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New Book Of Photos Captures 'Dirty Old Boston' Of 1940s To '80s08:29Download

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We have a fun update on someone who appeared on Radio Boston two years ago: Jim Botticelli, the creator of a Facebook page called "Dirty Old Boston," which is a mishmash of old photographs he collects of the Boston/Cambridge area.

Over time, "Dirty Old Boston" developed something of a cult following, and people from all over began to submit photos of their own.

Botticelli says he began the project out of curiosity and for fun, and to capture a slice of Boston history rapidly slipping from memory. Eventually, "Dirty Old Boston" attracted the attention of a local publisher, Union Park Press, which saw the potential for a book.

That's how "Dirty Old Boston: Four Decades of a City in Transition" came to be. It's a book of photographs of another era in this city, from the post-World War II years through 1987.

WBUR's Sacha Pfeiffer speaks with Botticelli about his new book and some of its most striking photos, including double parking in the North End as far back as the 1940s (some bad habits never die!), actual beach-goers at Magazine Beach in Cambridge and plywood panels checker-boarding the newly constructed John Hancock Tower in the 1970s after its windows began to fall out.

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Jim Botticelli, creator of the "Dirty Old Boston" Facebook page and author of "Dirty Old Boston: Four Decades of a City in Transition." He tweets @DJJimmyBee.

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Radio Boston: ‘Dirty Old Boston': Photos From The City’s Past

"We stumbled across a treasure trove of old images recently: black and white photos of The Prudential tower when it was new, the old wooden tug boats that used to dock outside the Museum of Science in the Charles River, even Kenmore Square before the CITGO sign."

Photos

The 1955 razing of the New York streets in the South End. With names like Oswego, Rochester, Troy, Oneida and the sole survivor, Albany, the New York streets were a crowded, diverse and vibrant section of the South End. As the first urban renewal project in Boston, the demolition made way for various civic and commercial enterprises. Displacing more than 800 families from their homes and shuttering businesses, the wholesale leveling of the neighborhood predated the demolition of the West End by several years. 1958. (Courtesy City of Boston)
The 1955 razing of the New York streets in the South End. With names like Oswego, Rochester, Troy, Oneida and the sole survivor, Albany, the New York streets were a crowded, diverse and vibrant section of the South End. As the first urban renewal project in Boston, the demolition made way for various civic and commercial enterprises. Displacing more than 800 families from their homes and shuttering businesses, the wholesale leveling of the neighborhood predated the demolition of the West End by several years. 1958. (Courtesy City of Boston)
Plywood panels on the John Hancock Tower, which began to lose its panes of glass shortly after construction. Back Bay, 1973. (Courtesy National Archives)
Plywood panels on the John Hancock Tower, which began to lose its panes of glass shortly after construction. Back Bay, 1973. (Courtesy National Archives)
Loathed from inception, the Central Artery cut a swath through the city. Called the "Distress Way" and the "World's Largest Parking Lot," this huge gash, now underground, will never be missed. Downtown, 1954. (Courtesy Mass. State Archives)
Loathed from inception, the Central Artery cut a swath through the city. Called the "Distress Way" and the "World's Largest Parking Lot," this huge gash, now underground, will never be missed. Downtown, 1954. (Courtesy Mass. State Archives)

This segment aired on November 12, 2014.

Sacha Pfeiffer Twitter Host, All Things Considered
Sacha Pfeiffer was formerly the host of WBUR's All Things Considered.

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