North Station, Charles River Draw, & Tower A

F-Line to Dudley

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Refresh my memory: was Spaulding built on a ground lease? (hard to believe anybody'd have sold it fee simple)

If NO, what are MassDOT's plans for eminent domain?

If YES, how many years before the land reverts to the B&M (and who is the B&M's successor as owner of the underlying land?)

Spaulding pre-dates New Garden by a couple years. As for land-taking, that's complicated because Jerry Jacobs has his finger in the proceedings too. The T is successor to all B&M properties per the 1976 bankruptcy asset sale, so I don't think Pan Am inherited anything at NS-proper as that would've been divested (save for any term-of-contract expirations they wouldn't be touching in any way) well before they acquired B&M.


All I've been able to glean is that the Spaulding landlords are only renting to transient tenants because they expect to be razed in the next decade. Hence MGH just stuffing it full of non-patient admin overflow at pennies-on-dollar shortie lease.
 

Equilibria

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Spaulding pre-dates New Garden by a couple years. As for land-taking, that's complicated because Jerry Jacobs has his finger in the proceedings too. The T is successor to all B&M properties per the 1976 bankruptcy asset sale, so I don't think Pan Am inherited anything at NS-proper as that would've been divested (save for any term-of-contract expirations they wouldn't be touching in any way) well before they acquired B&M.


All I've been able to glean is that the Spaulding landlords are only renting to transient tenants because they expect to be razed in the next decade. Hence MGH just stuffing it full of non-patient admin overflow at pennies-on-dollar shortie lease.
The Boston Parcel Map says the property is owned by "The General Hospital Corp", which I assume is a function of MGH.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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The Boston Parcel Map says the property is owned by "The General Hospital Corp", which I assume is a function of MGH.

Umbrella co. for all MGH holdings.


Probably doesn't say much about the easement situation here because building vs. land it sits on likely have very divergent paper trails.
 

Roxxma

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The Boston Parcel Map says the property is owned by "The General Hospital Corp", which I assume is a function of MGH.
If its tenancy is the result of a long term lease and recorded at the Registry of Deeds, the City will usually list the lessee as the owner.
 

BostonUrbEx

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I highly doubt the B&M or any successor would be the land owner, anyway. The property was shed when the railroad was flailing to escape bankruptcy and rid itself of as much property taxes as possible.
 

BostonUrbEx

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The T still needs to pick itself up off the procurement floor and order another 125+ bi-levels to replace the rapidly aging 29-32 year old Bombardier fleet of flats
The T is planning on ordering more flats for the next order. Their reasoning is that it is better for ADA mobility throughout the train, particularly in an emergency. The benefit that they haven't even considered is that flats have better dwell times.
 

Arlington

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I highly doubt the B&M or any successor would be the land owner, anyway. The property was shed when the railroad was flailing to escape bankruptcy and rid itself of as much property taxes as possible.
My hope was that the MBTA would (already) be the B&M's successor by virtue of having bought so much of the B&M's "under the rails" real estate.
 

millerm277

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A great pic from HelloBostonHi today - so can one of our Rail guys tell me how the new drawbridge addition fits here?

View attachment 261
Tower A (short brick building on the right, far side) gets demolished, and things probably get rearranged in general. There's enough room there to fit under the pedestrian bridge.

I don't believe it's far enough along to have exact positioning of the bridges established in drawings yet.

I've always heard the office building on the left is up for demo as well, although it's not specifically stated that I can find.

Here's the FMCB presentation on it from last month: https://cdn.mbta.com/sites/default/files/2019-08/2019-08-12-fmcb-O-draw-1-replacement-associated-track-signal-upgrades-design-engineering-services-accessible.pdf
 

F-Line to Dudley

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The old footings for Draws 3 & 4 are at left as those rows of pegs in the water. The office building (ex- Spaulding Rehab Hospital) is expendable, as right now it's just hosting transient MGH overflow office space. Threads on that here and on RR.net haven't been able to turn up who owns the building deed; it may already be the state's land. You'd need to demo that building as well in order to expand North Station beyond the current 12 platform berths for additional platforms. New approach tracks to Draw 3 would infill the space on the Somerville side the footbridge support column. The crossovers seen over there would be substantially reconfigured and look a lot less messy than it does in the photo because the number of tracks wouldn't be decreasing, just trains switching tracks for platform assignments.

I'm curious as to why the PDF says "two or more new bridges", when a new Draw 4 will probably never be needed for capacity. If a new Draw 3 is built at 3 tracks like Draws 1 & 2 will be retrofitted for, all 9 (8 in use) potential track berths across the river will be accounted for and there'll no longer be any pinch point into the station. But I guess that mysterious teaser will be explained later as the engineers will probably pin down the range of potential bridge placements during this engineering contract.
 

millerm277

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I'm curious as to why the PDF says "two or more new bridges", when a new Draw 4 will probably never be needed for capacity. If a new Draw 3 is built at 3 tracks like Draws 1 & 2 will be retrofitted for, all 9 (8 in use) potential track berths across the river will be accounted for and there'll no longer be any pinch point into the station. But I guess that mysterious teaser will be explained later as the engineers will probably pin down the range of potential bridge placements during this engineering contract.
I was under the impression that the intention is to eventually wind up with 3 new bridges, each with 2 tracks, resulting in 6 tracks.. That was what this Globe article from last year had suggested, although I have no idea if ideas have changed.

Article

The T is leaning toward building three smaller bridges in stages, each holding two tracks. The first bridge would be built alongside the existing crossings, and then each of the older bridges would be taken down, one at a time, to keep four tracks in service at all times.
 

George_Apley

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From what I remember that's correct. Both existing bridges will be rebuilt and Draw 3 will be also be added with a pedestrian bridge attached. The new bridge will be on the Charles side, not the dam side.
 

dhawkins

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That's true, it's a great shot, but obviously its about the 4 draw bridges. Looking at this photo, it's amazing how large North Station was back in the day. I used to take the Fitchburg Line out of North Station under the Garden in the mid 80s and I used to wonder why the station was so huge but not so many tracks. The station had marble walls but were patched with drywall, it was a sad hub, I wish I had a picture. By the way, looks like the tracks went with the West End.

North_Station_and_West_End_redevelopment_aerial_view.jpg
 

C-Town_Jeff

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hreads on that here and on RR.net haven't been able to turn up who owns the building deed; it may already be the state's land.
Book 10713 Page 216 is the conveyance from Nashua Street Company Trust to the Rehabilitation Hospital Corporation in 1983 of the land in fee. The Rehabilitation Hospital Corp changes it's name to The Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital Corp by Book 12873 Page 297. The Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital Corp conveyed the land in fee to The General Hospital Corp by Book 51984 Page 43 on 8/20/2013.

Mass General owns the building and land.
 

ulrichomega

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I think I have found the last tenement building here.

That's actually pretty cool that the building was able to survive everything from urban renewal to the Big Dig and all the construction projects in between. It does serve as a stark reminder of how brutal all those projects were to what used to be a place people lived. Look at the vast swathes of pavement all around there now.
 

ceo

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I'm curious as to why the PDF says "two or more new bridges", when a new Draw 4 will probably never be needed for capacity.
Two or more new bridges to replace the existing one, with a total of six tracks over the river.
 

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