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Waiting for the Inbound at Northampton

Posted by Jim Botticelli  July 25, 2013 11:30 AM

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Inbound @ NorthamptonLovett.jpg
Photo by Chris Lovett  (Ed. Yesterday's photo was also by BNN's Chris Lovett)

"It is very strange that the years teach us patience - that the shorter our time, the greater our capacity for waiting..." Elizabeth Taylor in A Wreath of Roses.

Time is finally short here as the inbound train arrives at Northampton Station, the fifth stop on the Orange Line El from Forest Hills running downtown, then out to Oak Grove, Malden. Here we see a mustachioed man standing on the station's platform located near the intersection of Washington St and Mass Av. in the mid 80's.

The station that existed since 1901 was torn down in 1987 allowing unfiltered light to shine on Washington Street for the first time in nearly a century. The Orange line was moved to a massive gash in the cityscape where the Inner Belt extension of Interstate 95 was to have run and much of the prep work had already been done. 

By the time its swan song was sung, Northampton was a hard scrabble area where once beautiful buildings had become dilapidated. Today Washington Street is awash in upscale change, leaving behind a bittersweet legacy that old time Bostonians recall with a mix of nostalgia and distaste. The Orange line, actually named as late as the 1960s, received its moniker from Orange Street, an old name for a portion of Washington Street just south of downtown.

Ciao for now...JB


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About the author

Jim Botticelli, a 1976 Northeastern University graduate, is a retired Boston Public Schools teacher. In college, he drove a cab and learned the city's cow paths. An avid collector of More »

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