Spring Paving

I have a historical thing for street repaving — probably one of the few in this horribly potholed city to welcome the street being torn up for a glimpse of the layers of brick and cobblestone underneath most of the city’s older streets.

The Centers and Squares blog recently noticed the same thing I had, old trolley tracks visible during the repaving of Brookline Avenue, which runs straight through Cambridge from the Charles River to Central Square. The Cambridge Historical Society was apparently contacted by two people. Just goes to show.

The Brookline Street rails being torn up in her photo were originally laid in the 1880s by the Charles River Railway, one of the many railroad companies formed and dissolved and absorbed in the late nineteenth century competition for commuters. Horses pulled the trolleys on the Brookline Street rails, which eventually lost out, under different ownership, to the Red Line.


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