of stuck with it, since the mini-high platforms at outlying stations are all at the outbound end of the train.

There's more than one kind of "handicapped"

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I've got rheumatoid arthritis, which means that I have days when I'm as able-bodied as anyone, and days when I'm significantly disabled. On those days, I don't get a wheelchair, a handicapped placard or a magic carpet to get me from point A to point B. I also don't get excused from my daily obligations, so I have to do the best I can. Stairs are hard, but so's walking on pseudo-level ground, which is the best you ever get in Boston. On those days, I'd rather struggle down a flight of stairs here than talk three blocks on the level.

And before you roll your eyes and say that I'm a rare exception, consider that we are all, at best, temporarily able-bodied. The infrastructure you build today is the infrastructure you'll use when you're not so spry, somewhere down the line.

Even better idea

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Remove the excessively restrictive signaling that requires westbound trains approaching Boylston to wait until a preceding train is in the curve beyond the station before they can enter the station. That is slowing down the service much more than the dwell time in the station itself is.

In the old days, the signal

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In the old days, the signal would change to double yellow (call on) and the second train could proceed into the station as soon as the first train was past the halfway point along the platform. In the even older days, the platform was long enough to fit multiple trains and you could have actually fit two 2-car LRV trains in it at once. I have a suspicion that the DPU has made rules to cut down on double berthing like that though.

What about the curve itself?

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The curve itself is quite sharp. If the stop were eliminated, you'd save the loading time, but apart from that, would it make much of a difference?


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"We overall want to make it clear for commuters where they are in Boston when getting off the T station"

Ya they're on Boylston. If were changing the name, change it to The Common.


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College kids - especially in Boston - really do think they are the center of the world. The street name won't change but the college COULD relocate, right? Possibly? So...?

RE: Kids

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It has already re-located once. It was previously at Berkley and Beacon but moved to its current location after rejecting a move to Lawrence. But, it has also expanded to Washington Street where the Paramount Theatre is located, so what was once its main campus across from the Boylston T (a misnomer, since it really doesn't have a campus) has spread beyond that area.

It also owns a castle in The Netherlands, which the green line doesn't go anywhere near.

Emerson did relocate- have

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Emerson did relocate- have only been in that part of town since about 1992 or so- I went there when they were spread out on Beacon Street/ Beacon Hill/ Kenmore areas and when they almost moved to Lawrence

Yeah, the one under Tower Records

Anyone know what that building was before Tower Records? I don't. The station used to be called Massachusetts, but of course we have a different Mass Ave station now.

I think the station may be due for a rename soon too, to coincide with the rebuilding there. The station will soon have a regular Boylston Street entrance again, as well as a redesigned Mass Ave entrance, under The Viola. The whole station will be rebuilt, down to the platforms.

All entrances to the station will be through this building; a rename might be timely. I think having a station named after a musical instrument would be great, but maybe Berklee will bid on a rename. I don't see the problem with renaming a station to describe what's currently at ground level. Why not take the T from Berklee to Emerson?

Also see New England Medical Center, no, Tufts Medical Center, over South Cove.

The "Tower Records" Building

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"Anyone know what that building was before Tower Records? I don't. "

I recall that in the 60s and early 70s the ground floor housed an establishment called Kentucky Tavern. A shot of it can be seen in the classic movie "The Friends of Eddie Coyle". Later it was a Pampalones music store. I bought a few guitars there over the years. Also in the 80s one of the upper floors was a recording studio called Newbury Sound. Now the building is a Marshalls or TJ Maxx, I forget which. They are both so identical.

Also, A Frank Gehry Building

The rehab of the building was done in the late 1980's by none other than Frank Gehry. The recladding and extension upward of the building was also to have included a mobile of two or three teabags extending over the Pike.

Alas, the teabags idea got dropped.

BU: 16,456 (U) + 13,650 (P) +

BU: 16,456 (U) + 13,650 (P) + 2,445 (O) = 32,551 students
Northeastern: 17,990 (U) + 6,954 (P) = 24,944 students
Emerson: 3,453 (U) + 837 (P) = 4,290 students

Enough said.

U - Undergrad
P - Postgrad
O - Other
Figures via Wiki


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At the BU, Northeastern, and BC stops, there is pretty much nothing else there except the college.

Boylston, on the other hand, has access to plenty of other things than Emerson College.

I have to agree....

