The West End Museum’s new photo exhibit, Before the El Came Down: Photographs by John Woolf, will offer a glimpse into the final days of the elevated green line tracks to visitors beginning July 24.

North Station, 2004. Photo credit: John Woolf.

Opened on June 1, 1912, the Causeway Street Elevated Railway was one of the last sections of raised tracks constructed in Boston as part of the nation’s first subway system. By the time it was destroyed in 2004, only a short section of elevated railway at the Lechmere MBTA station remained.

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Before the El Came Down: Photographs by John Woolf features vibrant digital photographs of the El taken on a single night just weeks before its demolition. The photos highlight the architecture of the El and North Station platform, as well as how those structures fit in among other neighborhood features and shops, such as Empire Photo, which has also since closed.

Empire Photo, 2004. Photo credit: John Woolf

The exhibit will officially open on July 24 with a reception from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. The photos will then be on display during regular Museum hours, which are Tuesday – Friday 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.; Saturday 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Admission is free.

8 COMMENTS

  1. Great pictures John these pics takes me back to my toddler and child days growing up in the West End I remember hearing the Green Line go by my window every day, it’s sad that it’s gone. Born in 98

  2. Well my Husband worked on taking down the elevated train tracks I remember that Looking up and seeing the men working really hard I’m the Sun I laugh when I think of Steven Virgilio up there with no shirt on which was of course a no no but he had to get that Sun!!!

  3. I passed under the tracks every weekday during the school year en route to a Cambridge private school, and remember “Pussy Cat Cinema” sign on Causeway Street – had no idea it was for an adult “book store”, I thought she was like Wonder Woman.

  4. It’s great to see this exhibit generating so many comments and memories, and some funny ones, too! We hope you’ll come to the opening reception on the 24th at 6:30PM. It’s free. If you can’t make it then, please come visit us another time to see this and other exhibits. We’re open Tuesday-Friday, 12-5PM; Saturday 11AM-4PM. Museum admission is always free.

  5. brings back good memories the air was off limits for me but I snuck to the Lankie for movies and to Bickfords for pancakes (sorry mom)

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