CROWD AT BOSTON GARDEN WATCH THE BRUINS TIE OAKLAND, 1969, Boston Herald-Traveler Photo Morgue, BPL Print Department.
The Boston Garden opened in 1928 above bustling North Station. Considered one of the premier indoor venues of its time, the Garden attracted professional sports franchises—most notably Bruins hockey and Celtics basketball—as well as a wide variety of shows, sporting contests, and rallies.
The Garden’s location above a rail station reflected the common practice at the time of locating arenas in urban centers near public transportation. With seats for roughly 15,000 fans, the stadium boasted over twice the capacity of the existing Boston Arena across town. Owner Tex Rickard developed the building for boxing; he wanted every seat to provide an intimate experience with the match.
Along with professional boxing, hockey, and basketball, the venue welcomed circuses, ice shows, political rallies, and concerts. Patrons developed a love/hate relationship with the aging Garden as its systems became outdated. With the comfort of fans and athletes declining, the building was demolished in 1997 and succeeded by a new stadium next door, now known as the TD Garden.
View additional images of Boston Garden in the Boston Public Library’s collection on Flickr