The Prudential building
The Prudential building
March 25, 1957: The tracks removed from the Boston & Albany's Back Bay yards marked the first tangible step in the construction of the multimillion-dollar Prudential Center.
June 12, 1959: Bulldozer operator Don Eisnor stopped what he was doing to watch the recent hatched ducklings take a stroll with their mother. Workmen at the Prudential site discovered the expectant mother a few weeks earlier and made sure she would not be disturbed while she was hatching. The Animal Rescue League decided it would be safer for the family to move to a less hazardous home and the family was relocated to the Fenway's Muddy River area.
Feb. 29, 1960: Pile and caisson drivers conferred in this photo. In the 26,000-square-foot area upon which the 52-story Prudential Tower was built, a total of 144 30-inch diameter steel caissons were driven down to bedrock about 140 feet below street grade. Once firmly on the bedrock, a core of rock 12 to 25 feet deep was drilled out from beneath each caisson. Then a heavy steel H beam was inserted before the caissons were filled with a concrete mix designed to withstand pressures in excess of 4,000 pounds per square inch.
Aug. 25, 1960: Water and the handling of it was a prime concern for the contractors on the Prudential Tower site. Pumps ran 24 hours a day and seven days a week to pump water out of the excavation. The pumps took the water away at the rate of half a million gallons day. After the Massachusetts Legislature deferred action on a tax obligation for the Prudential and construction was halted, officials ordered flooding of the completed foundation work to save the cost of pumping until construction resumed. The water level was allowed to increase until it hit a depth of 25 feet. A 7-foot-high chain link fence was erected around the 9 1/2 acres under water in order to protect the public against any hazard presented by the manmade lake.
Feb. 1, 1963: Daring steel workers hoisted cable from a symbolic white beam which they riveted into position to mark the final stage of the traditional "topping out" of the 52-story Prudential Tower in the Back Bay. The final beam, flying the American flag, weighed seven tons.
May 7, 1963: These steel workers paid strict attention to their task of putting finishing touches on the Prudential Tower. The workmen were perched more than an eighth of a mile in the air as they worked a beam into position. A skyview restaurant was included in the plans for the top of the Back Bay building.
Undated photo: The male audience enjoyed watching the construction activity around the building of the Prudential Tower on their lunch break.
Sept. 30, 1969: The 28-story Prudential office building under construction was viewed from the 28th floor of the Pru Tower. The Massachusetts Turnpike and the Back Bay business area were at left.