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The Prudential building

Sept. 30, 1969: The 28-story Prudential office building under construction is viewed from the 28th floor of the Pru Tower. The Massachusetts Turnpike and the Back Bay business area are at left.

Ed Fitzgerald, Globe Staff

Sept. 30, 1969: The 28-story Prudential office building under construction is viewed from the 28th floor of the Pru Tower. The Massachusetts Turnpike and the Back Bay business area are at left.

Part of a revitalization drive for Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood, the Prudential building replaced the 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, others appreciate that the building houses the popular Top of the Hub restaurant and maintains its public observation deck. The Hancock Tower closed its observation deck after 9/11. Builders broke ground in July 1962, and opened the doors to the 52-story tower with a 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. - Lane Turner and Lisa Tuite

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