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.
The scene in 2014:
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.