Boston Public Library

Along the Elevated: Photographs of the Orange Line

In the fall of 1985, four teams of photographers started a project to document the elevated Orange Line and the communities it served before its planned demolition in 1987. The project, conceived by the photographer Linda Swartz, and managed by Urbanarts, Inc. for the MBTA, paired a professional photographer with a student from the photography program at the Hubert H. Humphrey Occupational Resource Center.

During the course of the two year project, the students and their mentors created hundreds of photographs of the elevated, its riders, and their neighborhoods. The result was an historical document of the elevated and the communities it connected as seen and explored by a group of talented photographers from a variety of backgrounds, who approached the project from a variety of aesthetic and conceptual directions. The project achieved both of its major goals: To use photography to focus our attention on the hidden and ignored details of the world that surrounds us and to create a dynamic visual record of a part of Boston that was to change and never be the same.

Photographers who worked on the project: David Akiba, Ziad Aoude, Edgardo Calcano, James Cullers, Lou Jones, John Lueders-Booth, Jeffrey Mooltrey, Melissa Shook, Ricardo Smith, Linda Swartz, Irene Welch, Stacey Woodberry.

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