Scollay Square signs to remain after Government Center overhaul

Workers found tile mosaics while renovating the Government Center MBTA station.

Glimpses of history will be visible when the Government Center Station reconstruction project is over — two signs embedded in tile and a section of the ceiling from the days the station was once known as Scollay Square Station.

Scollay Square, named after William Scollay, a prominent local developer and militia officer in the Revolutionary War era, was built in August 1898.

After the opening of the first subway stations in the country on Sept. 1, 1897, Boylston and Park Street stations, extensions created Scollay Square, Adams Square, and Haymarket stations.


In October 1963, Scollay Square Station was renamed Government Center to reflect the urban renewal changes in the area, including the construction of the new Boston City Hall and City Hall Plaza.

Get Metro Headlines in your inbox:
The 10 top local news stories from metro Boston and around New England delivered daily.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

The station, which connects the Blue and Green lines, was modified to accept a straightened northbound subway tunnel connecting it directly to the Green Line’s Haymarket Station.

The station began undergoing a facelift on March 22, 2014. It is slated to reopen next spring.

Last year, construction workers found two “Scollay Under” tile mosaic signs, one behind a 1960s-era sign, the other behind a wall of concrete blocks.

Workers also discovered arched ceilings from the station.


The ceilings “will remain visible when the project is complete, along the westbound track area,” said Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority spokesman Joe Pesaturo.

The Globe reported in 1962 that “7,000 people enter Scollay Square station turnstyles each weekday. It’s been predicted this figure will triple.”

As of 2014, the number is 11,000 people daily, Pesturo said.

Rebecca Fiore can be reached at