Slightly late but this has to be after 1974 right? The John Hancock looks like it's completed and the tower was finished in 1976. One Post Office Square is already half way up so this is probably more 1980.
Look closely at the middle of the Hancock and you'll realize it's still Plywood Palace. I think the building U/C is 1 Federal. The building completed directly to the left of the Pregnant Building is 225 Franklin.Slightly late but this has to be after 1974 right? The John Hancock looks like it's completed and the tower was finished in 1976. One Post Office Square is already half way up so this is probably more 1980.
No doubt the West End, if left intact, would have been today a primo urban neighborhood, on par with the North End.The loss of this rich urbanity was such a goddamn tragedy.
Ah you're right.Look closely at the middle of the Hancock and you'll realize it's still Plywood Palace. I think the building U/C is 1 Federal. The building completed directly to the left of the Pregnant Building is 225 Franklin.
Check out the full size to view it better.
So this took me forever to find. It was originally posted on the old (now sadly gone) Skyscraperguy forum but thankfully ablarc copied it in a post over at Cyburbia. I'm not saying it is the definitive opinion of the West End pre-renewal, just another perspective.Just before the BRA's Dresden carpet-bombing of it, the West End was a beautiful area, as I recall seeing it from the Green Line viaduct many times. It reminded me of an Italian village, not a slum at all. Sure. many of the buildings needed some rehab, but so what.
pwsmith said:Great thread... Being born in1929 it brought back many memories. Some good and some bad. I left Boston in 1950 thinking Boston was an old, dirty and corrupt city (AKA Curley) with no future. I was right for the time. Scolly Sq. with its tattoo places, burlesque houses, taverns, prostitutes and drunken sailors made me ashamed of the city. It made the combat zone of the 1970's look like a haven. I remember Atlantic Ave .with its El. as an old street with nothing very attractive. Full of horse crap (as was Washington Street) along with all the freight cars in the middle of the street. I often remember riding the El with my Mom as a young boy. The only thing I remember with any fondness at the time was arriving at South Station and seeing the trains. Quincy market (see picture) was a dirty mess with lots of flies and more horse crap and garbage. The old cobble stone streets were impossible to walk on for any women with high heels and very dirty and difficult to clean. (Again look hard at some of the photos)
There wasn't much worth saving. I guess you had to live it to understand. I'm glad much of it is gone.
Today Boston has changed and is a new and great city. All of the above is gone and I am happy to see it that way despite the criticism I see sometimes see on this form. Scolly Sq is gone. Atlantic Ave should be renamed something like Great Atlantic Ave. Quincy Market is a delight. Yet much of the old worth saving has been saved and I love it.
Although I have not lived in Boston for many year I have often visited the city and marvel at the great changes. I would move back but can't handle the weather at my seventy-four years. Yet I never hesitate to brag on it. I now live in San Antonio TX and it is worth bragging on but so is Boston. Remember to do it. I check out this form every day an wish to thank you and others for tis great site Keep it up!!!
Thanks. That is interesting. To me it's a bit like saying a frontal lobotomy is the preferable way to treat a mental illness. Sure, Boston had some deterioration, but the wholesale obliteration of huge sectors of the urban core was not the answer. The Scollay Square area and the West End could have been rehabbed, could have had some great new buildings, some tall, some small, inserted into the exiting urban fabric. Look at what happened to the Combat Zone, That could have been done to Scollay Square and the West End; preserve much of the old, insert the new, and preserve the life and rich fabric of the neighborhoods.