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Emerson Alum here, and even I think this is stupid. Hopefully the T rejects he idea, but if the college is gonna throw money at them....who knows?
My main gripe is that Boylston, to my knowledge, is the stop's original name, and it is one of the original stops on America's oldest subway. Some train historians here may correct me, but regardless, Emerson's size and mobility through the city (If you don't think they'll sell those buildings they have built up in the former combat zone once they become worth so much the profit can't be ignored, then move to Quincy, you don't know Emerson) don't warrant naming a T stop after the place.
I do however like the idea of sprucing up the stop with art, maybe some sound-proofing (Boston's screechiest subway stop-woo!), maybe some signage or allusion to Emerson being there, but not the name. "Theater District" would be more appropriate anyhow.

And "Theater District"

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And "Theater District" already appears on the white stripe below the station name on platform signage. I don't think Emerson does though.

Honestly, Emerson is a fairly minor attraction around there. If the station must be renamed (which it really mustn't), "Boston Common" or "Theater District" are much better names than "Emerson".

No. Cute, But Unnecessary. No.

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Leave it Boylston Street. It's clear and accurate. The vast majority of people who use the stop aren't going to Emerson nor do they have anything to do with the school. The school hasn't been there that long; maybe they'll pack up and move again one of these years. And then what will all of us grownups do with an Emerson T stop on Boylston Street?

The art installations of student "creativity" sound scary. Student art belongs at the school, where everyone knows it for what it is — homework. A city transit system deserves professional installations chosen with community input, not student work. If we're going to have art in Green Line stations, let's pay local working artists to make it, not hand the space over to kids.

When your school is in the middle of a city and doesn't have a campus, you can't just appropriate anything in the neighborhood and call it "yours." I guess those students weren't paying attention in their civic design and art class, or else that teacher didn't explain that our city belongs to everyone. That T station isn't theirs, it's Boston's. And will those kids raise all the money to pay for turning their homework assignment into a vanity transit project? It seems it will cost a solid six figures in addition to wasting a lot of time and resources. (Maybe one of them has a rich daddy. I'd almost bet on it.)

If these three kids and their 700 petition signers want a T station to represent them so badly, maybe they can persuade the school to move somewhere on the proposed Green Line Extension and pay for a station there. Or they can transfer to BU or NU. Where the tracks run through an obvious urban campus, rather than Boston's historic center. (And notice how those stations, not even the one by Mass College of Art, display no student art.)

About that

A city transit system deserves professional installations chosen with community input, not student work.

The Davis Sq stop has tiles made by elementary school students embedded in the walls. It's a nice touch.

Using the T stops to showcase local art (both students and professionals) is a great use of the space. It's a shame Boston doesn't do that more often.


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They are great. But what's even greater is that most of these kids are in their late 30s and early 40s now!

Always a Lovely Idea

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I would argue that children's art is in a different category entirely from "college student art" because it is charming by definition and therefore easy for anyone to enjoy. It's also an important reminder that there's a community living around the station. It's more like a cultural artifact and that's why it often becomes increasingly eloquent when it remains after the kids have grown up.


We can have continuous audio of the newbie ERS Djs saying Boston Commons instead of Boston Common over the speakers.

Makes sense to me

The name of the station isn't ideal in terms of navigating Boston. Sure, it's on Boylston Street. But so are Arlington and Copley. The Green Line goes under Boylston Street for a long way. "Boylston" doesn't tell you where on Boylston you are, the way "Arlington" and "Copley" do.

"Tremont" is an equally bad name for the station, because the line takes a sharp turn and goes under Tremont for several blocks - Park Street and Government Center are also on or next to Tremont Street.

Neither of the cross streets is an ideal choice for naming the station. What else is locally specific? You could call it "Common," but Park Street is also on the Common.

"Emerson" is a perfectly reasonable choice for a better name. However, the school should volunteer to pay for all signage changes.

Another good name would be "Theater," as there are several within a few blocks, and the corner is arguably the center of Boston's Theater District, such as it is.

Theater District

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It's been several years since I've been on the Green Line. But if memory serves me correctly, aren't the words 'THEATER DISTRICT' printed under 'BOYLSTON' on the station signs?

Normally I would think this is stupid

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But last month I was riding on the Green Line from Copley to Park Street when there were 3 visitors from I think Texas near me. They were talking lunch options and decided on Eataly, since it was on Boylston Street and they were approaching Boylston Station. Sure, not a killer walk, but it would be less confusing if the stop wasn't the street the line goes down. They renamed Washington Street, after all.

That said, Emerson should pony up cash for this.

Before we consider renaming a PUBLIC subway station

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for a PRIVATE institution, how about we first require Emerson to finish repairing the face of the Little Building, so that the OBSTRUCTIVE and UGLY scaffolding on the corner of Boylston and Tremont Streets can finally be removed.

