South Station 1980s Renovations

Discussion relating to commuter rail, light rail, and subway operations of the MBTA.

Moderators: CRail, sery2831

South Station 1980s Renovations

Postby enterprise11 » Sat Oct 06, 2012 8:40 pm

I read that the original head house was built in 1899 and the station underwent a significant renovation/restoration in the 1980s. What was built or rebuilt during this time? Was the commuter rail office and employee lounge in the basement level built at this time, or was it there before?
enterprise11
 
Posts: 50
Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2012 5:33 pm

Re: South Station 1980s Renovations

Postby theseaandalifesaver » Sat Oct 06, 2012 9:22 pm

I believe that's when they installed high level platforms but I could be wrong.
theseaandalifesaver
 
Posts: 678
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2006 9:34 pm
Location: PLZ NO TRUMP, USA

Re: South Station 1980s Renovations

Postby jrc520 » Sat Oct 06, 2012 10:48 pm

From what I can recall, and the pictures I've seen, pretty much everything was redone. High level platforms installed, new waiting room, pretty sure new offices were put in, etc. In the 90's they put in the bus terminal.(there's that dirty word again...)
jrc520
 
Posts: 294
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 12:36 pm
Location: Woburn, MA

Re: South Station 1980s Renovations

Postby TomNelligan » Sun Oct 07, 2012 1:54 pm

The June 1989 issue of Trains had a detailed article that I wrote on the reconstruction of South Station. If you're seriously interested in the subject, you might want to purchase a copy through the Trains web site. Basically the only part of the original station that's left at this point is the facade along Summer Street and Atlantic Avenue -- trimmed in length on both sides -- and some of the upper floor office space. Today's South Station represents maybe 25% of the orginal 1898 construction.
TomNelligan
 
Posts: 3186
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 5:43 pm
Location: Massachusetts

Re: South Station 1980s Renovations

Postby R36 Combine Coach » Sun Oct 07, 2012 7:43 pm

Even in "altered" form, is the station in present form on National Register criteria? Washington Union Station was also completely rebuilt in the mid 1980s, but still largely maintains its original form. By contrast New York Penn Station is still more or less intact at platform level (with original 1910 staircases). Only the the grade level structure (facade and headhouse) was demolished in 1964.
Since my friend continues to chain smoke nonstop, she is probably an Alco.
User avatar
R36 Combine Coach
 
Posts: 4897
Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2008 8:51 pm

Re: South Station 1980s Renovations

Postby The EGE » Sun Oct 07, 2012 9:39 pm

The station was added to the NRHP in 1975.
User avatar
The EGE
 
Posts: 2460
Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2011 6:16 pm
Location: Waiting for the N Judah

Re: South Station 1980s Renovations

Postby Austin023 » Thu Oct 11, 2012 3:11 pm

I somewhat recall the renovation/reconstruction work as it was going on (it took a few years, was completed in 1989); the projects altered the station substantially. Like someone mentioned, sides of the building were "trimmed back" and much of the interior was gutted. They retained some of the old interior aspects like the granite columns, etc. but little of the inside lobby area is original otherwise....the waiting area with the skylights is totally different than before the renovation as well...same goes for the platforms in the back...that area was really altered and the bus station next door was not built until the early 1990s. The Red Line station below was renovated about 1992 and of course there was no Silver Line level yet....when that was added, the concourses below leading to the Red Line were altered significantly. I know there was an old abandoned train loop under the station that existed up until 1985...most of that was demolished/filled in during the rebuilding and it had not been in service since about 1905 or so. A few pictures of that old loop do exist. As for the offices upstairs, I am not so sure to what extent they were changed.
Austin023
 
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2012 5:29 am
Location: Massachuusetts

Re: South Station 1980s Renovations

Postby ferroequinologist » Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:22 pm

Austin023 wrote:I know there was an old abandoned train loop under the station that existed up until 1985...most of that was demolished/filled in during the rebuilding and it had not been in service since about 1905 or so. A few pictures of that old loop do exist.


Were plans to electrify from NH to BOS in the works by then? If so, why didn't they keep the old loop around for electric service? I believe it went out of service in the first place because there were ventilation problems stemming from the fact that planned electrification never occurred. Not believe alive at the time, I'm not sure whether electrification was being examined then though.
ferroequinologist
 
Posts: 118
Joined: Mon Dec 26, 2011 11:24 pm

Re: South Station 1980s Renovations

Postby TomNelligan » Fri Oct 12, 2012 7:59 am

If so, why didn't they keep the old loop around for electric service?


Several reasons: the approach tunnels on each side were long gone, the single platform under the original concourse was out of the way of the main flow of passengers through the building, the platform wasn't long enough to hold a contemporary intercity train, it probably wouldn't have had clearance for contemporary equipment, and I'm not sure how it would have fit operationally into a terminal station as opposed to a rapid transit line.

Back in the 1960s-70s the old lower level housed a bowling alley and you could easily visit it. But the bowling alley closed, the space became unused, and what was left of it was obliterated during the reconstruction. But at one point during the construction it was daylighted and you could see the old lower level waiting room from one of the temporary pedestrian passageways that led from Summer Street out to the tracks.
TomNelligan
 
Posts: 3186
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 5:43 pm
Location: Massachusetts


Return to Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA)

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google Feedfetcher and 10 guests