Aquarium station (MBTA)

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Aquarium station facing inbound.JPG
Aquarium station in August 2013
Location183 State Street
Boston, Massachusetts
Coordinates42°21′33″N 71°03′11″W / 42.3593°N 71.0531°W / 42.3593; -71.0531Coordinates: 42°21′33″N 71°03′11″W / 42.3593°N 71.0531°W / 42.3593; -71.0531
Owned byMassachusetts Bay Transportation Authority
Line(s)East Boston Tunnel
Platforms2 side platforms
ConnectionsBus transport MBTA Bus: 4
MBTA Boat: F1, F2 (at Long Wharf)
Disabled accessYes
OpenedAugust 22, 1901 (Atlantic Avenue Elevated)
5 April 5, 1906 (East Boston Tunnel)
Closed1938 (Atlantic Avenue Elevated)
RebuiltApril 1924, 1968, 2000-2004
Previous namesAtlantic Avenue (1906-1967)
State Street (1901-1938)
Passengers (2013)4,776 (daily boardings)[1]
Preceding station MBTA.svg MBTA Following station
toward Bowdoin
Blue Line Maverick
toward Wonderland
Former services
Preceding station Boston Elevated Railway Following station
Rowes Wharf Atlantic Avenue Elevated
Closed 1938
Battery Street

Aquarium station is an underground rapid transit station on the MBTA Blue Line, located under State Street at Atlantic Avenue on the eastern edge of Boston's Financial District near Boston Harbor. The station is named for the nearby New England Aquarium. It is adjacent to Long Wharf, which is used by several MBTA Boat lines.

The station has two side platforms and is accessible. Uniquely on the MBTA system, the station has high vaulted ceilings similar to stations of the Paris Metro and Washington Metro. Aquarium is the deepest station on the Blue Line, as it is located on the portion of the East Boston Tunnel that passes under Boston Harbor. (However, the station is not as deep as Porter on the Red Line in Cambridge.)


Atlantic Avenue station with streetcar in 1906
BERy's Atlantic Avenue Elevated State Street station in 1921

The Atlantic Avenue Elevated opened on August 22, 1901, including a stop at State Street. The East Boston Tunnel opened on December 30, 1904, serving streetcars which ran from Court Street downtown to Maverick portal in East Boston.[2] Atlantic Avenue station opened in the tunnel on April 5, 1906. It was connected with the elevated station by a three-story fare lobby that featured long, narrow wooden escalators - the lower sections of which lasted until 2004 - and a pedestrian bridge over Atlantic Avenue. The two stations had separate fare gates; a paper transfer was required to change lines.[3]

The East Boston Tunnel was converted to heavy rail metro stock over one weekend in April 1924; all stations including Atlantic were given high platforms.[4] The Elevated closed on October 1, 1938, and was torn down during World War II for scrap metal.[2]

Atlantic Avenue station was renamed Aquarium on February 13, 1967, as part of a general rebranding by the newly created MBTA — the then under-construction New England Aquarium, first proposed in 1962 and opened in 1969, would be only some 190 metres (620 ft) distant from the existing station. The subway lines were given colored identifying names, and several other downtown stations were renamed.[2] The station was modernized in 1968 as part of a $9 million systemwide station improvement program.[5]

The station was closed from October 14, 2000 until October 29, 2001 as part of a platform lengthening project to allow six-car trains on the Blue Line. State was temporarily named "State - Aquarium" during the closure, and a shuttle bus (route #650) was put in place between the two stations. A new permanent entrance was placed on State Street west of Atlantic Avenue; the Long Wharf entrance did not reopen until September 22, 2003.[2][6]

MBTA Bus route 6 bus served Aquarium until it was terminated in March 2009 due to low ridership. Route 4 was rerouted to cover part of the discontinued route; it serves Aquarium during rush hour.[2] On January 4, 2018, Aquarium station was flooded with ocean water associated with the surge from the January 2018 North American blizzard, closing "indefinitely" but ultimately reopening the next day.[7]


  1. ^ "Ridership and Service Statistics" (PDF) (14th ed.). Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e Belcher, Jonathan. "Changes to Transit Service in the MBTA district" (PDF). NETransit.
  3. ^ Chasson, George Jr. (1987). Lonto, Arthur J. (ed.). "Boston's Main Line El: The Formative Years 1879-1908". Headlights. Electric Railroader's Association. 49: 16, 57.
  4. ^ Cudahy, Brian J. (1972). Change at Park Street Under. Stephen Greene Press. pp. 31–32. ISBN 0828901732. LCCN 72081531.
  5. ^ Fourth Annual Report (Covering the period October 1, 1967 - October 31, 1968) of the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. 1968. p. 23 – via Internet Archive.
  6. ^ "MBTA Officials Celebrate Completion Of Aquarium Station" (Press release). Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. September 22, 2003. Archived from the original on October 11, 2003.
  7. ^ Glatter, Hayley (January 5, 2018). "The Aquarium Station Is Back Open after Flooding". Boston Magazine.

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