Park Street subway kiosks, Boston Common


Boston subway kiosk

Date: 1905
Architect: Edmund March Wheelwright

A far cry from the plexiglas-paneled hovels of the modern world, Wheelwright's matching, mausoleum-like structures on the northeast corner of the Common mark the entrance and exit to Park Street Station, one of the nation's first subway stations. The kiosks' severe classicality, with their low profile hip roofs, narrow bands of windows and prominent corner pilasters, seems fitting for the important location. Wheelwright chose a more fanciful approach for the kiosks at Adams Square and Scollay Square. Those stations, which were torn down in the 1950s, reflected the more roiling atmosphere of their settings (think sailors on shore leave).

Wheelwright was much more than a designer of subway stations; during his tenure as Boston's city architect, he brought classical sensibility to a range of projects, including Jordan Hall, the "salt and pepper shaker" Longfellow Bridge and the Boston Fire Tower (now a homeless shelter). He also designed the whimsical Harvard Lampoon building in Cambridge just downhill from Harvard Yard.