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Elevated tracks along MBTA orange line are slated for destruction
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Program:
[Orange line elevated tracks and stations]
Original Airdate: 4/30/1987

Length: 00:03:29
Item Type: newstape - edited story master


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Full Description

1:00:00
Visual: Shot of Dover Station on the elevated tracks of the orange line of the MBTA. Shots of Dover, Northampton, Dudley, and Eggleston Stations on the elevated orange line. Shots of the elevated tracks.

Christopher Lydon reports that the elevated tracks of the orange line run through Roxbury and the South End; that trains will not longer pass through the stations after this evening.

V: Shots of a tunnel leading to one of the orange line stations. Graffiti covers the walls. Shots of the decrepit exteriors of stations along the elevated tracks of the orange line.

Lydon says that the elevated stations were once the "architectural pride" of the city's mass transportation; that the stations were designed by Alexander Wadsworth Longfellow (architect and nephew of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow) for a turn-of-the-century competition.

V: Shots of architectural drawings and plans of the elevated stations. Footage of Margaret Floyd (Tufts University) talking about the modular design of the elevated stations of the orange line. Floyd talks about the ornate ironwork and other details which do not appear in contemporary architecture. Shots of the elevated stations; of the iron railings of a walkway leading to a station. Footage of Byron Rushing (State Representative from Roxbury) saying that he is surprised that historic preservationists have not protested the demolition of the elevated stations. Rushing says that the orange line was the first elevated line in the country to be designed for electric trains.
Shot of a person looking from one of the windows of an elevated station. Shots of an orange line train traveling along the elevated tracks.

Lydon reports that Dudley Square is dominated by the elevated train station.

V: Shots of the elevated tracks in Dudley Square from below. Footage of Rushing saying that the physical structure of the elevated tracks has been an important characteristic of the neighborhood for a long time. Rushing adds that people talk about Dudley Station in unflattering terms. Footage of a white man saying that Dudley station is "unsightly"; that the station is falling apart and is beyond repair. Footage of Rushing saying that there is a place for "funkiness"; that the tracks cannot be put back up once they are torn down. Rushing adds that one can never predict what will happen to the neighborhood when the tracks are taken down. Footage of an African American man saying that Dudley station only needs some renovation and a paint job; of a young African American man saying that he would like the area around Dudley station renovated to resemble Lafayette Place when the tracks are taken down. Footage of a young African American boy saying that the area should be turned into "everything." Shots of Dudley Station. Footage of Rushing saying that the city should pave the road where the tracks once were; that a bike path should be constructed along the route of the tracks. Byron talks about being able to ride from Franklin Park to downtown Boston. Rushing calls the elevated tracks a "fantastic piece of sculpture." Rushing says that the tracks are "the Eiffel Tower on its side." Shots of the train tracks from a moving train; of the tracks from beneath. Rushing talks about how the elevated tracks connect several neighborhoods; that the elevated tracks do not belong to any one community. Rushing speculates that an artist in the future will be commissioned to come up with a way to connect the neighborhoods, while making an artistic statement at the same time. Rushing says that the artist will come up with a design similar to the elevated tracks. Rushing says that he does not know why the city is so eager to dismantle the tracks. Shot of an orange line train moving down the tracks.


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