Okay, so in my Prudential review (Did I really give that station a 4/10? Gosh, I should retroactively lower that to a -50,000), I mentioned that “it lacks the charm that its sister station, Symphony, has…” Well, I’m pretty sure my eyes had been closed last time I visited Symphony, because this station is ugly. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nowhere near as bad as Prudential in terms of aesthetics, but it’s pretty bad.
|Two out of the four outbound entrances.|
The outbound side has really cute little entrances. They’re these tiny little staircases with little more than concrete, glass, and the station name. They’re all connected to one mezzanine, but since the mezzanines on either side are more or less the same, I’ll cover that later. It’s also worth noting that one of the outbound entrances is literally right outside the door to Symphony Hall. It took me by surprise when I went to see a Boston Pops concert and was right there when I exited the station.
|I like the T symbol hiding in the trees.|
The inbound side gets slightly larger entrances, but there are only two on either side of Mass Ave. They’re both in these little brick plazas, and are mostly glass. The plazas also have small businesses in them, which is nice. In addition, one of the entrances has a “Train arriving” sign outside of it. Does that mean it lights up when a train’s arriving? Because I feel like someone would have to run to be able to make a train from here.
|The mezzanine on the inbound side.|
The entrances lead to these bland passages that have lots of cracking paint and overall dreariness. They lead to the mezzanine, which is small and simple. Again, it’s very bland, and this being an underground Green Line station, it has lots of random pipes. Interestingly, there are more fare gates than fare machines. A nice precaution (?) I guess.
The platform, as you can see, isn’t the best. It’s just so bland and ugly. The ceiling is certainly high up, which is cool, I guess, but there are lots of random pipes of all shapes and sizes. I also found this huge cracking mess along the wall separating the inbound and outbound sides. No free crossovers, by the way. And no elevators, either, so people in wheelchairs will have to use Mass Ave Station instead (which is only a few blocks away, admittedly). Symphony’s saving grace is some historical information along the walls about the Boston Pops and Symphony Hall, but that’s about it.
|A train whizzing in.|
There are also a few bus connections here. Two of them run along Mass Ave, the 1 and the CT1, and I believe there are shelters on both sides. A bit more complicated is the 39 on Huntington Ave, which I don’t necessarily count, to be honest. See, the 39 skips the station by using an underpass that passes below Mass Ave. Since that route runs alongside the whole length of the E, though, I don’t think anyone cares that it misses one stop.
|Look, it’s Charlie playing the bass! That made my day.|
Ridership: Well, it’s the 6th worst MBTA station for ridership, so, um, it doesn’t get that much. There are only 1,711 people per weekday that enter here, most of which are probably just locals. The access to Symphony Hall is convenient, but I’m not sure how many people actually use the train to get there.
Pros: The entrances are cute, and I like the historical information on the platform. Also, Charlie playing the bass in the inbound mezzanine is pretty amazing.
Cons: As for the rest: ewwww. Everything else in this station is really bland and ugly, from the hallways to the mezzanines to the platforms. Oh, and there aren’t any free crossovers and it’s not accessible.
Nearby and Noteworthy: Well, you’ve got Symphony Hall, obviously. This is also the closest station to the Mary Baker Eddy Library and the Christian Science Center.
Final Verdict: 3/10
Is Prudential better than I give it credit for? I mean, at least it’s accessible, and it has free crossovers. But it’s still so, so ugly. Also, so is Symphony. But Symphony lacks the accessibility and the crossovers. I still dislike this station, but for some reason I don’t hate it like I do Prudential. Well, perhaps it’s some sort of psychological thing. Symphony is still terrible regardless.
UPDATE 7/15/17: I think I’m really late on this, but Symphony got a repaint! I have to say, it looks a lot better now.
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