Washington Street Corridor Coalition records now available

Auto restricted zone potential in the City of Boston report, Boston Redevelopment Authority, October 1975

“Auto restricted zone potential in the City of Boston” report, Boston Redevelopment Authority, October 1975

Guest post by Caroline Littlewood, graduate student in UMass Boston’s History Department. Littlewood processed this collection.

University Archives & Special Collections in the Joseph P. Healey Library at the University of Massachusetts Boston is pleased to announce that the records of the Washington Street Corridor Coalition (WSCC) are now processed and available for research.

The records document the WSCC’s community activism and organizing regarding transportation service and corporate development during the late twentieth century. From its inception, the WSCC sought to protect its members’ interests from both government neglect and unchecked or undesirable development along the Washington Street Corridor. The majority of WSCC activities have focused on the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority’s (MBTA) closure of the elevated Orange Line in 1987 and the subsequent decline in service from Washington Street neighborhoods to downtown Boston. Most recently, the WSCC has argued that the MBTA’s Silver Line extension is a harmful and unfair financial burden to low-income residents and communities of color.

Orange Line replacement flyer, 1986

“Orange Line replacement” flyer, 1986

This collection reflects the University of Massachusetts Boston’s commitment to preserving local history, community activism, and social justice. It contains meeting flyers, agendas, notes, and minutes which illustrate the WSCC’s grassroots organizing activities around transportation service. It includes correspondence between WSCC members, community allies, and transit and government officials, mostly advocating for implementation of a Light Rail Vehicle (LRV) system. It also includes materials relating to other Boston-area transit issues, such as the removal of the A-Watertown Green Line, auto-restricted zoning, the Circumferential Transit Feasibility Study Project, and the Southwest Corridor Project.

The resources within this collection will be of special interest to researchers investigating local grassroots activities around transportation service, corporate development, and community activism, particularly in the Greater Boston area.

Materials in this collection are now available for consultation in the Archives Research Room (Healey Library, 5th floor). View the finding aid for this collection here.

For questions about this collection or to schedule a research appointment, please contact library.archives@umb.edu or 617-287-5469.


University Archives & Special Collections in the Joseph P. Healey Library at UMass Boston collects materials related to the university’s history, as well as materials that reflect the institution’s urban mission and strong support of community service, notably in collections of records of urban planning, social welfare, social action, alternative movements, community organizations, and local history related to neighboring communities.

University Archives & Special Collections welcomes inquiries from individuals, organizations, and businesses interested in donating materials of an archival nature that that fit within our collecting policy. These include manuscripts, documents, organizational archives, collections of photographs, unique publications, and audio and video media. For more information about donating to University Archives & Special Collections, click here or email library.archives@umb.edu.

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