IMPLOSION OF THE FOREST HILLS VIADUCT NOV 1983. Two thousand feet of granite blocks were reused at the golf course and valley gates at Franklin Park a project of the Franklin Park Coalition. Credit: Richard Heath
For the second time in 35 years, Forest Hills will see major demolition and reconfiguration for new roads and traffic patterns as the Casey Arborway replaces the Casey Overpass. Here are photos I took during those projects back in the 1980s.
Martha and I lived through the first from 1980 until 1989; when the huge railroad viaduct was blown up in November 1983, the Orange Line was opened in May 2, 1987 and old Forest Hills terminal was razed in 1989.
At that time (from 1975 to 1991) we lived at 319 Forest Hills St. next to the Arborway streetcar yards (to the melody of the screeching of the streetcar wheels making the turn outside our kitchen). The majority of people living in Forest Hills today have no memory of this project which was – and remains – the largest construction project in the history of Jamaica Plain.
Very few living here today were involved in the 12 years of planning for it. The difference from 1982 from 2015 is that we wanted this to happen; we had heated differences over many details but we as a community wanted this transportation project and we so we tolerated the disruption and the mess because we wanted the new depressed transit line and the station and the new parks for which we had argued and lobbied for and talked about for over a decade.
The Casey Overpass project is huge to those of you now living in Forest Hills today but the expectations for a better tomorrow and the toleration for the inconvenience required to reach that tomorrow are so much lower. We also had political leadership in the state legislature, congress and the governors office that is non existent today.
Reaching that new tomorrow will not be as easy for you today.