Kenmore is a light rail station on the MBTA Green Line, located under Kenmore Square in the Fenway/Kenmore neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts. The station opened on October 23, 1932 as a one-station extension of the Boylston Street Subway to relieve congestion in the square. Kenmore is the primary station for passengers wishing to visit Fenway Park, located just one block away.
An inbound train at Kenmore station in July 2019
|Location||500 Commonwealth Avenue|
|Owned by||Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority|
|Line(s)||Boylston Street Subway|
|Platforms||2 island platforms|
|Connections||MBTA Bus: 8, 19, 57, 57A, 60, 65, 193|
|Bicycle facilities||8 spaces|
|Opened||October 23, 1932|
|Passengers (2011)||9,053 (weekday average boardings)|
The station opened on October 23, 1932, replacing the former Kenmore Incline, whose portal archway can still be seen east of Kenmore Square. The Commonwealth Avenue and Beacon Street services–now the B and C branches, respectively–were routed through the station from its opening day.
The Commonwealth Avenue line was planned to be eventually converted to high-platform metro stock (like the other subway lines), and was to move into a tunnel under Commonwealth Avenue, while the Beacon Street line was to use the a short turn loop rather than continuing into the Boylston Street Subway. Streetcar passengers would make a cross-platform transfer to subway trains, similar to the then-recently-opened Ashmont station. The inner track space for the Commonwealth Avenue line was built for high-platform trains; the low-platform streetcar tracks were placed on a wooden structure pending tunnel construction. Because of the hollow space resonating beneath, movement of trains on the inner tracks was accompanied by loud rumbling noises. Over the years, it became clear that the Commonwealth Avenue line was unlikely to be converted to heavy rail service. During a station shutdown for renovations, the trench cavity was filled with dirt and concrete, considerably reducing low-frequency rumble in the station.
Until its shutdown in 1969, the Green Line "A" Branch to Watertown Square shared the B branch tracks, running along Commonwealth Avenue to Packard's Corner, where it branched off onto Brighton Avenue. Service on the Highland Branch (now the "D" Branch) began on July 4, 1959. The station was modernized in 1970.
The station was closed for two months in 1996, after the Muddy River overflowed its banks, completely submerging the platform and some of the mezzanine. During the closure, substitute service was provided by commuter rail trains between Riverside and South Station. A similar flood previously occurred on October 6, 1962, requiring closure of the station for five days. In 2019, the MBTA installed steel doors at the Fenway portal to prevent future flooding.
The MBTA began its Light Rail Accessibility Program in 1996.:30 Design for renovations to make Kenmore accessible began in May 1996, with construction then expected to last from 2002 to 2004.:14 Preliminary designs for a conical glass-covered busway shelter to replace the old rectangular shelter were released in 2001. Separately, the south entrance to the station was moved inside the Boston University-funded Hotel Commonwealth during its 2002-03 construction. A $22.7 million construction contract was ultimately issued on November 10, 2004, with construction starting in January 2005.:9 Temporary bus stops on Beacon Street were used during construction.
Work included construction of the busway shelter, raising the platforms, and addition of three elevators and three escalators.:31 The project also involved streetscape improvements with trees and brick sidewalks, intended to make Kenmore Square resemble Beacon Hill and the Back Bay as a break from its rough reputation.
The work was originally to be completed in early 2007, but delays mounted. A lawsuit settled by the MBTA in 2006 required changes to how accessibility renovations were designed. Previously undocumented utilities delayed excavation, and keeping the station open during construction presented difficulties. Two sets of stairs had to be kept open during the baseball season, which was prolonged when the Red Sox went to the playoffs in 2005, 2006, 2008, and 2009.:10 The metal frame of the shelter was erected in 2006, but the fasteners for the glass had to be redesigned, delaying progress by several months. By November 2007, the project was projected to be completed in late 2008 - almost two years late - with the cost increased to $32 million.
