123 Causeway street

DowntownDave

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Hi guys,

I don't know if anyone remembers my ancient thread on the Causeway Street El teardown, but the demolition of the El revealed an interesting facade at 123 Causeway street. This building was McDonald's for a long time, and a Waldorf's for even longer. I was in Boston very briefly last week and noticed that this building was completely swathed in scaffolding. Anyone know what is going on with it?

Pics from 2004:




 

Beton Brut

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I remember that thread, Dave.

And I absolutely love this building. It's the closest thing to Louis Sullivan we have in Boston.

I think we decided it was once a theatre. I'll defer to our resident expert: "Paging Ron Newman!"
 

Lurker

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It was built and operated as a Waldorf Cafeteria.
 

DowntownDave

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I'd love to know what is planned for it now, and if the McDamage at street level will get fixed up. This building always struck me forcefully in that I never noticed it at all until the El came down. It seemed odd that something so striking in its context could have completely slid by my notice for so many years.
 

czsz

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The daylight on this street hurts my eyes.

Put the el back up.
 

Boston02124

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Or a nice slender tower in fill saveing the base of course!
 

Justin7

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Nothing on the BRA site about it.

Anyone have a picture of its original form?
 

Lurker

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It's cast stucco, you know old school EIFS. All the new McBuildings in strip malls near you, I'm talking to you CVS in the Allston/Brighton thread, could look this good but I digress.

On the really old thread about this building someone had a picture from the Bostonian Society. Right now their server seems down, otherwise I'd pull it up.
 

DowntownDave

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I am amazed to find after all this time that the original ancient thread is still there. The original image is just enough to make out the Waldorf's sign.

North Station Goes South (I guess I wanted to be a Herald reporter in 2004.... :) )
 

Ron Newman

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"Paging Ron Newman!"
Thanks, but unfortunately I have nothing new to say. I didn't even realize the building was undergoing construction. Whatever they're doing, I hope it preserves the fa?ade.

Interesting that a building we all love so much housed chain restaurants for its entire lifetime.
 

JohnCostello

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There was a permit pulled in mid-August to remove the existing bluestone and concrete face in order to make building safe. McDonald's is still the owner or tenant for the building. They authorized the permit. It appears that it is just the brick facade coming down.
 

Justin7

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Does anyone have any basic history concerning Waldorf Cafeteria? There doesn't seem to be a web page devoted to it and google seems to mention only Boston and NYC. Was this a large chain or were there just a few locations?
 

Lurker

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Waldorf was a large regional chain at one point.
 

Padre Mike

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I'll never forget the heart burn I had after eating Swedish meatballs at the Waldorf on Summer St., downtown, back in the late 1960's. By that time it attracted shoppers and downtown workers. It was the era before decent cuisine hit the Boston market...our taste buds were still stuck in the post-war era.
 

tobyjug

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Would you like grease sauce on your grease, sir? With a side of grease?
 

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