Harvard Square Station and Tunnel Discussion

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Re: Harvard Square Station and Tunnel Discussion

Postby jonnhrr » Sat Dec 17, 2011 8:24 am

Originally, coming out of the alley they could either go straight ahead into the Harvard station subway, or could head right on Mt. Auburn St. into the square. I think the latter connection was for the Harvard - Mass station service via Mass. Ave and the Harvard bridge, which ended in the 1949 when the Harvard bridge was rebuilt. (This is from Bradley Clarke's book on Boston streetcars in the 1940's).

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Re: Harvard Square Station and Tunnel Discussion

Postby Cltmotorman » Sun Feb 26, 2012 2:48 pm

to Wickedpissah - Those are great pictures though I can't recall blue tiles. This is around the 1960's right? In the second picture how could one see both sides of Harvard Station? I thought the stations were on top of each other. I guess BSRA can do a special article on this with 3D diagrams unless you have them? As a fun project, I would love to do a HO scale of Harvard station (architecturally speaking- The HO tracks can be added later), but I really could use blueprints of Harvard station and the adjoining TT/busway area.

to The EGE and Adams_umass - I can't believe that there are very few pictures of Harvard underground during the late 50's and early 60's. I can recall vividly getting off any #14000 train at Harvard and then looking to my extreme left we would see a very wide ramp which slopes downward to where the buses and TT berths are. That outbound station was very drab- no ads -no personality. As of the walkway going inbound (from #77 Arlington Heights bus dropoff area)I can't for the life of me, remember what the passageway looked like before getting to the Harvard inbound station. Was it a straightaway ramp? I remember the station itself as I loved to watch the trains come in from (stadium station or yard) with the sparks flying all over. Those were the days.

Since the 100th annniversary of the Harvard station construction will be next month (3/23/1912) I hope someone will come forward with never seen before pics of Harvard st underground. I found this on the cambridge website (http://www2.cambridgema.gov/historic/library.html) - Does anyone know about this? I would love to look at it, but I live 900 miles south.

• Cambridge Historical Commission photo collections - The Commission collects and copies photographs for its collections. The collection currently includes and estimated 26,000 images, including extant Cambridge buildings. Also collections of street scenes, subway construction, industrial complexes, and right of way valuations. N.B. The majority of photos are arranged by address, not subject.
Collection Hightlight: Boston Elevated Railway (BERy) photo collection. The Commission holds approximately 1,000 glass negatives taken by the Boston Elevated Railway between 1899 and 1912. While these primarily document the construction of the Cambridge Subway in 1909-1912, others depict the residences of the company's president, Gen. William A. Bancroft, on Putnam Avenue and Ware Street (1900); conversion of the New England Glass Company's factory on the Miller's River in East Cambridge into a power station (1902); and construction of the East Cambridge viaduct in 1907-1912. Related holdings include about 200 cyanotypes made from negatives not in the CHC collection and about 3,000 film negatives, some not yet catalogued, depicting subway and surface operations in Cambridge taken by the BERy, the Metropolitan Transit Authority, and the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority from 1935-1970.
Thanks for the pics! keep it coming!
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Re: Harvard Square Station and Tunnel Discussion

Postby MBTA1016 » Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:36 pm

3rdrail wrote:
FP10 wrote:Just from being in there I would say the air quality at Back Bay is far worse then the Harvard "yellow train" tunnel. Ive spent a decent amount of time waiting in there and haven't noticed any obvious diesel fumes. Then again the real problem is CO2, which of course is odorless so that may still be an issue. Perhaps the tunnel is constructed in such a way that it naturally ventilates?


I agree with you about Back Bay. I actually was thinking about Back Bay when I wrote the post and was going to mention it but didn't as the fumes come from a different source, and a source which it was supposedly designed to accomodate, unlike Harvard. Actually, there was much controversy about Back Bay's air a few years ago and supposedly, work was done to try to alleviate some of the fumes, but I've been in there recently and it still can get quite dense. I will say however, that prior to the work that they did with the ventilation, it was worse. A train would come in and the place was like a house on fire.

The Harvard tunnel intrigues me however as I doubt if it was designed to ventilate much more than what humans produce for carbon dioxide (CO2). The carbon monoxide (CO) coming out of tail pipes is another matter. Somebody must have an idea when buses first got down there. I don't think that I've ever even seen a photo of a bus in the tunnel prior to MBTA.


