Public Garden Incline, Boston (1)

Trolleys entering and exiting the Tremont Street Subway at its southern end at the Boston Public Garden, around 1904. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

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The scene in 2014:

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When the Tremont Street Subway opened in 1897 as the first subway in the country, trolleys ran underground from downtown all the way until the corner of Arlington and Boylston, where the tracks emerged here and continued along Boylston Street to points west.  The three cars in the first photo represent three different routes, with the one on the far right returning from Newton, the one ahead of it coming from Roxbury, and the one in distance is heading toward Huntington Avenue.  Today’s Green Line still has four different branches, all that is left of what was once a much larger streetcar system.  The subway portal itself closed in 1914, when the subway was extended under Boylston Street to Kenmore, and no evidence remains on the surface to suggest that trolleys once emerged here from underground.

Park Street Station, Boston

Tremont Street during construction of the Park Street subway station in 1897. Photo courtesy of Boston Public Library.

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Park Street Station after completion, taken in 1906. Photo courtesy of Boston Public Library.

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Park Street Station in 2014:

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As mentioned in previous posts, the Tremont Street Subway (today’s MBTA Green Line) was the first subway in the country, and Park Street was one of the first two stations, along with Boylston.  The station opened in 1897, and helped to relieve congestion on Tremont Street by removing the trolleys from the surface, as seen in the first photo.  Today, the station is still there, as is Park Street Church behind it.

See this post and this post for a few photos of the interior of the station.

Tremont Street Trolleys, Boston

Looking up Tremont Street toward Park Street Church in Boston, in 1895. Photo courtesy of Boston Public Library.

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Tremont Street in 2014:

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These photos were taken from almost the same spot as the ones in this post and this post, but the first one here shows Tremont Street as it appeared before the construction of the Tremont Street Subway.  By the time the 1895 photo was taken, Tremont Street was becoming crowded with traffic, from pedestrians to carriages and even trolleys, as seen in the distance of the first photo.  Toalleviate the congestion, the trolley lines were put underground, making this the first subway in the country.  Today, Tremont Street is still a busy road, but trolleys such as the green and orange one in the 2014 photo are purely for tourism – the real trolleys still run underground through here on the MBTA Green Line.

Tremont Street Mall, Boston

Looking up Tremont Street toward Park Street along Boston Common, around 1899. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

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The scene in 2014:

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Similar to the scenes in this post, these photos show the view looking along Boston Common toward Park Street Church.  Not much has changed on the Common, but this section of Tremont Street is very different from its appearance 115 years ago; high-rise buildings have long since replaced the old 4-5 story commercial buildings of the 19th century.  A few buildings are visible in the distance, though – in particular, Park Street Church, and also the Tremont Building behind it.

Paul Revere House, Boston

The Paul Revere House in Boston, sometime in the 1800s. Photo courtesy of Boston Public Library.

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The house in 2014:

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The first photo was taken sometime before the 1898 photo in this post, from a slightly different angle. It is the oldest building in downtown Boston, having been built around 1680. However, it changed in appearance over the centuries, and it wasn’t until the early 1900s that the house was restored to its original appearance. Today, the house is open for tours, and is a major landmark along the Freedom Trail.

Tremont Street and King’s Chapel, Boston

Looking south on Tremont Street in Boston, toward School Street, around 1906. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

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The scene in 2014:

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These photos were taken from right across the street from the ones in this post, although the “then” photo here was taken nearly 50 years after the one in the other post.  Aside from King’s Chapel, which predates the first photo by about 150 years, a few other buildings survive from the 1906 scene.  The most obvious one is the Tremont Temple, the third building on the left after King’s Chapel.  It was built in 1896 and continues to serve as a Baptist church.