Boston Terminal Company construction views: South Station, Boston, Mass.

Collection Type

  • Photography



Location Note

photo albums # 177,178A



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Bound in hard cover, stamped on the front "John C. Sanborn" though inscribed inside "R.G. Baker". Consists entirely of cyanotype (blue print) views of the building of South Station. A title page is inscribed: "The Boston Terminal Company Construction Views, Southern Station, Boston," suggesting it to have been an official presentation volume, rather than a casual compilation of views. Plates are numbered, with a total of 304. Dates are given on the plates, beginning with August, 1896, terminating with 1900. First plate shows pre-existing freight yards followed by view of original staiton with stick-style gable, views of surrounding streets and general area are also included. Actual construction views begin wtih Feb 1897. These tend to be panoramic in nature, with photographic sequences spaced--typically--at weekly internvals, with photographer generally positoned at the same vantage point. Atlantic Avenue is prominently documented, as is Federal St., though detailed views of individual buildings are relatively rare. Scenes following a heavy snow storm are documented in plates 97-108. Construction views also document various types of storage, heavy equipment, and carting systems. While workers are shown, they are often too distant to be useful for interpreting labor routines or relationships. However, when shown, they usually are at work:, rather than posed, as is the case in other public work documents of this type. Of some interest is a close-up view, plate 216, of the model of the station clock. Plates 224-235 are diagrams, showing track layout, fill, etc. 239 beings a series that documents Kneeland St. station in considerable detail and from several vantage points. 263 are copies of photos taken in 1897 of office space, located at 180 Summer St. showing drafting team, and setting. New Kneeland St. station appears in plate 270, together with Park Square station in 271. 273 shows first Boston and Albany train to enter station, followed by views of rolling lift bridge ( Old Colony line). 284-5 are panoramas of the Midway, followed (with interruptions) by views of train shed interior. Concludes with views of train boards, announcing routes and various diagrams.


Descriptive Terms

subway stations
railroad stations
public transit
construction sites
photograph albums
cyanotypes (photographic prints)

Additional Identification Number

album number 178A

Physical Description

1 of 2 photograph albums; 12 1/4 x 8 16 inches

Collection Code


Collection Name

Photograph albums collection

Date of Acquisition

April 1990

Reference Code


Acquisition Type

Library & Archives Purchase


Boston (Suffolk county, Massachusetts)

Record Details


Boston Terminal Company (Publisher)

Material Type

photograph albums
cyanotypes (photographic prints)

Other People

Sanborn, John C.
Baker , R. G.

Other Organizations

Boston and Albany Railroad Co.


Architectural photography
Atlantic Avenue (Boston, Mass.)
Federal Street (Boston, Mass.)

Descriptive Terms

Boston Terminal Company
South Station, Boston, Mass
Kneeland St Station, Boston, Mass

Accruals Note

See also related Collection of photographs compiled by The Boston and Albany Railroad, and recording progress of many construction projects, including South Station and Kneeland St Station. There may be overlap between these albums and the Boston and Albany collection. Boston and Albany Collection is separately filed in Sction B of archives.

Description Level


Location Note

photo albums # 177,178A