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Lexington

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Lexington & West Cambridge Railroad, Lexington Depot, Depot Square, Lexington, Middlesex County, MA



See 48 maps of this location


B&W Photos

HB550133

HB550134

HB550135


Data Pages


Photo Caption Pages


Item Title


Location
Depot Square, Lexington, MA

Find maps of Lexington, MA


Created/Published
Documentation compiled after 1968.

Notes
Survey number HAER MA-21
Building/structure dates: 1846 initial construction
Building/structure dates: 1874 subsequent work
Building/structure dates: 1918 subsequent work
Building/structure dates: 1920 subsequent work
Building/structure dates: 1970 subsequent work
Significance: The Lexington & West Cambridge Railroad, incorporated by the legislature in 1845, was built to link Lexington and Arlington (then called West Cambridge) with the new line of the Fitchburg Railroad in North Cambridge. The line was completed in 1846, and the first train to use the line, on August 24th, chanced also to be the first train to enter the Fitchburg's depot on Causeway Street in Boston. But as an independent line without right to haul its own traffic on the main line, it could attract little freight, and the company soon petitioned the Fitchburg to purchase the road outright. This the Fitchburg declined to do. Instead, the Boston & Lowell Railroad, reaching after suburban traffic, discovered in the branch a possible feeder and bought control of the road, building a short strip of track from its line at Somerville Junction to Lake Street in Arlington. Renamed the Middlesex Central Branch, the line was extended to Concord in 1874. The Lexington station, probably built about 1846, is the only known survivor of a railroad station form that in the 1840s and 50s was very common, incorporating beneath the station roof, track space for the engine and cars. Although damaged by fire in 1918, the station retains the original elliptical trainshed opening. Along the outer rail, the roof is supported by a row of eleven boxed columns. In the early 1920s, the Boston architectural firm of Kilham, Hopkins & Greeley gave the building its present Colonial Revival details including cupola, roof balustrade, and colonnade along the front of the station. The interior has recently been renovated for use as a bank.

Subjects
Fires
Banks
Railroad Stations


Related Names
Lexington & West Cambridge Railroad
Depositers Trust Company
Boston & Lowell Railroad
Kilham, Hopkins, & Greeley
Stott, Peter, Photographer
Stott, Peter, Historian


Collection
Historic American Engineering Record (Library of Congress)

Contents
Photograph caption(s): 
1. DETAIL VIEW SHOWING WHERE TRACKS ENTERED THE DEPOT
2. GENERAL EXTERIOR VIEW SHOWING SIDE OF DEPOT WHERE TRAINS ARRIVED
3. GENERAL EXTERIOR VIEW SHOWING SIDE OF DEPOT WHERE HORSES, CARRIAGES, PEDESTRIANS, ETC., ARRIVED


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