As close as Cambridge gets to an industrial heartland

Along the train tracks in east Cambridge

Nick Gillham walked along the train tracks near the old Metropolitan Storage building off Mass. Ave.

Copyright Nick Gillham. Posted in the Universal Hub pool on Flickr.

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Yeah, I know

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It's just that the photo struck me as something you might see in an industrial town in the Midwest.

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Including ...

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The Clean Energy Nuclear Plant that every city of the future has.

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Not exactly

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The MIT Nuclear Reactor is not hooked up to a generator and is only used for research purposes, so "clean energy" isn't really right.

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Met storage

what is stored in there keeping it from being developed, anyone know?

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AFAIK

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it's empty. MIT is trying to decide what to do with it. The original plan to build a dorm wasn't going to work with the existing building (which is historic) so they are considering other uses like maker spaces and student work space.

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Original comment deleted

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Thanks to everyone for the clarifications. Just not used to seeing "historic" and "warehouse" in the same sentence I guess, especially in reference to a building I used to walk by numerous times in the 1980s and barely gave it a second thought.

And yes, the object lesson here is clearly "Think (and research a little) before you type."

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It is also idiocy

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To not bother to look up why it is considered to have historical significance.

AMIRITE?

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Except you're wrong.

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Except you're wrong.

Built in 1895, the five-story, 90-foot-wide brick building was extended in 1911 to a total length of 480 feet. Peabody and Stearns were the architects for both the original building and the extension. Although constructed of brick rather than a reinforced concrete, the warehouse is fireproof, because its ceiling and roof are brick-arched … Stylistically, the Metropolitan Warehouse evokes the solid, impregnable image of a medieval castle, with a prominent square corner tower, additional towerlike projections along both main facades, a crenellated corbelled cornice and small slit windows (round in the top story). It helped to set the style for such subsequent pre-MIT structures as Riverbank Court of 1900 Memorial Drive and the Armory of 1902 across Vassar Street.

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Much as I like the like the

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Much as I like the like the Ireproof Rage Warehouse, it's not the only 1890s brick industrial building in the greater Boston area. And it didn't invent the idea of making an industrial building look like a castle.

I'm sure the original architects would be horrified to learn that today's planners want to house students in it without adding any windows. Also, they themselves added an extension (as your quote says), back when historic buildings didn't have to be frozen in amber despite the costs and consequences.

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Roadman,

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funny you use the word "idiocy" in your sentence 'cause your sentence is idiotic.

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Old Kendall Square

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I remember in the 70s when most of Kendall Square looked like that.

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I do, too

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My father worked as a welder at a metal fabrication company in Kendall Square and at some point in the 70’s. When I was a kid he took me to work one day.

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historic aerials

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Also check out my favorite time waster...

https://www.historicaerials.com/viewer

They have a slide and dissolve feature where you can look at two maps side by side.

I always found comparing 1955 to 1961 to 1971 to 1995 to be amazing. So much build up around the city between 1955 and 1978.

Kendall included. Kendall Square had a much larger Broad Channel that went to almost Ames street (which didn't exist in 1955)

Interesting look.

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Tar paper wonderland

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All of the old "tenament" style factories were covered in ugly pinky tarpaper. TRW was one of them (fasteners division).

Small wonder that they didn't all go up in a single fire.

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As Close to Industry?

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I may be wrong, but I thought Cambridge still had an active if small manufacturing sector, even excluding life sciences.

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Junior Mints

are still made at a factory on Main Street. It has had several owners over the years, the current one being the Tootsie Roll company.

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Very little manufacturing is

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Very little manufacturing is left.

I'm sure the owners of the Junior Mints factory are just waiting for the right time to make big bucks selling the building and moving to the suburbs, like the NECCO factory did.

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Not exactly

The NECCO factory stayed in an urban area accessible to transit. The main difference was that they shortened the commutes of their workers considerably by building a modern factory in Revere.

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You say urban, I say suburban

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You say urban, I say suburban. https://goo.gl/maps/JyGF68q22aG2

Some workers will have a shorter commute, if they live in Revere or Chelsea. Other workers will have a longer commute, if they live in East Cambridge or the near the southern Red Line. Either way, it doesn't make this part of Revere not a car-oriented wasteland.

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Junior Mint factory

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You can smell the chocolate all over the area. I gain weight just walking by. :-)

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Yes, just down

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the street from where I work. On a summer's day, one can smell the Tootsies.

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Ah yes

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the historic

IRE-PROOF
RAGE WAREHOUSE

(is that where they stash uhub comments before publication?)

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Historic photo

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Most people won't have the chance to see the West Garage while it's half-demolished.

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Not to be a buzzkill

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But unless that was taken from the Pacific Street crossing, it's not a good idea to trespass on railroad property. Even if it's infrequently-used and low-speed.

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I kept my ears and eyes open

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I kept my ears and eyes open in both directions. They blow their horns at every crossing.
This day, there was a MBTA super at the crossing - they had the tracks flagged off - one of the reasons I opted to go B&W for the photo; the bright orange flags on the rails were distracting.

For those interested why the garage is being torn down, a project I'm working on: http://capitalprojects.mit.edu/projects/new-residence-hall

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