Evolution of the Prudential Center: 1954-1989

czsz

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Great photos. You can really sense what a fresh and modern contrast this must have appeared to the sooted-over, dark Victorian city at the time. I used to get the same rush whenever I visited concrety Toronto and its cheap 60s quasi-Brutalism from decaying old Buffalo.
 

kz1000ps

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Wow, top notch stuff! Where did you find those?
 

davem

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Friend of a friend is a foamer and somehow convinced an oldtimer to let him scan his slides. When he found out I was a railfan too he gave me a CD with a bunch of images. Most of them are railfan pics, but mixed in are some cool shots of pike and other 60s construction.
 

kz1000ps

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More Prudential bits from various corners of the internet...here's an article on the razing of Mechanics Hall:


Dirty Old Boston


Emmanuel College 1966 Yearbook

1965


BPL of Flickr

1966


Dirty Old Boston

1970s


BPL of Flickr

May 1978


Forget source..

July 1977



1974


City of Boston Archives

May 18, 1975


Forget source..

1980


[url="http://www.flickr.com/photos/24334155@N03/8703798571/]charles65ofboston[/url]

And last for now, here's an aerial from 1969 as construction was ramping up on 101 Huntington and Saks:

 

statler

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I like the Pru, and I understand how it improved the city, but from what I've seen of Mechanic's Hall, it was a beautiful building.
 

kz1000ps

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Well why don't we take a quick look at Mechanics Hall...





1897





March 1920



All the above came from the BPL on Flickr while the next batch all come from the City Archives on Flickr. We also get a nice tour of Huntington Ave in the process.







1929 aerial



1955



Baibai!

 
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commuter guy

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Thanks for the photo thread. The spirit of Ablarc lives on... Very drastic changes in that stretch of Huntington Ave over the years. Admittedly, the christian science campus is a striking piece of modern architecture, but IMO the pool, etc., was not worth losing that streetscape.
 

kz1000ps

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Lots of great stuff in that post...I love all the articles!
 

EdMc

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The loss of Mechanics Hall was a big loss for the city, on the other hand, I think that the Prudential Center has become a successful urban enclave, witness the crowds. The addition of 888 Boylston and it's street frontage looks like it will complete its maturity, nicely.
 

Czervik.Construction

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The loss of Mechanics Hall was offset by what the city gained through the Prudential Center, but it is too bad that all those brick buildings on the other side of Huntington were lost to build the Colonnade and the Midtown Hotel.
 

Corey

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Thanks for sharing all the old pics of the area, KZ. Did the little Prudential model end up anywhere? Maybe it would look nice in a sculpture garden somewhere or in one of the actual building’s lobbies.
 

datadyne007

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Thanks for sharing all the old pics of the area, KZ. Did the little Prudential model end up anywhere? Maybe it would look nice in a sculpture garden somewhere or in one of the actual building’s lobbies.
It's actually not so little. That thing's gotta be at least 50 feet tall!

I just took the picture into CAD for some lunchtime fun and came up with roughly this if we assume the guy is 6' and adjust slightly for the perspective:



Edit: Did some rough calculations and found that the model is around 3/4" = 1'-0" scale. Incredible.
 
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kz1000ps

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And over on the left you can see the grassy knoll where Lennon shot JR... astounding work everybody! ;)
 

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