Friday, July 28, 2017

Vintage Views of Boston ~ Photo Friday

These photos were taken by my grandfather from the top of the Prudential Center building in Boston, Massachusetts in the 1960s.   The tower was opened in 1964, so it must have been quite a tourist attraction.  The skywalk or observation deck is on the 50th floor and there is a restaurant above it.  It was the tallest building in Boston until the John Hancock Tower (now known as 200 Clarendon Street) opened in 1976.

This view looks north across the Charles River to MIT and Cambridge. I loved looking at this view because the MIT campus has changed so much, especially the west campus, which appears mostly green here.  Vincent's dorm, New House, isn't here at all, nor most of the other big dorms along Memorial Drive.  Back Bay is mostly unchanged except for a few buildings here and there. 

This view looks across the Charles River Basin to Lechmere and the Science Museum.  Most of Lechmere and Kenmore Square are quite developed now, with high rise buildings.  This side of the river (Back Bay and Beacon Hill) look very similar except for the tall buildings that exist now downtown on the other side of Beacon Hill.

I wasn't sure about this view, so I posted it on Facebook.  My Hawaiian ohana cousin Taryn Holt though it might be Castle Square Park, so I looked it up online. According to the South End Historical Society website, "In the mid-1960s, buildings near Herald, Paul, Albion, Village, Emerald, and Middlesex streets were razed. The Castle Square housing complex was then built on the site."  [see this link: ]  By looking at this area on Google maps with the satellite view, Taryn was correct.  You can verify this by siting the Cyclorama, which is visible near the bottom right corner of the razed area. Urban renewal was rampant in 1960s Boston, here in the South End and in the West End. 


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Vintage Views of Boston ~ Photo Friday", Nutfield Genealogy, posted July 28, 2017, ( accessed [access date]).


  1. You can still go to the top of the Pru, and a pretty good restaurant is there.

  2. Nutfield! I haven't heard that name in years. That's Brown St in south Manchester through to Litchfield, if I recall- behind the Manchester Airport? (I live way out in sw Ohio). 18 years ago there was a guy named RJ Norton who was really interested in the Ulster Scots in southern NH. He made several videos, one in particular about the men who ran the boats down the Merrimack to the Middlesex Canal, but he was interested in earlier history as well. Is he still around?

    1. Nutfield was the original land grant given to the Scots Irish in 1719, and it became Londonderry (now Londonderry, Derry, Windham, and parts of Chester and Manchester (Derryfield - near Mammoth Road)). I don't know RJ Norton, and I've lived here 33 years.

  3. You brought back memories of the year I spent in the USA 1965-1966 working as an exchange library trainee at Radcliffe College Library, Cambridge, Mass. I went up the Prudential Tower and took similar photos. I had a great year in New England.