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by Jacob Marmor (pseudonym)

Friday, January 30, 1942

in What's New In Town

W. J. Sidis


        Our metropolis has two great wings pointing eastward from both ends, north and south.  And such is the wing-spread that Chicago could nestle comfortably within it.


        There is a stretch of unused subway under Tremont Street, running south from the Little Building under the present Tremont Street Subway.  It continues under and beyond the present Broadway incline, and as far as the railroad tracks.  This bit of subway contains a station platform, unused since 1908.  The name of the station is Pleasant Street, by which name Broadway used to be known before the last war; so that now not only are the subway and the station forgotten, but there is no longer even a street by that name.  The explanation of this unused subway is that, from 1901 to 1908, elevated trains used to run through the Tremont Street Subway, and during that time, the present trolley outlet to Broadway and Tremont was blocked up to allow trains to use the lower-level subway, stopping at “Pleasant Street” (now Broadway), and emerging to an elevated structure over the railroad tracks and continuing by Castle Street to join the lines to Dudley Street or to Atlantic Avenue.  In 1908, the elevated trains were detoured into Washington Street, and the lower-level subway on Tremont Street has been healed up ever since.  On the south side of Broadway, the roof of the old subway is now used as an auto parking space.


        In the period of the American Revolution, several shiploads of Loyalists were sent to Nova Scotia from Boston.  Hence the expression, “Go to Halifax.”


        The East Boston Tunnel was the first under-water tunnel in America, started in 1900 and opened for use in 1904.  For the first twenty years it was used by trolleys, and originally ran to a “Court Street” station at about the location of the present Odessa Restaurant―the old station may still be there under the restaurant.  An extra cent “toll” was charged for the use of the tunnel, collected at the Boston end of the trip.  In 1916 the tunnel was extended at the Boston end.  To do this, the dead-end Court Street Station was closed, and the tunnel extension was directed downwards from Devonshire Station (the bend at that point is quite obvious), with a new lower-level station at Scollay Square.  The “toll” was then removed, and cars from Cambridge and from Charles Street were brought into the tunnel by an outlet at Lynde and Cambridge Streets to Bowdoin Station.  The old outlet, unused since 1924, can still be seen at that point.  In 1824, the substitution of trains for trolleys in the East Boston Tunnel left the Cambridge Street end of the tunnel unused, and a new station at Maverick Square was put in as a place to change from trains to trolleys.


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