Shops & Events
South Station is Boston's downtown railroad terminal serving Amtrak and MBTA commuter rail lines to points south and west. There are underground connections to the subway system with platforms on the Red and Silver Lines. South Station is the largest railroad terminal in New England in terms of traffic, and the building itself is a National Historic Place. The main station, or Head House, was completely renovated in the 1980s, which revitalized the building and allowed the management company to lease a variety of specialty shops and offer public exhibits and concerts.
Being a transportation hub, Amtrak's Northeast Corridor, Acela Express, and Lake Shore Limited lines terminate at South Station. South Station Under is a collection of underground passages to the MBTA Red Line stop and also the Silver Line Terminal. The Red Line begins at Braintree or Ashmont in the south suburbs, and Alewife in Cambridge to the north. Boarding the Red Line north to nearby Downtown Crossing or Park Street Stations allows transfer to the Orange or Green Lines, respectively. The Silver Line begins at South Station and travels to Logan Airport or to Roxbury via South Boston, using diesel-electric buses.
South Station opened on January 1, 1899 with great fanfare. The building was reportedly the largest railroad station in the world at that time. On the first day of operation, a Sunday, all trains departed on time. The structure was originally called South Union Station as it was the terminus for three separate railroads—the Boston & Providence, Boston & Albany, and New York, New Haven & Hartford railroads. The three separate predecessor stations were all eventually torn down, hence the term "union" for a combined or consolidated station. The December 31, 1898 Boston Globe describes the facade of the beautiful new South Station building:
"Of the central, curved [facade], 228 feet in length, two stories form a strong base, in which are three great entrance arches, and the upper three stories are treated as a colonnade. The columns are 4-1/2 feet in diameter, and 42 feet high. Above the colonnade the entablature and parapet, broken by the small projecting pediment, carry the facade to a height of 105 feet from the sidewalk. Above all, and at the center, is that necessity to railroad stations, the clock, with a dial 12 feet in diameter. The top of the clock case bears an eagle, with wings partly spread. Across the wings the eagle measures eight feet. Over each of the two piers which mark the entrance is a flagstaff, 60 feet in height."
By the 1960s, South Station was dilapidated and slated for demolition. The building was a haven for homeless people, with abandoned office spaces, storage vaults, and tunnels. The infamous murder of a six-year old boy took place here in 1970. Thankfully, the MBTA purchased the building in 1978, and a multi-million dollar renovation took place from 1984 to 1989. The Head House (main station) and Train Shed (berths) were completely upgraded to modern standards, with much of the historic original main building preserved. Today, there are several eateries and shops located in South Station, as well as public exhibits and concerts in the rejuvenated Grand Concourse.
Au Bon Pain
Auntie Anne's Pretzels
Clarke's Bar & Grill
Surf City Squeeze
Martin's News Shop
No Concerts Scheduled