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Massachusetts Turnpike

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1962–present. Natick to Boston.

The modern Massachusetts Turnpike (I-90) continuing from Natick into Boston follows the alignment of the early Boston & Worcester Railroad (1835) through suburban Newton to industrial Allston, passing a number of landmarks. The original Boston & Albany Railroad stonework (1895) was incorporated with the concrete forms of the Massachusetts Turnpike Extension (1962–1964) through Newton, now highlighted by painted bridgework (1995, Stan Edmeister/NEH). Beginning inbound at the Newton Tolls (Exit 15), the Newton Marriott (1968) rises along the Charles River, soon approaching on the left the commuter suburb of Auburndale marked by the brick Tudor Plummer Memorial Library (1927, Smith and Walker) and the yellow brick Taylor Block (c. 1899). Approaching West Newton (Exit 16) two Gothic Revival steeples, at left the First Unitarian Church (1906, Ralph Adams Cram, NR/NRD) and at right the Second Church of Newton (1916, Allen and Collens, NRD). Continuing on the left appear the crenellated Newton Armory (1910, McLaughlin and McCauly) and Trader Joe's (1890), an early trolley car barn. At Newtonville the turnpike passes under the precast-concrete Shaw's Market (1964, Samuel Glasser), with an immediate view to the right of the rebuilt Gothic tower of the Newton Union Methodist Church (1924, NRD) and the handsome brickwork of the Masonic Building (1896, Hartwell and Richardson, NR/NRD). Farther right is a delightful red-roofed Stick Style house (1880, Henry Preston) and at the left is the slate and copper spire of Our Lady Help of Christians (1872, James Murphy, NRD). At Newton Corner (Exit 17) on the immediate right is the brownstone tower of Immanuel Baptist Church (see NW15; 1885–1886, H. H. Richardson, NRD), and in the center, the highrise tower of the Sheraton Newton (1968, Urban Development). Beyond and to the left in Watertown is the noted Gothic Revival Perkins Institute and Massachusetts Asylum for the Blind (WA2; 1910–1911, R. Clipston Sturgis). At the Boston line to the right is the elevated horizontal mass of the WGBH Public Broadcasting Headquarters (2006, Polshek Partnership Architects), with its 30 × 45–foot LED screen digital mural. Behind rises the sleek NB–New Balance Building (2000, Peter Kramer/Add). Farther right is the five-story Thompson and Norris Box Factory (c. 1890–1914) and the Sports Depot Restaurant (1887, Shepley, Rutan and Coolidge) from the original H. H. Richardson plans, with the Allston Block (1890) profiled behind and the landmark Jack Young Co. (1895, Kendall and Stevens) apartment block distinguished in yellow-faced brick and copper trim bay windows. At the Allston Tolls (Exit 18) to the left are the massive Doubletree Suites Hotel (1984, Jung/Brannen Associates) and the arcaded red brick Genzyme Building (1991, Architectural Resources Cambridge).

Writing Credits

Keith N. Morgan


What's Nearby


Keith N. Morgan, "Massachusetts Turnpike", [Natick, 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, 525-525.

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