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I suppose you can tell how long someone has lived in Boston by what they call this building. To me, before I learned about its historic function, it was “The Tower Records Building”. To someone who moved here ten years later, it's “The Virgin Megastore Building”. I have no idea what it is today (and this despite the fact that I drive past it on my way home from work almost every day). Historically, it was the Transit Building, with subway station below grade, a surface streetcar station at ground level, and above, the headquarters of the Boston Elevated Railway. Frank Gehry designed the 1991 renovation including the striking cornice. I'm standing at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Boylston St., about to cross and head down Boylston, so this is actually the back side of the building. Would that the back side of the Gehry building I work in were as attractive. The original architect was Arthur Bowditch, and it was built in 1918.
Copyright 2007, Garrett Wollman. All rights reserved. Photograph taken 2007-04-21.