Part of a revitalization drive for the Back Bay neighborhood, the Prudential building replaced Mechanics Hall and its popular 8,000-person auditorium on Huntington Avenue as well as much of the Boston and
Albany railroad yard. A reviled eyesore for some today, others appreciate that the Pru houses the popular Top of the Hub restaurant and maintains its public observation deck. The John Hancock Tower closed its
observation deck after 9/11. Builders broke ground in July 1962 and opened the doors to the 52-story Prudential tower, with its half-million square feet of office space, in 1965. Upon completion, it was the tallest building in the world outside of New York. Today it isn’t even among the 50 tallest buildings in the country.
In this undated photo, a lunchtime crowd watches construction activity at the Prudential site.
LANE TURNER and LISA TUITE