Before UMass, Harbor Point and the JFK Library, there was the Calf Pasture

Calf Pasture peninsula in Dorchester

This 1923 aerial photo from the Boston Planning Commission shows the MDC's Calf Pasture sewage pumping station and some nearby gas tanks, Old Harbor and South Boston's City Point and Castle Island.

The pumping station still stands, and, in fact, is on the National Register of Historic Sites, although it was taken out of service in 1968.

Columbia Point, now home to a university, two museums and a housing complex, was originally known as Calf Pasture, because it's where Dorchester residents brought their cows to forage. The MDC built the pumping station in the 1890s as part of a then revolutionary regional sewage system.

From the Boston City Archives.




Free tagging: 



You say 1890s but the link says the stations was conceptualized in 1875 and completed in 1884.

....which then became the Design Center, and now...

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Yes I know people who stopped by there (when it was the army base) on their way to being shipped off to Viet Nam.

The former Army base later became the Design Center (one one end) Brosntein Center (the middle) and something else (the other end). The latter two were warehouse-y type spaces that gradually converted to gritty office-type spaces. Now of course, it's called the Innovation Center or something similar, because you know.. Innovation.

Black Falcon

Yes, that building is The Black Falcon Terminal and Design Center right on the Reserve Channel.

What a wonderful photo

And the larger photo looks like it includes runway 15/33 at the just-opened airport. (Hmm. The unimpeachable Wikipedia says the airport was called Jeffery Field, though I'd only heard of it being called East Boston airport.)

It was never officially known

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It was never officially known as Jeffery Field, that name does not appear in any official documents relating to the airport. The only references to it with that name are on Wikipedia, WCVB, and All documentation about it from the 1920s onward (i.e. Mass Acts & Resolves and insurance maps) calls it East Boston Airport or Boston Airport. It was briefly Commonwealth Airport when the state took over in the early 1940s before it was formally named after General Logan in 1943.

Did they dig it up?

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The long protrusion at the end of the point: Did they remove that at some point (which would have been a big undertaking) or did they eventually expand the land on the point to encompass it? I can't tell by trying to compare this old photo with current ones.

It was filled

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On all sides. Go to Historic Aerials, pan the map to this area (or just enter the ZIP code of the area you're searching) and use the compare tool to look at it in 1938 (the earliest aerial photo available) and 2013 (the latest available).

The pumping station moved the

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The pumping station moved the filth to Moon Island, where it filled giant open pits. As high tide turned, they were opened, and the filth flowed out and was carried (in theory) out of the inner harbor.

If only

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It were a middle finger rather than an index finger jutting out into the water, it'd be even more explanatory.

Or close it down and make it a UMass building

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Dorchester taxpayers will say thank you. The UMass spending is out of hand. Both the struggling EMK and JFK "libraries" have become UMass "event spaces" in their spare time. Why not go all in. Use every peninsula building to its max UMass. Stop building anew