Monday, January 24, 2011

TIME MACHINE - Harvard Square when it was special (and even had a Mug and Muffin)

A wonderful book was published last year which is a picture history of Harvard Square from 1950 to the present. 
 The author Mo Lotman describes the book

The well-trod patch of Cambridge turf at the corner of the nation's most renowned university has long been a crossroads where poetry, politics, retailing, architecture, performance, design, and every other cultural endeavor intersect. Harvard Square is more than a beloved space, it is a state of mind. Inside the pages of this book, one is immediately transported there.

From the Square's tweedy 1950s through the tumultuous ’60s, the colorful ’70s, and all the way up to the present, Mo Lotman gives a decade-by-decade account of Harvard Square's traditions, history, and lore. The bookstores, the billiard parlors, the barbershops, the booze and burger joints: they're all here. Compiling interviews with more than 100 of the Square's movers and shakers, a treasure-trove of archival and modern photographs, and texts by John Updike, Bill McKibben, Governor Bill Weld, and others, Harvard Square brings "the smartest urban space in America" to vivid life.

Many of these pictures are in the book and a few are others I have collected. It is a wonderful look back.

The subway construction was brutal

1970's - The Tasty can be seen to the right

snow looked the same in the 50's

mid 1960's

This was torn down in 1962 for Holyoke Center.

This would be late 70's as the BayBank name has appeared but the subway construction has yet to start,

The Mug and Muffin was my office back in the late 70's and you could meet anyone there from a Harvard professor to a homeless person and everything in between. It was a little fancier than the 'Tasty' but it had a gritty charm of its own.
The night manager Annie was an absolute sweetheart who had a heart of gold. Nobody seems to know what happened to her but she is fondly remembered by many. 

Thank you Mo.....

His website also has a detailed list of the stores that were in the Square.....


Anonymous said...

OMG - i used to work at the Mug. I have not thought about Annie in decades. She was a wonderful person.

rubidoux said...

I used to work at the Mug, too! I don't remember Annie, but cripes, that guy with the handle bar mustache was a trip! I worked there during the subway construction and there were rats running around on the exposed beams at all times.

Jeni said...

I loved the Mug so much when I was a kid. Getting a blueberry muffin there was an event for me and my sister. Glad to see this photo!

Anonymous said...

the baybank picture is *after* the subway construction. probably mid ro late 80's...

Marie Burnett said...

I worked at the mug in 78 -- and showed up for work after the blizzard! I hitched a ride on one of the newspaper trucks all way from the corner of mass ave and huntington. loved working there -- the people were so great.