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South Station Transportation Center

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1899, Shepley, Rutan and Coolidge; 1989, Stull and Lee; redevelopment concept, Skidmore, Owings and Merrill; restoration, Hugh Stubbins and Associates; station restoration, Domenech Hicks and Krockmalnic; 1995 bus terminal, TAC/HNTB. Summer St. at Atlantic Ave.
  • South Station Transportation Center (Peter Vanderwarker or Antonina Smith)

South Station's rehabilitation is cause for celebration. A principal transportation nexus, South Station is the chief interchange for Amtrak, interstate and intercity bus lines, and commuter rails, providing access to the downtown, Central Business District, and the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center (SB10). Conforming to the curve of the street, the building's entrance marks the intersections of Summer Street and Atlantic Avenue at Dewey Square. A three-story Ionic colonnade stands above the triple-arched brick masonry lower level. Emerging from the low-ceiling vestibule, the vast trapezoidal hall that serves as the waiting room and food court comes as a surprise, its ceiling trusses reminiscent of the ironwork of earlier stations. Fine details include the intricately carved polychrome-coffered ceiling of the ticket hall and the glass grid wall overlooking the tracks.

At the southern end of the station, above the rail lines, rises the new Bus Terminal (700 Atlantic Avenue), a four-story structure of gridded concrete and aluminum panels, positioned near the Central Artery, Third Harbor Tunnel, and Massachusetts Turnpike (NT3) interface and providing “airport-quality” facilities for nine private bus lines. The central focus of the terminal is a multi-level rotunda, surrounded by ticket windows and food vendors, from which one enters the segmental-arched waiting room.

Writing Credits

Keith N. Morgan


What's Nearby


Keith N. Morgan, "South Station Transportation Center", [Boston, Massachusetts], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Massachusetts

Buildings of Massachusetts: Metropolitan Boston, Keith N. Morgan, with Richard M. Candee, Naomi Miller, Roger G. Reed, and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2009, 73-74.

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