Mac Daniel in the Sunday Globe writes about history being found at the Arlington subway stop on the Green Line something we wrote about 2 months ago
Many riders were excited about the mosaics being found but enjoy them while you can.
Arlington station on the Green Line is undergoing its fourth renovation since its tunnel was first dug in 1913. In the current construction chaos, a piece of the past was recently uncovered. A tip of the hat to Jonathan of Back Bay, who pointed this out via e-mail.
“Sections of paneling on the platform were recently removed,” he wrote, “revealing mosaic tiles that spell out the station name and seem to frame slots for old ads in a couple of places. It looks like workers are just running pipes and plan to cover the whole thing back up. Do you know if that’s the case? It seems a shame to erase a piece of history like that at one of the T’s oldest stations.”
It’s true. Lining the station walls between Berkeley and Arlington streets, the original black and white mosaic tiles have reappeared, harking back to simpler days before CharlieCards and heck, even Charlie on the MTA.
“We had no idea it was back there,” project manager Winifred A. Stopps of the architectural firm Leers Weinzapfel Associates , said of the mosaic.
The tunnel at Arlington was built in 1913, but the station stop was not constructed until 1920. When it debuted, the walls were lined with the tiles, with advertising panels spread throughout the station and beautifully lettered station names. No old ads were found in the now-blank spaces, Stopps said.
Still, “They had even more advertising then than they do now,” she said.
There’s no anti-Warren Harding graffiti, and some of the tiles have been badly damaged by prior renovations.
Despite the find, once the station project is done, the old mosaic tiles will be covered up again, as Jonathan suspected, replaced by some of the enamel-on-porcelain pictures that lined the walls before the project began.
“We’re trying to bring up some of the layers of history in Arlington station,” Stopps said, adding that one of the old mosaic signs near the Arlington Street entrance might be saved.
MIGHT BE SAVED?????????? This should be a no brainer but………
I can remember the mosaic tiles at many stations years ago. They included Harvard, Central, Kendall, Park St Under, Downtown Crossing as Washington – Summer – Winter, South Station Under, Broadway, Andrew, Symphony, Mechanics (now Prudential) and I’m sure there were others. A few have been restored and I would *hope* the same happens to Arlington.