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East Boston Tunnel: 1906

East Boston Tunnel: 1906

Boston, Massachusetts, circa 1906. "Court Street, Ames Building, Young's Hotel." Plus a subway entrance. Detroit Publishing glass negative. View full size.


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Below is the same view from June of 2013.

Traffic post

Just in front of the Old State House are the intersections
of Court, State, New Congress and Washington streets. That was my old traffic post when assigned to the now defunct Traffic Division of the Boston Police Department. As an aside, the State Street subway entrance was built right into the lower section of the Old State House. The historical significance of the building meant nothing.

Court Street

I love this photo, I know this area and it's its history well.

The Ames Building is still there, the adjoining building, with three facades is still there, but only underground. In the 1920's, the building was gutted and a Bank was built. It later became a Veterans Administration Clinic and in 1993 The New England Shelter for Homeless Veterans. If you were to go in the sub-subbasement of of NESHV, you wold see the original foundation of the 1906 building.

The building on the right, marked East Boston Tunnel, was the original site of the beginning of the Blue Line, which ran from Court Street to now Maverick Station. The East Boston Tunnel was the first subway in the world to run underneath a section of the ocean. It was built in 1904. The building is still there and houses Boston's Department of Neighborhoods.

On a side note, the fare from Court Street to Maverick was 1 cent.

Green and Orange

The two buildings immediately behind the Old State House are still there. Behind those buildings, however, is a new (1990s) glass skyscraper. So from this angle, you can now see an 18th century building, in front of a couple of 19th century buildings, which are in front of a 20th century building. Makes for an interesting photograph. Today there isn't a subway entrance exactly where the one depicted in the photograph is. I'm guessing it was for the Green Line, which today has a station at Government Center, essentially behind the Ames Building. The Orange Line has a station right below the Old State House, but I don't think there was an Orange Line in 1906.
Great picture!!

Old State House

I didn't even realize that was the Old State House until I looked closer. I had thought the English monarch's unicorn and (unseen here) lion had been added during a later restoration, but it seems they were placed there in the 1882 reconstruction. At least the building is in great shape today, though it is now surrounded by glass towers instead of stately stone buildings.

East Boston Tunnel

Actually, I believe the building on the right (with the East Boston Tunnel signs) is still extant, just with some modifications.

The East Boston Tunnel used to be the terminus of a streetcar line that was the first to pass under the ocean. It is now the Blue Line subway, and the Court Street station pictured here was closed in 1916 when the terminus was moved to Bowdoin Street. You can see from the vents that the tunnel still passes below this location today.

View Larger Map

Old State House

Most of the buildings shown here are gone. The Ames building, on the left, is now a hotel. The two closest buildings on the right are gone and the small building down the street is the Old State House, famous for being the site of the Boston Massacre. On March 5 it will be the site of the annual reenactment.

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