Man, the MBTA really pulled out all the stops with Jackson Square, at least in terms of artwork. There are so many art installations here, it’s really great. As for the architecture? Well, we’re in the Southwest Corridor, so expect lots o’ brutalism. Here we go.
|Like I was saying…|
The main entrance to the station is on Centre Street. As you can see above, the station is made out of concrete. Lots of concrete. Lots of chipping, ugly concrete. Blech. There is, however, a fair amount of glass, so that’s good. Also, every pillar outside the station and in the busway has a different painting on it. I think that’s really cool, and it was fun to look around at the different ones.
|Part of the busway.|
The station’s busway is split into two sections. The first one has a wider sidewalk on which to wait, but no benches – except for an unsheltered section on the end of the busway. Why put the benches there? I mean, they’re nice benches, in circles around trees, but really? I think sheltered places to sit are more important than sunlight getting to decorative trees.
|And the other section.|
The other part of the busway is simpler, with a narrower sidewalk. It does have sheltered benches, though, which is great. The problem with this one is that you can only get to it on either end. There aren’t any gaps in the middle where you can cross over, which means you have to take a circuitous route from the entrance to get there.
Jackson Square’s mezzanine is very spacious and bright. Lots of natural light gets in from big windows, making the unnatural light look a bit bland to be honest. And architecturally, there’s nothing special about the mezzanine aside from the windows. It has lots of fare machines and gates, so lots of people can come through here at a time.
Past the mezzanine, there’s some sort of store that sells purses. Honestly, I didn’t even notice it when I was there, but I found it in the background of one of my pictures. Well, that’s a nice…amenity, I guess. Heading down the stairs, there’s a bunch of artwork, too. I think my favorite one is three massive heads all looking in different directions. Good stuff.
|The fact that THIS was the best platform picture I could get fills me with dread and misery.|
Like all the other Southwest Corridor stations, Jackson Square has a center platform. The station is technically “underground”, but a bunch of natural light gets in from the mezzanine. Although the architecture here is bland, it’s still somewhat bright inside. The benches are standard for the Southwest Corridor (i.e. ugly, but that can’t be helped), and there are even a few wastebaskets down here! Hooray!
|A train blurring its way into the station.|
Station: Jackson Square
Ridership: For the Southwest Corridor, Jackson Square has reasonably high ridership, but I have to say I was expecting more. On the average weekday, the station gets 5,828 riders. A fair amount of this probably comes from the infamous Heath Street Projects, which are right next door. Also, bus passengers presumably amount to a high portion of the ridership.
Pros: Speaking of buses, there are five of them that serve Jackson Square, making it a bit of a mini-hub. As for the station itself, I love how much art it has, as well as how much natural light it gets.
Cons: Some of the architecture here can be meh. Also, the busway is a bit of a mess, what with the unsheltered benches and the hard-to-get-to second section.
Nearby and Noteworthy: There are a few businesses around, but nothing seems especially interesting.
Final Verdict: 7/10
Ah, but the art calls out to me. No, seriously, I can’t help but like this station. Sure, a lot of its architecture is boring and brutalist, but the windows and artwork enhance it. I love the fact that natural light gets down to the underground platform, which would be really dark otherwise. The station also has a fair amount of buses serving it, and is a decently large hub.
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Woah! This is my 400th post! I didn’t realize I’ve written so much…