The end of Boston’s dirty, dangerous Orange Line – Jack Lueders-Booth’s best photograph
‘The elevated section of track had become dilapidated and was due for demolition. This woman is worried about gentrification, which could lead to the area losing its homeless shelter’
The Orange Line is part of the public transport system in Boston. It opened in 1901. Most of it was underground but its last four miles, in the south-west of the city, came out in Chinatown and went up to Forest Hills. By the early 1980s, this section of elevated railway had become dilapidated, dirty and dangerous, which inadvertently resulted in the area having affordable housing, the low rents attracting people who couldn’t afford to live in other parts of Boston. Homelessness and poverty became big issues.
The section was scheduled for demolition in 1985. There were concerns that, when the overhead railway came down, gentrification would happen, displacing the people who lived there. I was one of five photographers commissioned by the Urban Arts organisation to capture what we found interesting along this stretch before it was demolished.