Monday, August 10, 2009

A Look at "Don Bosco Tech" in Boston

A Look at "Don Bosco Tech" in Boston

During my visit to Boston during the last weekend of July (blogged below), we stayed at the corner of Tremont and Boylston Streets (across from the Common). It was just a short walk of about 3 blocks straight down Tremont to come to the buildings that housed Don Bosco Tech from 1955 to 1998.

As you approach the buildings on Tremont (photo, right), they look the same as they used to--except for the big hotel sign in the upper right, and the YMCA sign at the lower right.

In the parking lot--not much change there--the building looks pretty much the same too, except of course there's no "Don Bosco Technical High School" sign.

But on closer inspection, you notice something of the building's history. It was a public school before the Salesians bought it in 1954, after the public school had closed. In this close-up (left) you can read "City of Boston Girls Unit Continuation School." Sure enuf, if you go back around to the Tremont St. side (right), you see the boys' side of the school. I suppose one can find out something of the history of that school with a Google search. According to an unoffical history of the SDBs in the USA (Service for the Young, 1973), it was the Brandeis Vocational School at the time the SDBs acquired the building.

The most noticeable change in the DBT exterior is the facade on Washington St., where the DoubleTree Hotel entrance is (right).
A little further down Washington St., "YMCA" shines in neon (below).

And when you turn the corner onto Oak St., there's the entrance to the Wang YMCA of Chinatown (right), where there used to be a school entrance to the gymnasium and swimming pool complex. Good site for the Y, obviously.

One other notable change: the electronics building across Washington St. is long gone, replaced by a section of Tufts University hospital (below).


Fr Mike said...

Received by e-mail, Jan. 29, 2014, from Jerry Harrington, and slightly edited:

I am a Boston grad and was a military professional. It was a travesty that Don Bosco was allowed to die in Boston; it was a fantastic experience for me and thousands. My teachers were many and they included Fathers Eugene Palumbo, Bob Savage, Gavino [Villademoros], Phillip [Pascucci], Brother Joe Botto (printing), Brother Peter [Ferraris](also printing). They by now have been welcomed into the eternal rewards they deserved…. I learned much that was not from books while there.

Thomas sontag said...

Father Mike my name is Tom Sontag and I know how you feel. I am from Don Bosco Tech Paterson NJ. I saw your list of teachers and saw a name of one of my favorite Priests at Don Bosco Tech Paterson. Father Gavino was very special to me. He Baptized all my children. Brother Bernie was my automotive teacher Father Jim Naughten was Vice Principal and Father Dominic DeBlaze was our Principal. I have many great memories of the Salesians and Don Bosco Tech and like you feel its a travesty my school closed down.

Fr Mike said...

In response to Thomas Sontag's comment: I was principal of DBT Paterson, 1980-1984, and was part of the SDB community there at the time of its closing (1999-2002). I'm glad that Thomas felt so close to those outstanding SDBs during his student days and has many great memories (as do I). But he mistakes my thoughts in the 2d half of his final sentence. All of us SDBs who were there in 2002 regretted the decision of our superiors, but Thomas overstates that in our regard.