I was at back bay in June for the bruins parade and the commuter rail platforms had a lot of haze surronding all the lights, and trying to take a breath was difficult for a 16 year old(me).
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Re: Harvard Square Station and Tunnel Discussion

Postby Disney Guy » Sun Feb 26, 2012 7:43 pm

Cltmotorman wrote:to Wickedpissah - Those are great pictures though I can't recall blue tiles. This is around the 1960's right? In the second picture how could one see both sides of Harvard Station? I thought the stations were on top of each other. !

The blue areas look to me to be areas hastily painted over to cover graffiti.

One side was the original station, the other side was constructed in the 1980's or so as a temporary platform for the same track and same direction of travel when the original platform was decommissioned and partly destroyed and the current station was being constructed.

There was a straightaway ramp from the southbound bus tunnel (#77 Arl Hts., also #72 Huron and others unloading) to the inbound train platform. I think this was directly under a similar ramp from the outbound train platform to the northbound bus tunnel. What stands out in my mind were the low ceilings of the ramp to the inbound train platform and the inbound platform itself.
Last edited by Disney Guy on Mon Feb 27, 2012 3:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Harvard Square Station and Tunnel Discussion

Postby WickedPissah » Mon Feb 27, 2012 3:00 pm

Cltmotorman wrote:to Wickedpissah - Those are great pictures though I can't recall blue tiles. This is around the 1960's right? In the second picture how could one see both sides of Harvard Station? I thought the stations were on top of each other. I guess BSRA can do a special article on this with 3D diagrams unless you have them? As a fun project, I would love to do a HO scale of Harvard station (architecturally speaking- The HO tracks can be added later), but I really could use blueprints of Harvard station and the adjoining TT/busway area.


I took those photographs late last year, 2011. The tiles were definately painted over and do not portray the original color. Perhaps painted dark so passengers on the train can't see the old station very well? I'm not sure why that would matter... I don't have any 3d diagrams of the station, but I do have 2d track and station layouts.

The platform shown in the second and third photographs is directly under the current outbound tracks. I am uncertain if where I was standing was originally a platform as well, or was built during the extension in the 80s.

GP40MC 1116 wrote:
diburning wrote:I'd be terrified standing so close to the third rail.


He isn't really... Try walking down the ROW with the power on.


To get to the location of the third photo, and the video, I had to walk down the ROW from Harvard Station. We walked in the middle of the tracks, yes over the third rail. We crossed the tracks and went up on the abandoned platform with the creepy hanging doll...
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Re: Harvard Square Station and Tunnel Discussion

Postby Cltmotorman » Wed Feb 29, 2012 8:46 pm

The blue paintover would explain it - probably to cover graffiti & dirt.
I would love to see the track & station layouts. email me if you wish. Thanks!
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Re: Harvard Square Station and Tunnel Discussion

Postby Disney Guy » Thu Mar 01, 2012 6:34 pm

Cltmotorman wrote:... I would love to see the track & station layouts. email me if you wish. Thanks!

Who would like to play a game of "Twenty Questions" right here on this thread and hopefully enough historical details will be recollected so someone could reconstruct the layout of the original Harvard Station. Okay, I'll start. (Correct me if I described something wrong.) (I think that all those contributing answers have to be at least 40 years of age.)

1. After getting off the (outbound) train and walking alongside the train towards the main ramps and exits, the exit to street is between the ramp to the northbound or upper bus platform on the right and the ramp to the southbound or lower bus platform on the left. When taking the exit stairs to the street, are they directly in your sight or is the path cockeyed? If cockeyed then do you first take a sharp right around a partition and take a few steps and then take a sharp left to go up the stairs, or is it the other way around you first take a sharp left ... ?

2. When descending the stairs in the kiosk, from the street to take the train inbound, is the complete stairway in a straight line or do you have to make a slight left (or right) halfway down?

3. When going down the ramp from the outbound train platform to the lower bus platform, is there an opening on one side partway down where you can look through and see the ramp criss crossing from the upper bus platform to the inbound train platform? On which side?