Little Building upgrades are getting close

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It has been a long time coming, but a full rehab and refacing of the Little Building is slated to begin this May, at the end of the term.

In addition to being Emerson's largest dorm, the Little Building houses the Emerson College Police Department, the main dining area, and numerous offices. These services are being moved to other locations on campus: a new dorm and dining hall are under construction on Boylston Place, and the Gym, Cabaret, and Equipment Distribution Center have already moved. Last to go will be ECPD.

Emerson alum here... since

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Emerson alum here... since Boylston was one of the original Boston subway stops, I'd keep those at their original 1897 names for history's sake - pretty sure Park Street and Arlington were part of the original system... maybe Scollay Square too?

Why not name it after Saint John Paul II, who traveled Boylston?

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Neither RINO Charlie Baker nor confused Catholic Marty Walsh have the guts, but why not name Boylston after Pope and Saint John Paul II who traveled Boylston in the 1979 rain, in the presence of many of us? Really shameless that this saint isn't even considered. I hope to see Baker in D.C. at the end of the week at the inaugural, it will be on my list of suggestions although a second term is pretty much impossible after alienating the million plus Trump voters in MA. Perhaps the Globe is hiring laying off.

Not a good idea

as there's already a St. Paul Street station (actually, two of them, one on the B branch and another on the C branch).

St. Paul really bugs me

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It's super ambiguous. The stops are on the same Saint Paul Street. There's no reason to name two stations the same name. Since there's nothing of interest at the corner of Beacon and Saint Paul, I'd rename the B Line stop Agganis, so long as I could get it in writing that BU won't change the name of their stadium in fact or in practice for 40 years.

That's true

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But there isn't a Pleasant Street Station on the C Line, and St Paul on the B is less than 400 ft from Agganis. Close enough to be a considerable improvement over the status quo.

So what? I've never heard of

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So what? I've never heard of someone ending up at the wrong St Paul Street.

NYC has duplicate station names all over the place, sometimes in different boroughs (four 86 St stations in Manhattan plus two in Brooklyn, etc), and people manage.


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Really shameless that this saint isn't even considered.

Why? Is the MBTA under some special obligation to honor the dignitaries of your religion, that they should feel ashamed for not naming a T station after a pope?

I'm trying and failing to think of another example of a T stop that's named after a human being, except perhaps very very indirectly. Why should this change?

Not really

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It's named for the JFK Library, which happens to be nearby - just like Hynes is named for the convention center, not the man. Because as messed up as you might think the T is, even they recognize that the point of subway-station names is to try to get people where they want to go, not randomly name them after prominent local personages. For that we have statues.


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The full station name is JFK/UMass so its more location based, than named for the former president.

South/Dukakis Station

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In 2014 South Station was technically renamed Governor Michael S. Dukakis Transportation Center, but nobody likes it, including Mr. Dukakis himself. Nobody ever calls it that either.


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You could make the argument that it was named after Adams NHP, given that the JQA birthplace is down the street from the now-closed Independence Ave entrance, but I'll concede that's a stretch.

According to Wiki it was originally planned by the T as "South Quincy", and the former Old Colony RR station located at Water St to the north, was variously named both South Quincy and Quincy Adams.

So maybe it could be argued that this station was named after the historical railroad station? Again, a stretch.

Honestly I don't understand why it's not just South Quincy.

By Mary H.J. Farrell. 7 Ways to Buy a Better Mattress...

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By Mary H.J. Farrell
7 Ways to Buy a Better Mattress
You spend a third of your life in bed, so why settle for a mattress that leaves you cranky or in pain? Here's how to find the right one.

Mattress Ratings. Use a local library website for access to Consumer Reports Ratings.

Recommend Globe Direct and Globe Savings Central have more fair, more honest mattress advertising in sales flyers packets delivered each week... Paul Pelland, President, GlobeDirect, LLC email paul period pelland at globe period com


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I could just photo copy the CU mag I got last month that reviewed mattresses for you.

I'm in the market for a new one. Mine's 10 years old.

It was worth every penny. You do spend a third of your life in bed. I did the math and worked it out.. I paid almost a grand for my last mattress. So over 10 years.. that works out to be roughly 28 cents a day. I can afford 28 cents a day for a good nights rest.

Can't do that

People could think the station is a sanctuary for pedophiles, like the kiddy-diddler refuge Mr. Wojtyla presided over in Rome.

MLK Station

We could call it MLK station. Or even name it for that Thai king who was born here.

