An Abnormal Revelation

While driving recently down Huntington Avenue in Boston, I went to pass the Mass College of Art, which is undergoing some construction. The building under construction is at 621 Huntington Avenue, and as the top frieze says, it used to be the Boston Normal School (and was later Boston State College, until that was absorbed into UMass Boston). The front facade of the building had been removed, and apparently, a fallout shelter sign had been buried underneath and was still hanging.


After a few weeks, I went and spoke with the foreman and asked if I could grab some pictures and as well what they had planned to do with the sign. Surprisingly, he said they planned on reburying it with the new construction. At least if that’s the case, someone another 50-100 years from now will see it again. He entered the construction area and took these pictures.


Although it’s covered in mortar and not in great condition, the capacity symbol is still intact and appears to say 923.

It’s rare to have a sign covered and uncovered during construction, and even more so to have them preserve it by covering it again.

Thanks to the unnamed foreman for obtaining the pictures.

UPDATE: In January 2015, a glass facade was finally put up over the old brickwork. Just prior to it being erected, the foreman was true to his word and the sign remained. It is presumed to have been re-buried, only to be rediscovered another few decades from now. 

© Fallout Five Zero

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