Imagine that: Three trolleys linked into a single train

People boarding a streetcar in old Boston

The folks at the Boston City Archives wonder if you can place this photo. See it larger.

Neighborhoods: 

Topics: 

Ad:

Comments

My guess

By on

Comm Ave at Packards Corner

up
Voting is closed. 2

Kenmore

By on

That is the old Kenmore surface stop before the subway was extended to Blandford and St. Mary's Street.

up
Voting is closed. 5

BEAC

By on

The letters visible on the car = dead giveaway.

up
Voting is closed. 1

Kenmore Square

By on

Looks like Kenmore Square to me. Looking west on Comm. Ave at the current Kenmore bus stop.

up
Voting is closed. 8

+1 For Kenmore

By on

Just above the trolley you can see the top of the building that the Citgo sign is on.

up
Voting is closed. 2

Governors Square

By on

I’d recognize it anywhere. The trolley is where the busway is now.

up
Voting is closed. 2

For The Curious...

By on

According to O.R. Cummings this particular group of Center-Entrance cars {6100-6299} were ordered in July 1918. Due to wartime rations on steel and other materials the specs had to be tweaked slightly. Actual construction did not begin until the spring of 1919. Nearly all components were installed and tested at the builder's factory in Cleveland. Once a car was ready it was shipped to Boston. As soon as final prep and tests were wrapped up cars were assigned to carhouses across the system and put into service. The first car of this batch, #6100, entered service on June 6, 1919 at Amory Street Carhouse in Jamaica Plain. #6298 was the final car to be accepted for passenger service on May 14, 1920. It was assigned to Bennett Carhouse, just down the street from Harvard Square.

6231 entered service on October 17, 1919. It was initially assigned to Reservoir Carhouse. Three-car train operation along the Beacon Street Line began on November 1, 1919. Given the trees and everyone's clothes, the above photo must have been taken no earlier than the spring or summer of 1920. Seems when 6231 was not running on the Beacon Street Line it would be used on the Lake Street-Park Street Line. {From the modern B.C. loop along Comm Ave, thence Chestnut Hill Avenue, Cleveland Circle, Beacon, Washington, Brookline Village, Huntington, Copley Square, Boylston Street, and Public Garden Incline into the subway.}

6231 was retired and scrapped in 1947 along with some other cars of its class. The sleek and modern PCC fleet basically made these cars surplus. Only the very heavy ridership of WWII prevented more Center-Entrance cars from being scrapped wholesale during the early 1940's. The final few cars remained in passenger service -- along with a few slightly older Type Fours -- until 1953. A handful were converted to work cars and held out until at least 1960. It is possible a few remained in work service long enough to make the first official MBTA roster in 1964.

up
Voting is closed. 13

Shameless plug...

By on

...two of these cars (6131 and 6270) are in the restoration pipeline in Maine at Seashore Trolley Museum.

Info on the cars in the collection. Worth noting that both cars were/are in pretty rough condition, with 6131 requiring being stripped down to the frame to have considerable structural repair work done. It'll be a long-term project, but the goal is to have both up and running again at some point.

up
Voting is closed. 3

Buildings

By on

A key to identifying this is the flatiron building at left, behind the tree. we're clearly looking west, not east, because of the angle of the sun. The visible building doesn't match the Hotel Buckminster, which we know was there in 1919 due to the Chicago Black Sox scandal. Therefore the building must either be at the point of Beacon and Commonwealth (where a Citizens Bank branch is now), or at the point of Commonwealth and Brighton Ave. (where a real estate office is now). The former would be Kenmore, the latter Packard's Corner. In each case the older flatiron buildings have been replaced with shorter modern ones.

The tops of the buildings on the right don't match any of the current buildings at either site. But some buildings on the north side of the Avenue have been replaced, again, at both sites.

The signs for Peerless and Firestone Tires aren't a clue either since that entire section of Commonwealth was Automobile Row.

The BEAC... sign does imply Kenmore, or Governor Square as it was called then.

up
Voting is closed. 2

The Answer

By on

Thanks for playing, folks! Those of you who guessed Kenmore Square are correct. The photo was taken in 1921.

up
Voting is closed. 3