Copyright (c) 2007, Sandra J. Loosemore. Photos are provided for personal viewing only; no other use is permitted without prior written consent.
This is the Boston University bridge, with the older Grand Junction Railroad
bridge running diagonally underneath it. This photo was taken on the Boston
side, looking upstream.|
Here's a view of the Boston skyline as seen from the bridge.|
Still up on the bridge, here's a view towards Cambridge along the line of the
Grand Junction railway. Back when the railway was constructed in the 1850's,
it was built on fill along the marshy area along the edge of the river --
everything on the right side of the line (in the view) was originally just
The railway line is still in use. It gets a freight train a couple times a day, and is also used by Amtrak and MBTA commuter rail to shuttle equipment between North and South Stations.
This building on the traffic circle at the end of the BU Bridge was
formerly a Ford assembly plant, originally built in 1913, IIRC. It's
been renovated and now holds office space.|
This is a view of Brookline Street, looking back towards the bridge. In
the 1960's, there was a proposal to build a new freeway (the "Inner Belt"
or I-695) right up the line of this street -- it would have completely
demolished this residential neighborhood. The freeway project was
cancelled before it ever got out of the planning stages because of
Brookline Street becomes more industrial as you head towards Central Square.
This new residential loft conversion on the corner of Erie Street
used to be an auto glass repair shop.
The high-rise visible behind it is a senior-citizen housing building.|
Here's another loft conversion. This one's been there for a while and I
don't recall the former use of these buildings.|
Given the overall gentrification of the surrounding neighborhood,
it's probably only a matter of time before the decrepit-looking
Gulesian Building across the street gets renovated as well.|
Heading east a few blocks, this is Fort Washington, a
Revolutionary War-era earthworks that was the site of a gun battery
overlooking the Charles River.|
Now the cannon overlook the railroad line and parts of the MIT campus built on
fill on the other side.
This odd-looking building is an MIT student dormitory, parked out by the
railway line and a lot of vacant lots. Seems like a less-than-ideal spot
to live, but the students are probably too busy studying to notice.|
This is another MIT dormitory, this one for grad students.|
Here's a view up Albany Street, parallel to the railway line on the "land"
side, showing some of the older industrial buildings in this neighborhood.|
This is the Jackson Building. It used to be a Sears shoe factory, but now has
been renovated and houses biotech companies.|
This building used to be the NECCO factory. I remember the smells of different
flavors of candy coming out of this building from when I first moved to
Cambridge in 1990, because it was on my bicycle route to work in those days.
Now NECCO has left town and the building was renovated and is occupied by
Novartis, another biotech company.
This is University Park, a new development. Back when I first moved to
Cambridge, this neighborhood was a total wasteland of vacant lots and
rubble left from demolishing the Simplex Wire & Cable Co. buildings
that used to be
on the site. It's hard to believe that local activists demonstrated
against the new development when it was in the planning stages -- it's
now a meticulously-maintained mixed residential/commercial neighborhood.
The building on the left in this photo holds apartments, while the two
on the right are biotech space. Across the street, not visible in this
photo, there's also a hotel and supermarket.
Here's a shot of the University Park Common. The big wire spool is a souvenir
of Simplex, the site's former owner.
Another shot of the Common. This park won some sort of urban landscaping
award. It seems like I see gardeners out there all the time tending to
The park has some other displays about the history of the neighborhood. This
one is a model of the former Simplex buildings.|
Remember the shoe factory building a few photos up?|
Another one of the historic buildings in the neighborhood is the
Kennedy Biscuit Lofts, a former bakery converted to loft apartments.
Its entrance is decorated with representations of the company's products,
like this one. This is also where the Fig Newton was first made.