Boston_June_2007
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The CITGO sign was going to be torn down years ago by the company, but it had been a part of the Boston skyline for so many years and particularly had been part of the left field view in Fenway Park where the Boston RedSox play, so the people of Boston demanded that it remain in place as a historical artifact.   The dome to the left is the mother church of the Church of Christian Science.

 

 

When I was a kid, and for years before that, the pointed top building on the far left, the John Hancock Insurance Company building, was the only high building on the Boston Skyline. The Prudential Tower, on the right, was built in the early 60s. The second John Hancock Tower, the mirrored rectangular building on the left facing the shorter original Hancock building, was built sometime after I left the Boston area in 1967. It was famous for twisting and flexing in the wind and shedding its huge plate glass windows onto the pedestrians below. When I'd go home for a visit, it was usually checker-boarded with ply-wood replacing the missing glass. Eventually they fixed the problem.

 

 

 

A look at the Charles River with Boston on the Left and Cambridge on the Right. The Cottage Farm (or B.U.) Bridge in the background is said to be unique in that it is the only place in the world where you can have a boat being passed over by a train which is being passed over by an automobile (which is being passed over by an airplane I suppose). I'm not making it up, I read it somewhere. In the center background, when I was a kid, the Boston Braves used to play baseball before they became the Milwaukee Braves and then the Atlanta Braves. The Red brick and white trim building in the middle foreground on the Cambridge side used to be a Ford Automobile assembly plant many many years ago. It's housed one or another high-tech industry as long as I've known it and still appears to be a high-tech office building.

 

A closer view of the former Ford plant.

 

 

 

The SHELL sign at Magazine Street and Memorial Drive is another case, I think, of a sign the company wanted to pull down but the citizens wanted to keep as a landmark. I don't know if that's true, but the sign is older than me.

 

The flag is in the center of Fort Washington which is now surrounded by an industrial park and difficult to get to. Fort Washington is located at the foot of Allston Street where I grew up. The significance of the fort which now consists only of some breastworks (mounds) and 3 antique cannon, is that it defended an anchor chain which the colonists stretched across the Charles River at that point to prevent the British Navy from sailing upstream and using their high power naval guns to attack the colonial fortifications in the suburbs. The chain held, the British were forced to attack the suburban colonials with light infantry weapons, and they took 2nd place in the contest.

 

The Charles River again. With all the Colleges and Universities in the area, you always see someone rowing a shell. They have a big regatta every October. When my mother was a kid she could swim in the Charles. When I was a kid it was a cesspool of chemicals and effluent. A lot of effort has gone into cleaning it up in the last 30 years. It's not quite there yet, but if one of these rowers falls in, they won't have to euthanize him.

 

A visit to the North end and Quincy Market. When I was a kid this was a garbage strewn mess. Now it's very clean and a nice place to visit to see performance art, street vendors, any kind of food you can handle, and just a fun time.

 

 

The area is right in the shadow of the customs house. This was Boston's first "skyscraper" which reflects on the importance of collecting customs on trade merchandise. Nathaniel Hawthorne, the famous author, worked here for a couple of years while he was becoming famous. A few years back the building was abandoned by the customs people and converted into a first class hotel.