Second ‘Scollay Under’ sign found at Government Center

The mosaic was found encased behind a wall of concrete blocks by construction crews.
The mosaic was found encased behind a wall of concrete blocks by construction crews.(MBTA)

The surprises keep coming inside Government Center Station.

Just a month after construction crews discovered a hidden “Scollay Under” tile mosaic — a feature that dates back to the creation of the train platform in 1916 — the MBTA announced that workers have disinterred yet another Scollay Under mosaic, this one encased behind a wall of concrete blocks.

The new mosaic, discovered two weeks ago, is near the inbound end of the platform on the opposite side of the stairs from the sign revealed last month, MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo said.

Government Center closed in March for a two-year renovation. Since then, crews have been tearing down parts of the Blue Line platform to install new escalators and elevators.


Demolition work began on the station’s boxy entrance this week, Pesaturo said. By Friday, the entire above-ground structure will be gone, to be replaced by a 40-foot glass entryway.

Both recently discovered Scollay Under signs feature white and burgundy tiles. The sign that was found last month had been hidden behind a 1960s-era sign.

At the time of that discovery, Brian Howland, resident engineer for the MBTA, said he was not surprised that such historic treasures were concealed a half-century ago.

“I’m no architectural historian, but I would say that back then in the ’60s, there was not a lot of thought into covering up things that were historic,” he said. “There was not as much of a sense of appreciation for that kind of stuff as there is now.”

Martine Powers can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @martinepowers.