Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Hub Holdout

From Dave Brigham:

I think about the backside of America a lot. This doesn't surprise you. I try to snap photos of shuttered buildings as soon as I notice them, because in this strong Greater Boston economy those places get bulldozed and turned into gleaming glass monoliths faster than you can say "gleaming glass monoliths."

Thankfully, some places have been able to not only defy the wrecking ball, but also thrive by ignoring the ways of The New. On a recent subway trip into the Hub of the Universe with my two kids, I had plans to walk by the Mother Church of Christian Science, and perhaps dip our toes in the reflecting pool outside. Construction along Huntington Avenue, however, left us unable to easily access the church, and we found the pool empty.

But then I looked across the street, and pulled out my ulterior ulterior motive.

Looks like the setting for an episode of "Spenser: For Hire" doesn't it? The MidTown Hotel is certainly an anomaly amidst all the high-rise condos and skyscraper hotels in Boston. This place would fit in along Route 1 north of the city, although much of the midcentury charm of that roadway is gone (see this article about the old Hilltop Steak House, and this one about the famous Route 1 orange dinosaur).

Built in 1962, the hotel looks much better on the inside than the outside would leave one to believe. Located near Symphony Hall, the Prudential and Copley malls, Northeastern University, Copley Square and much more, the place shows no signs of fading away. For a nice ode to the MidTown, read Thomas Farragher's column in the Boston Globe from two years ago.

As if all the amenities, attractions and restaurants close at hand weren't enough, you can also get your hair styled.

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