There’s nothing new under the sun. And in Boston and the North End, it’s parking.

Just as there’s neighborhood opposition today to plans for a glass tower above the Dock Square parking garage, a tower that would shutter views of Custom House Tower, there was neighborhood opposition in 1954 to allowing parking on the roof of the Brink’s Garage, on the corner of Commercial and Prince Streets.

At one neighborhood meeting, the owners generously said they’d give North Enders a big discount, only $5 a week. One gentleman shouted, “Five bucks a week? Hell, we slip Frankie-the-Cop five bucks at Christmas and he let’s us park anywhere.”

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The Italian News ran the editorial piece below on January 15, 1954. Yes, it was up to the Mayor then, just as Dock Square and the cockamamie Ferris Wheel scheme and other infrastructure-boggling development today are up to the Mayor. As anyone who has looked at the Brink’s Garage roof in the past 64 years will know, it is clear who Mayor Hynes was with – it wasn’t North Enders. He allowed cars to park on the roof.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. …an addition that would provide 175+ new homes in one of the most transit-accessible parts of the region and, yes, block views from some angles of the Marriott Vacation Club Pulse…

    *Fixed it

  2. I agree that Mayor Hynes should not have allowed cars to park on top of the Brink’s garage. I don’t agree that allowing the Dock Square Garage to be developed will “shutter views of the Custom House Tower.” One view will be obstructed, but it is a view that is already tainted by the Dock Square Garage which already exists.

    Either argue to have the garage torn down or argue that it needs to be developed–any other argument reeks of an ulterior motive that is not beneficial for the neighborhood as a whole but rather for one’s individual benefit.

    • Like with most other major project proposals carried forward by the BRA, the public doesn’t get to argue (participate in a process) to have the garage torn down and doesn’t get to argue (participate in a real planning process) that the garage be redeveloped. Instead, once again we get to argue only against a developer’s plan (160 feet high) that is noncompliant with zoning and even noncompliant with recent BRA development guidelines (Greenway District Guidelines – 120 feet high). Then there’s the impacts to the historic character of Quincy Market, Blackstone Block and the North End. If you can bring about a process by which we can meaningfully argue to have the garage torn down or a process by which we can participate in a real planning process for that area, I’m in.

      • Excellent comment, David.
        The city and it’s newly renamed planning agency don’t value the North End as an historic tenement district. They pay lip service to neighborhood input and go through the charade of establishing neighborhood advisory councils while the real power is in the mayors office.
        The North End is being surrounded and suffocated by anonymous mid rise buildings separating it once again from the rest of the city.

  3. My father used to park his car up the “ garage”. .. I remember he only paid like 20 bucks a month,,then they went up,, when they were up 5o 35 dollars my father was angry,,I’m not parking up the roof any more he said,, that lasted a month,,every time him and my mother go shopping or visit relatives out of town finding a parking spot after was brutal and that was the early 70s ,, well he started parking his car again,, by the time my parents were forced out of the north end the parking was up higher,,I have no idea how much it is to park monthly now,, but it was a blessing for my father and many others,,

    • Last time I checked it was north of $320 a month. I haven’t used the place in a while.. I was on the roof for a while. Of course, had to clean the car and share with Bruins game parking. I moved under the hood and used to get lots of debris. However, it’s hard to believe there was a time when the North End wasn’t welcome to additional space. Of course, in those days my old man’s biggest complaint was me leaving my trike at the bottom of the steps.

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