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Dedicated on December 30, 1898 and opened as the South Central Station on New Year?s day of 1899, the now South Station was one of the biggest and grandest train stations in the United States and the world. To be able to build this magnificent transportation hub, five railroad companies composed of The New Haven Railroad, The Boston and Albany Railroad Company, The New England Railroad Company, The Boston and Providence Railroad Corporation and the Old Colony Railroad Company, united and formed the Boston Terminal Company which spearheaded the development of a union station to address the need of having a combined station than each having its own terminal.
The company acquired a 35-acre vastness at the southern part of the city of Boston adjacent to the Fort Point Channel to be the site of the station, thus the name South Station. To make the station suitable to the place, the City of Boston spent $2 million to reroute streets and utilities and a seawall has to be built along Fort Point Channel in order to hold back the tides.

The South Station?s architectural design was of neo-classical revival style that can be seen on the five-story building that has a curved front fa?ade supported with large Ionic columns finished off with railings. At the center, a pediment sits on the three stories high columns. Very prominent on its front exterior is a huge clock decorated with an imposing eagle statue with an eight-foot wingspan on top. Three double doors received passengers and welcome them to the newly conceived Dewey Square (named after Civil War and Spanish American War Hero George Dewey).

The station?s train shed had 28 platform tracks enfolded by an enormous roof. Inside the station, one can look out onto the Summer Street through the large, arched windows. The 225 by 65 feet main waiting room was adorned with marble mosaic floors and walls designed with polished granite and enameled bricks and plasters. 1200 incandescent lights were disseminated on the coffered ceilings and walls making those shine glowingly. Several retail stores and a number of establishments wheretravelers can grab a quick bite to eat, are found inside a large square connected to the subway on the lower ground.

Amenities inside the station were made available at the time. There was a lunchroom that had 200 stools and counters. Private parties or receptions can be held at the three large dining rooms with a kitchen and additional serving rooms. A women?s waiting room, a shoe cleaning and polishing chair and 45 bathrooms with automatically flushing toilets made the wait at the station enjoyable.

However, rail travel started to decline by the early 1960s and the South Station began to decay. In the 1970s, demolition of at least six tracks was started closing off sections of the u-shaped structure. Auspiciously, a group of concerned citizens were able to process the listing of the South Station on the National Register of Historic Places, which cut short the demolition.
In 1978, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority acquired and took ownership of the South Station and started its restoration. The rehabilitation plan included the restructuring of the head house along with the creation of a spacious concourse, renovation of 11station tracks with high level platforms, as well as the construction of a new bus terminal, which is considered to be ?the best bus facility in the country?.
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