Tuesday, November 13, 2007
The Casey Overpass
This is a remarkable photograph of the Forest Hills area in 1952. A pedestrian on the sidewalk, and cars in the street. An elevated train leaves Forest Hills station heading north. And to the left, a railroad train can be seen through the arch of the Elevated structure. Over the top of it all, the new automotive traffic overpass is under contstruction. All that's missing for a perfect transportation picture is a streetcar.
Senator (and future Mayor) John F. Collins filed a bill to name the overpass for Monsignor William J. Casey, telling the Rules Committee:
"Monsignor Wiliam J. Casey was born on February 1, 1872, and ordained to the priesthood on December 18, 1896. In 1917, he was appointed by the late Cardinal O'Connell as the first pastor of the new parish in Forest Hills known as St Andrew's. It was he who built the beautiful structure on Walk Hill street.
"In 1936, he was transferred to St Patrick's parish in Roxbury. Eight years later, in April, 1934, he was appointed Permenent Rector of St Thomas parish in Jamaica Plain, where he labored until his death in December, 1949.
"Hence, over the period from 1917 to 1949, 25 years were spent by Monsignor Casey in guiding the spiritual welfare of the people in the Forest Hills - Jamaica Plain district."
When I was growing up in the 1960s, it was just called the Overpass. I think there may have been a sign at South street with the Msgr. Casey designation, or perhaps I saw one at the approach to the overpass near the Arboretum entrance, but it never occurred to me to inquire who Casey was. As with the "Squares" honoring fallen soldiers at intersections here and there, once the sign goes up and the ceremony ends, most people fall back on the simpler name.
Source: Jamaica Plain Citizen