What do these signs mean at the new Government Center T stop?

They're for a bygone train station, and Bostonians can't stop taking photos of them.

The results of a two-year renovation project were officially unveiled to the public when the Government Center T station opened for business on Monday.

Naturally, MBTA riders are thoroughly Instagramming the brand-new building.

Well, it’s finally open again. #mbta #governmentcenterstation #scollaysquare

A photo posted by Tom Griffiths (@flashthegap) on

And with good reason – the new building is undeniably beautiful. Gone are the peeling walls, the dimly-lit interior, and the bunker entrance. They’ve been replaced by a massive glass vestibule and shiny new flooring.

But not all facets of the old underground stop were lost: One particular vestige of the old-school Government Center has caught the eye of many a T rider.

Former Scollay Square station reopens today! #MBTA #twoyearslater #shining

A photo posted by Tb. (@tylr00) on

Government Center Station was once known as Scollay Station, so named after Scollay Square, the bustling area that was bulldozed in the 1960s and replaced with – you guessed it – the modern-day Government Center district.


Original mosaic signage from Scollay is scattered throughout the building, reminding riders that this is not the first time their station has undergone some changes.

Old vs. New #governmentcenter #scollaysquare

A photo posted by @kayarrcee on

Scollay Station was built one year after the MBTA was first constructed in 1897. In 1916, an underground platform was opened beneath the existing stop; that station was known as Scollay Under, which explains the mosaics that currently live in Government Center.

According to The Boston Globe, when the MBTA was deconstructing Government Center in 2014, staffers kept and preserved original mosaic signs they found on the walls with the intention of incorporating them into the station’s new design.


During the demolition, they even discovered a long-hidden, near-pristine mosaic that had been covered by a Blue Line sign for over half a century.

Something old something new!

A photo posted by Manny (@manny_fstop_it) on

The mosaics were conserved, renovated, and put back in the updated Government Center space. So 100-year-old “Scollay” and “Scollay Square” signs are scattered throughout the brand-new structure.

And if you see one, you should certainly Instagram it.

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