"Sweet Auburndale! Loveliest station on the main".
- From a poem published in the Boston Herald in 1962 (here is the full text).
"Best American example of the combination of architecture and
- Garden and Forest Magazine, spring 1889.
"It was there that the movement for beautiful stations had its
- "The Railway Beautiful" by Sylvester Baxter, The Century Magazine, Apr.1908 (here is the full text).
Originally called Pigeonville,
· By 1880, upper-class neighborhoods developed in Auburndale and elsewhere along Boston & Albany Railroad's main line as a result of the commuter rail service. In 1881, the B&A Railroad began the construction of stations to serve the commuters; Auburndale Station was the first one. A prominent resident of Auburndale convinced the B&A vice president James A. Rumrill that the station and its surroundings "be given an artistic character commensurate with the standing of the suburb as a cultivated community" (read more here). Rumrill then commissioned two Harvard friends for this job -- Henry Hobson Richardson, the leading architect of his day (most famous for the Trinity Church in Copley Square), and Frederick Law Olmsted, the great landscape-architect (most famous for the Central Park in New York City and the Emerald Necklace in Boston).
The cooperation of Richardson and Olmsted (read
more about the history of their collaboration here and here) produced delightful
results. Auburndale station was later declared as the "best American
example of the combination of architecture and landscape architecture"
(Garden and Forest Magazine, spring 1889). The two artists were then
commissioned to construct stations for the entire line, including in Allston,
Most of these twelve stations, including
Auburndale, were torn down when the Massachusetts Turnpike was extended through
railroad depot... is not your average small town railroad station. Built in 1911 by the Orchard Park Buffalo, Rochester PittsburghRailway, it was uncommonly substantial thanks to the railways president, Harry Yates, who lived in the . The depot is an exact replica of a stone H.H. Richardson depot in villageof Orchard Park ... It is uncommon for a village this size to have a depot of this stature." Auburndale, Massachusetts
The MBTA commuter rail has a stop at Auburndale Station. This stop is marked by no more than a concrete platform located along the tracks, between the bridges of Lexington Street and Woodland Road (see map below). It is squeezed between the tracks and the highway, accessible only by tall stairs leading from either of these bridges.
Just imagine that on the north side of
"The architect held that rural way-stations... should avoid ostentation; that their design should primarily represent their purpose, which was that of shelters, made comfortable and pleasant for passengers waiting for their trains... These stations have a quiet picturesqueness, an ever-satisfying restfulness"
"Wherever possible, the station [grounds are] laid out with pleasantly modulated surfaces of turf, ornamented with diversified shrubbery disposed in masses and clumps to give the most pleasing impressions. Paths and driveways... provide convenient approaches. The shrubbery is selected with a view to agreeable effects... all through the [year]. Such shrubberies are, moreover, of great service in permanently screening the unsightly objects that often abound in the neighborhood of a railway."
We thank the following organization for their help with our research for this site: