Fifty years ago, Bob spent a year in Andover; forty years ago, our family spent two years in Cambridge; thirty years ago our sons spent years in Andover; twenty years ago one son spent two Our work was about to begin years working in Cambridge and living in Brighton. This is not uncommon: Eastern Massachusetts has a reputation for education and culture. Many people have spent a few years near Boston but no longer live there. We took advantage of a sunny day to photograph some remembered locations.
News stand, Harvard Square A tourist wishing to drive Southeast along Massachusetts Avenue from Arlington to Boston is certain to be frustrated. In the summer there will be some ongoing road work. Smack in the middle sits Harvard Square, owned by the University, filled with a wide variety of businesses that can afford the high rents, and populated with an odd mixture of students, faculty, families, tradespeople, and tourists. MIT Building 10 Outdoor cafes are attractive, newsstands and bookstores have plenty to read, and young people are proud to bask in the ambience. Sometime in the last forty years the two-way traffic was split into two widely separated one-way paths. But the interior of Harvard Yard seems not to have changed at all in that time. The red brick buildings appear to be in good shape, and bicycles are still a preferred means of locomotion.
Simmons Hall, M.I.T. Our primary memory of MIT was the enormous pillared U-shaped stone classroom building next to the Charles River. We had wandered off the track and came upon a ten story building, which we later discovered was an MIT dorm, Simmons Hall, winner of the 2004 Harleston Parker Medal of the Boston Society of Architects. It is supposed to reflect light from indoors after dark, but we were there in the early morning when The Stata Center it seemed to glisten. The graffiti-covered building next door made us think Simmons Hall was a housing project at first.
The most unusual building is the Gates Center, or the Stata Center (in honor of the major donors, yes, that Bill Gates) or Building 32. Kendall Square It houses computer labs and classrooms, and was designed by Frank Gehry
Kendall Square has more traditional looking but equally impressive buildings. Twenty years ago it was a center of the nascent Cambridge computer software industry; today it is better known for biotech companies.
Brighton Police Station Brighton remains a working-class Boston neighborhood, perhaps a little more upscale than when we last visited. Noticing a black and white parked next to us labelled Prisoner Transport, we photographed the ornate police station, right across the street from the hospital where our grandson was born.
Dorchester is a Boston neighborhood that was once considered disreputable but Home near Savin Park. has now risen to prominence because of its wealth of large wooden Queen Anne style homes, brightly painted, with porches and turrets and carpenter Gothic trimming. We visited the Savin Hill neighborhood, which is located close to the University of Massachusetts at Boston, the Kennedy Library, the Massachusetts Archives, and boat harbors. Savin Hill Park, with its granite outcroppings surrounded by steep forested slopes, offers a beautiful view to the East.
Our final stop on memory lane was Cochran Chapel, Andover Phillips Academy, Andover, filled with dozens of examples of Federal brick architecture, such as the high-steepled Cochran chapel. The tone of Andover has changed over the decades, no doubt due to the possibilities afforded by its sizeable endowment. 287 of the 661 summer session students were from foreign countries; an additional 104 were enrolled in a program to teach math and science to economically disadvantaged urban students. A special series of lectures honors W. E. B. DuBois. Andover's Science Center, new in 2004, was designed to minimize its environmental impact. As we walked through the oldest and newest classroom buildings, we heard the voices of teachers and students on in Saturday classes. That Lawton's Hot Dog Stand. hasn't changed.
All of this architecture and nostalgia plus the coming Fourth of July made us hungry for some All-American food, so we ended our tour at Lawton's Hot Dogs in Lawrence. This is a no-nonsense hot dog kitchen. Customers enter at one end, place their orders, watch the food being prepared, and then leave through the other door with foot long hot dogs with the works - mustard, relish and grilled chopped onions - in a cardboard box and french fries in a soon-to-be-greasy paper sack. A couple of benches along the Lawrence canal provide seating for diners.