4. Pictures from ca. 1920 show an oval kiosk in Harvard Square with the main exit stairway to the right of the main entrance stairway as you are about to enter. (The Harvard Coop is behind you and Harvard Yard is ahead of you.) Was the exit stairway always to the right all the way until 1980 or so?
(To the theater stage manager) Quit twiddling the knob and flickering the lights while the audience is entering and being seated. (To the subway motorman) Quit twiddling the knob and dinging the doors while passengers are getting off and others are waiting to board.
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Re: Harvard Square Station and Tunnel Discussion

Postby The EGE » Thu Mar 01, 2012 11:01 pm

I have copies of all but a handful of the BTC reports from 1894 to 1918 in PDF form; I'll look for pictures in there when I get a chance.
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Re: Harvard Square Station and Tunnel Discussion

Postby The EGE » Tue Dec 11, 2012 11:28 pm

Picture of the old Harvard station in the 1970s from the Dirty Old Boston facebook page.

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Re: Harvard Square Station and Tunnel Discussion

Postby Charliemta » Wed Dec 12, 2012 12:20 am

jonnhrr wrote:Originally, coming out of the alley they could either go straight ahead into the Harvard station subway, or could head right on Mt. Auburn St. into the square. I think the latter connection was for the Harvard - Mass station service via Mass. Ave and the Harvard bridge, which ended in the 1949 when the Harvard bridge was rebuilt. (This is from Bradley Clarke's book on Boston streetcars in the 1940's).

Jon


When I was a kid in the mid 1950's, I distinctly remember trolley car tracks in Harvard Square, a two-way set of tracks running from Brattle Square, through Harvard Square in front of the Coop, and going north on Mass Ave towards North Cambridge. They were probably intended as a bypass route in case the trolley tunnel (now the bus tunnel) was out of service for some reason.
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Re: Harvard Square Station and Tunnel Discussion

Postby Cltmotorman » Fri Jun 03, 2016 7:01 pm

Hi all,
Last September, I went to the Cambridge Historical Commission and photographed pictures of the old Harvard station that were originally made by Frank Cheney. All of the underground Harvard Station pictures are credited to Frank Cheney and not me. I have made comments under most of the pictures and would love it if you can pass along your comments and corrections.
My hat's off to Frank for taking these great pics.

Enjoy!


https://www.flickr.com/photos/gmac99/
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Re: Harvard Square Station and Tunnel Discussion

Postby Adams_Umass_Boston » Fri Jun 03, 2016 7:22 pm

Hello Gerry,
I only see one photo of a Santa on a PCC. There might me an issues with your Flickr account.

best-
R-
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Re: Harvard Square Station and Tunnel Discussion

Postby BigUglyCat » Sat Jun 04, 2016 12:10 am

Adams_Umass_Boston wrote:Hello Gerry,
I only see one photo of a Santa on a PCC. There might me an issues with your Flickr account.

best-
R-

Yes, Gerry, same here. The heading says, "1 photo."

From your description, I would LOVE to see those photos!
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Re: Harvard Square Station and Tunnel Discussion

Postby BandA » Sat Jun 04, 2016 1:23 am

On the Flikr website, it says "Your photostream is your public-facing portfolio. Set your photos to public using the Camera Roll to populate your photostream." I think Gerry needs to adjust his settings to make his pictures public.
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Re: Harvard Square Station and Tunnel Discussion

Postby Austin023 » Sat Sep 16, 2017 12:56 pm

Those pictures are great! Thanks for posting. I have seen very few of the interior, of the original Harvard station. It looks like some in the set are old pictures dating to the time of opening in March, 1912?
I never saw the original Harvard station as I was still a small child when construction began on the new station and Alewife extension. All I remember is the construction in Harvard square and such, never the original station, which closed in early 1981.

I had always thought the original station was small, but these pictures seem to suggest it was actually fairly large (though still smaller than the current station). Did any of the lobby areas survive the 1980s construction, or just the lower platforms?

Cltmotorman wrote:Hi all,
Last September, I went to the Cambridge Historical Commission and photographed pictures of the old Harvard station that were originally made by Frank Cheney. All of the underground Harvard Station pictures are credited to Frank Cheney and not me. I have made comments under most of the pictures and would love it if you can pass along your comments and corrections.
My hat's off to Frank for taking these great pics.

Enjoy!


https://www.flickr.com/photos/gmac99/
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