Or the swami of the Vedanta Society in Boston.

Lots of faith traditions could be represented, no?

The MBTA tried that years ago

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with State/Citizens Bank station. Didn't work out then, and it won't work now. Plus, stations in a PUBLIC transportation system shouldn't be named after private companies.

It's still a thing actually

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There was rumblings about this a year or so ago when baker was looking for new revenue for the T.. and I know they tried several years ago also (after the Citizens Bank thing in the 1990s)

End result: No takers.


But really, what else could you call that station? (Definitely not "West Newton".)

When was the last time

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When was the last time Emerson paid the City the tiny Payment in Lieu of Taxes the City asks for?
Emerson has bought buildings on the Common, which means taxpayers not on pay for services Emerson uses but has to make up for the loss of that tex revenue forever. And it built a new campus on Sunset Blvd in LA. But pay for paved and plowed roads? Fire and police services not so much.
Maybe Emerson students can take up a petition asking the College to practice civics.


Who did they buy those buildings on the common from?

I know that some of the buildings they have been buying were previously owned by non-profit organizations.

In any case, how much will GE be paying in taxes? They are not even a non-profit, and they aren't creating jobs but transferring people.

You need to learn history before you...

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...start furiously typing away like a keyboard cowboy. I came to Boston in 1999, to attend Emerson. Living at 80 Boylston I heard police sirens nightly and the occasional gunshot. Across from our dorm a porno movie theater still operated out of the basement level of a Tremont St building that now houses a karaoke place, I bet it still stinks of ...y'know. You could buy or sell stolen merchandise at Charlie Flynn's and bring your 12 year old cousin in for a beer. The 7-11 on the corner of Stuart and Tremont was a place where you could buy crack at the counter, or at least be locked inside while you were looking for hangover cure (Gatorade) while the clerk sold someone crack at the counter. Granted, 1999-2000 were the death throes of the Combat Zone, but Emerson entered into a deal with the city to buy and revamp several of the buildings in that area. Much like Chinatown is now being gentrified, that area was ripe for development with many boarded up buildings and buildings in disrepair. Before the Opera House was restored I was taken inside by a friend who worked at the Tam and knew a way in. There were bums living in there, and the place sported a lot of its original interior, wasting away. The Paramount, Opera House, Cutler Majestic, 100-120 Boylston, The building behind the Cutler, were all bought and restored by Emerson. The Colonial is owned by Emerson. They have done quite a bit to keep the Theater District full of theaters. They are a major reason why you can walk through the area and not get offered drugs or sexual favors these days. I'm not saying they are the sole reason, but they were a major player in the area's transformation, and because they owned prime Back Bay real estate (Marlboro, Beacon St Brownstones), they were able to finance large portions of those projects through the sales of that real estate.
Pretty sure my tuition went to paying for a multi-million dollar hole in the ground that we used to throw empty kegs in, but there is a beautiful building there now, and its construction only killed one doctor (scaffolding incident).
Your examples of roads being plowed, and fire department that Emerson uses is ridiculous. The whole of Emerson is on 3 streets now. Boylston, Tremont, and Washington Streets. Are you saying that those places SHOULDN'T be serviced unless Emerson coughs up more PILOT? I bet hundreds of other offices/businesses/institutions would have a problem with that. Also, like another poster said further up, the size of Emerson is dwarfed by places like Northeastern, BU and BC. They are less than a quarter of the size of these other schools who occupy entire NEIGHBORHOODS. BU owns a stretch of town from Allston to Kenmore that doesn't even have a name, it's just Boston University.
You can gripe about schools not paying enough, but singling out Emerson is barking up the wrong tree. It's like bitching about a mom and pop hardware store while standing right next to a Wal-Mart.

Here's some possibilities (of

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Here's some possibilities (of greater or lesser seriousness (mostly lesser))... ;-)

Theater District
Combat Zone
West Chinatown
Downtown South
SoCo (South of Common)
NoSo (North of South End)
Steinert Hall

John Quincy Adams http://www.hmdb.org/marker.asp?MarkerID=56643

Patrolman Francis B. Johnson https://www.google.com/maps/@42.3523132,-71.064546,3a,20y,166.91h,86.88t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sZomEXni0UCh2ka-p-cZMIw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656?hl=en

Inspector Thomas J. Norton https://www.google.com/maps/@42.3524484,-71.064867,3a,65y,19.42h,97.56t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s1zqfqudVBzbM2YSmlCvWcA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656?hl=en

World Class City Sq
Sanctuary Sq
Bubble Sq
Deplorable Sq


Dukakis Curve