Another Brick In The Wall – Government Center Station

[27 Mar 2014]

-Text: Lino Gonzalez


As of March 22 2014 the Government Center MBTA stop is officially closed for 2 years due to renovations. As part of the update they will be demolishing the brick headhouse which which has been appearing in BMX videos and magazines for the last 15 plus years.

First a bit of history about the building itself. Following the demolition of Scollay Square, the station was built in the early 1960’s as an entrance to the Boston subway system a.k.a. the “T”. The name was changed to Governmnent Center from Scollay square in the mid 70’s during the construction of the new Boston City Hall. The station served as stops for the blue and green lines of the MBTA system. The Govt Center station was one of the last of the brick bank style stations still standing. There was a similar but smaller style building at Copley Station as well as a few others in the system that also were used as BMX spots but have since been demolished. Boston used to be synonymous with the look of the brick spots due to these stations and the Boston Medical Banks being in just about any footage or photos that came out of Boston. The city now seems to be in favor of replacing the classic brick look with a modern glass and aluminum look which definitely lacks the familiar character.

Here is a photo of the head house being built during the 1960’s redevelopment of Scollay Square. More photos of Government Center construction can be seen in the Boston City Archives at:

Here is an artists rendering of what the future station will look like:

As far as the BMX history goes the building has made appearances in many well known and local videos over the years. While the exact beginning of the building appearing in footage would be hard to pinpoint but I imagine would be sometime in the mid-early 90’s. Over the years the building and Govt Center area has served as a meeting spot for locals as well as out of towners. For a lot of people this is the first spot in Boston they have ever ridden. After 9/11 security was stepped up a bit for a few years and riding the banks was pretty much a bust for a while. I had my own personal run in there with Boston’s finest by being ticketed and wrestled to the ground by one of them but in recent years it seemed that the BPD has had much better things to do.

The station has appeared in many videos over the years but here are some clips and photos that stand out to me from some well know videos and publications:


Standard Domination – 1998 – Jerry Bagley

The spot appears twice in Jerry Bagley’s part in Standard Domination which was one of the biggest video that year and one of my all time favorites. Jerry does a high carve on the bank in one clip and also hits the bank and manuals the brick platform. Jerry’s clips along with the rest of Standard Domination can be seen here:


Props Road Fools 4 – 1999 – Nate Wessel & Mike Tag

Road fools 4 brought some of the best riders of the time through the city of Boston. Here Nate Wessell can be seen stalling the top of building which is possibly the first time that had been done. I have heard tales of other people stalling it before him but have never seen footage to back it. Also seen in this video is Mike Tag doing a gap to manual on one of the green sand boxes that are kept outside the T stations during the winter months.


DigBMX issue cover – 2001 – Jared Zorowski, Photo by Ryan Worcester

As far as print goes, the banks appeared on the cover of DigBMX magazine issue 19 in 2001 with Jared Zorowski blasting a tabletop.


Standpoint 4 – 2004 – Sean “Fish” Hoskins 

Fish made his way from California to the banks during a trip to Boston in summer 2003.  Fish did a few different lines here but this transfer from the lower to the upper bank is the clip that ended up being used in his standpoint 4 bio. Fish’s bio can be seen here:


S&M Edit – 2008 – Rory Ellis

Rory Ellis does multiple moves on the banks in this S&M edit including Barspin, Tabletop, and Icepick. Corey Martinez had also done the Icepick on the roof in 2003 while filming for Animal’s Can I Eat video. Rory’s clips can be seen here in the video:


Chris Marshall Photo – 2011 – Garrett Reynolds

This is probably my favorite thing that has been done here. This is one of those things that didn’t seen possible until it was done but Garrett Reynolds has a habit of making wild stuff come true. This photo was shot during the filming of the Deadline video and was featured in a photo gallery with photographer Chris Marshall.


All good things must come to an end. Here is the station as it sits behind barricades on March 23 2014: