Wednesday, August 22, 2012

No Love For The EL

It took over forty years, but they finally got rid of the Forest Hills elevated line. There were multiple efforts to take down the elevated structure in the 1940s. In this case, a city councilor tried to use the war effort to justify his attempt. Personally, it never occurred to me during the 1960s that the El would be taken down. I looked at it as an essential service, like a water main. Of course, I didn't live under the damn thing.

The claim that the El ran parallel to the New York New Haven line was disingenuous. Roxbury and the South End have suffered from the Orange Line move west to the railroad bed, and residents have been demanding a replacement ever since. For Jamaica Plain, on the other hand, it was a great deal.

Daily Boston Globe April 14, 1942

Demolition of 'El' From Forest Hills to Broadway is Urged

Demolition of the Elevated structure from Forest Hills to Broadway, thereby making available hundreds of thousands of tons of steel for the national war effort, was recommended by the Boston City Council at yesterday's session.

City Councilor James M. Langan of Jamaica Plain, who introduced the order, pointed out that the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad runs almost parallel to the Boston Elevated structure from Forest Hills to the Back Bay Station and that the "L" could use the abandoned rails of this railroad, inasmuch as they are of the same gauge.

Pres. Thomas E. Linehan appointed a committee comprising Councilor Langan, Councilor Thomas J. Hannon of Dorchester, and Councilor William F. Hurley of Roxbury to confer with Mayor Tobin and officials of the El relative to the advisability of razing the El structure.

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