Waiting Station

Title

Waiting Station

Subject

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Description

Arthur Sharp, University of Massachusetts graduate, designed a waiting station which serviced people in transit for over one hundred years. Completed in 1911 as the Massachusetts Agricultural College trolley station and shelter, the one-story structure opened onto North Pleasant Street, where electric tracks ran from Sunderland to Northampton. Trolley service declined then disappeared in the following decades, and the shelter was eventually adopted by the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority as a bus stop. Later accompanied by a modern Plexiglass bus shelter, the waiting station was demolished in May of 2012. The building’s hundred years at UMass tell a story of the university and of the fast-changing modes of transit that have served its students, faculty, and staff.

The first electric trolley through Amherst, Massachusetts was boarded on June 16, 1897. Originally called the Amherst and Sunderland Street Railway, the line was connected to Northampton in 1900 and eventually sold to the Holyoke Street Railway in 1907. The trolley tracks ran down North Pleasant Street, through the university campus. UMass – then, the Massachusetts Agricultural College – graduate Sharp finished his degree in landscape gardening in 1910 and went on to design a building for the campus trolley station. Stylistically, the structure was based in the new American Craftsman style. It was simultaneously influenced by Japanese styles of architecture; the Massachusetts Agricultural College had a sister school in the Imperial College of Architecture, Sapporo, a relationship begun in the 1870s. Also reminiscent of Italianate buildings, the waiting station – of brick and cement, with asphalt shingles – served as a gateway to campus when first built. On its outskirts, the station was a visitor’s first stop at the Massachusetts Agricultural College.

Sharp’s waiting station first appeared on a campus map in 1919. A 1931 map showed the station as well as the tracks themselves, but by 1935 the trolley tracks were no longer included. The last trolley tracks were removed from North Pleasant Street during the 1950s; a 1959 campus map did not list the waiting station, nor indicate its footprint. Nearly one-hundred years after the shelter’s construction, a new academic building was sited for the intersection where the waiting station sat. During the early months of 2012, local preservation groups worked to delay the station’s imminent removal. An appeals process was made mandatory prior to the demolition, but the construction firm responsible for the work did not await approval and demolished the waiting station without proper authorization. The shelter survived a century on a changing campus; first constructed at the edge of the Massachusetts Agricultural College, the waiting station spent its final years at the center of a much-larger University of Massachusetts.

Creator

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Source

UMass Special Collections and University Archives

Publisher

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Date

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Contributor

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Rights

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Relation

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Format

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Language

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Type

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Identifier

RG150-0005670, RG150-0006014, RG150-0006140

Coverage

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Original Format

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Physical Dimensions

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Files

RG150-0005670.png
RG150-0006014.png
RG150-0006140.png
Date Added
August 31, 2012
Collection
North Pleasant Street
Item Type
Still Image
Citation
“Waiting Station,” Lost UMass, accessed July 29, 2017, http://lostumass.omeka.net/items/show/36.