The station ultimately became accessible in January 2010.:30 The total cost was $50.6 million; the original base contract had increased from $22.7 million to $40.7 million, almost entirely because of change orders for which the MBTA was at fault.:8, 30 Art panels featuring Red Sox players on station signs were unveiled at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on April 22, 2010.
|Mezzanine||Concourse||Fare control, crossover between platforms|
|Outbound||← Green Line – "C" Branch toward Cleveland Circle (St. Marys Street) |
← Green Line – "D" Branch toward Riverside (Fenway)
|Outbound||← Green Line – "B" Branch toward Boston College (Blandford Street)|
|Inbound||Green Line toward Park Street (Hynes Convention Center) →|
|Inbound||Green Line toward North Station or Government Center (Hynes Convention Center) →|
Kenmore station has four tracks serving two island platforms; the northern platform serves outbound passengers on all lines, while the other island platform serves all inbound trains. The B Branch uses the inner tracks, while the C and D branches use the outer tracks. West of the station, the B Branch crosses the C/D branches at a flying junction. The C and D branches split at a flat junction (Beacon Junction) further to the southwest. The Kenmore Loop connects the outer tracks, allowing inbound C and D trains to reverse direction without entering the main subway.
The fare mezzanine is located over the middle of the platforms, with stairs and escalators from the platforms. Passageways lead to the exits on the north and side south sides of Kenmore Square. An escalator and stairs lead to the busway, which is in the middle of the square. One elevator connects the south sidewalk to the fare mezzanine level, another connects the fare lobby to the outbound platform, and a third connects the busway to the inbound platform via the fare lobby.
As the last station in the subway before it splits into surface lines, Kenmore is a terminal for several MBTA Bus routes:
- 8: Harbor Point/UMass - Kenmore
- 19: Fields Corner - Kenmore or Ruggles
- 57: Watertown Yard - Kenmore
- 57A: Oak Square - Kenmore
- 60: Chestnut Hill - Kenmore
- 65: Brighton - Kenmore
The station is also served by the single early-morning route 193 round trip. During track work and service disruptions on the three branch lines, substitute bus service is often provided from Kenmore.
- Belcher, Jonathan. "Changes to Transit Service in the MBTA district" (PDF). NETransit.
- "Ridership and Service Statistics" (PDF) (14th ed.). Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. 2014.
- Cudahy, Brian J. (1972). Change at Park Street Under; the story of Boston's subways. Brattleboro, Vt.: S. Greene Press. ISBN 978-0-8289-0173-4.
- A Chronicle of the Boston Transit System. Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. 1981. p. 8 – via Internet Archive.
- Julie Masis (26 August 2007). "River's revival is more than a pipe dream". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 29 August 2007.
- Scott Moore; George Chiasson; Jonathan Belcher (15 November 1995). "The Green Line Flood of 1996". NETransit. Archived from the original on 25 July 2008. Retrieved 29 August 2007.
- Moskowitz, Eric (18 November 2012). "Starts and Stops: MBTA receives first of long-delayed rail cars". Boston Globe. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
- "Green Line D Bus Shuttles, January - March 2019". Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. January 9, 2019. Archived from the original on January 14, 2019.
- Official Audit Report – Issued June 16, 2014: Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, For the period January 1, 2005 through December 31, 2012 (PDF) (Report). Auditor of the Commonwealth. June 16, 2014.
- deLuzuriaga, Tania (November 24, 2007). "Problems set back Kenmore makeover". Boston Globe.
- Kennedy, Patrick L.; Keefe, David (January 24, 2013). "Tracing the Changing Face of Kenmore Square". BU Today.
- "Construction To Begin At Kenmore Square Station" (Press release). Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. March 17, 2005.
- "Transit Updates". Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. May 30, 2005. Archived from the original on May 31, 2005.
- Abel, David (April 5, 2009). "Next stop: All aboard". Boston Globe.
- "Rapid Transit/Key Bus Routes Map v.6" (PDF). Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. January 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 31, 2010.
- "MBTA Kenmore Station, April 22, 2010". Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. April 22, 2010 – via Flickr.
- Moskowitz, Eric (April 25, 2010). "Kenmore station upgrades done, finally". Boston Globe. p. B2 – via Newspapers.com.