JP A to Z: X is for eX-JP #AtoZChallenge #JamaicaPlain

X is for eX-JP

X marks the spot, and today’s JP A to Z post marks things that used to be in JP but are now long gone.  I’m sure longtime JP residents can list many things that used to be in JP (please list in the comments!) but I’m just going to focus on a few major ones.

Boston Children’s Museum

I visited Boston for the first time as a child in 1980 and a highlight of that vacation was going to the Boston Children’s Museum at Fort Point Channel.  I’ve been back many times taking my kids.  It’s a terrific museum and I’m sure its current location makes it easy from families all over Boston and out-of-town to get there, but how cool is it that the museum actually got its start in Jamaica Plain?  And how convenient would it be if it were still there?

The Children’s Museum opened in Pinebank Mansion overlooking Jamaica Pond in 1913 (the mansion was demolished in 2007).  In 1936 the museum opened in a new location on Burroughs Street where it remained until moving to Fort Point in 1979.  That location is still there betraying very little of its hands-on museum past.


Green Line Arborway Branch

The Green Line E Branch or Arborway Branch once ran along S. Huntington Street to Centre Street to South Street to Forest Hills Station.  In 1985, service on this line was “temporarily” suspended, but it has not been restored in 31 years despites lawsuits and debates (and the fact the slow, overcrowded 39 bus is not an adequate replacement).  A few years back the tracks on the street were paved over and the trolley shelters at Forest Hills were removed as part of construction for Casey Arborway.

Ironically, this shelter was built in 1987 when the new station opened and was never used by a green line trolley.

There are still signs of the trolley if you know where to look.

One of the many trolley poles still lining South & Centre Streets


The door to the Galway Pub remembers the Arborway Trolley

The Elevated

From 1909 to 1987, elevated rapid transit trains rumbled over Washington Street in Jamaica Plain (roughly parallel to where the Orange Line now runs in the Southwest Corridor) making stops at Egleston Square, Green Street, and Forest Hills. It was a popular route and its existence certainly changed Jamaica Plain making it place where working people could live and commute into the city.  On the downside, it was noisy and blocked out sunlight on Washington Street, so many people were probably relieved when it came down.  Still, it would’ve been kind of cool if it had been renovated and maintained as an elevated walking/biking path akin to the High Line in New York.

A brand-new mural in Egleston Square remembers the Elevated.

Post for “X” in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.

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