An outbound train at Davis station in 2009
|Location||College Avenue and Elm Street|
|Owned by||Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority|
|Line(s)||Red Line Northwest Extension|
|Platforms||1 island platform|
|Connections||MBTA Bus: 87, 88, 89, 90, 94, 96, 194|
|Bicycle facilities||165 spaces in "Pedal and Park" bicycle cage|
|Opened||1870 (former station)|
December 8, 1984 (MBTA)
|Previous names||West Somerville|
|Passengers (2013)||12,857 (weekday average boardings)|
Davis is an MBTA transit station in Somerville, Massachusetts. It serves the Red Line. It is located at Davis Square, at the intersection of Holland Street, Elm Street, and College Avenue. By consequence of geography and system layout, Davis is one of only two rapid transit stations in Somerville, the other being Assembly on the Orange Line. It is bordered on both sides by stations that lie in Cambridge: Alewife and Porter.
Opened in 1984, Davis station takes its name from Davis Square, which was named after Person Davis (1819-1894), a grain dealer who moved to the area in 1850 and built his estate near the intersection of Elm, Grove and Morrison Streets. The station is fully handicapped accessible. Facilities include a bus terminal for local routes, with a dedicated busway, two head houses and bicycle parking. Davis also includes connections to the Somerville Community Path and the Cambridge Linear Park.
Streetcars propelled the growth of West Somerville after 1858, and regular passenger rail was not far behind. Beginning in 1870, passenger service on the Lexington and Arlington branch of the Boston and Lowell Railroad (later succeeded by the Boston and Maine Railroad) came through Davis Square, with a "West Somerville" stop in the square. A station was built in 1888. The streetcar and railroad service stimulated substantial development in the 1870s and 1880s as Davis Square quickly grew into an active commercial center. A boom in residential construction followed in the 1890s.
In 1927, passenger rail service was re-routed. The abandoned station was damaged by fire during a riot on July 4, 1938. In the 1960s or 1970s, local officials and citizen groups successfully petitioned the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority to create a Red Line subway stop in Somerville at Davis Square. Davis opened to passengers for the first time on December 8, 1984, spurring major development and revitalization of the area. Davis and Porter were the first MBTA stations made accessible during initial construction, rather than by renovation.
Arts on the Line
As a part of the Red Line Northwest Extension, Davis was included as one of the stations involved in the Arts on the Line program. Arts on the Line was devised to bring art into the MBTA's subway stations in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It was the first program of its kind in the United States and became the model for similar drives for art across the country.
Four of the original twenty artworks are located at Davis station. These works are:
- Ten Figures by James Tyler - Life-size people created out of cement, placed in areas around Davis Square
- Children's Tile Mural by Jack Gregory and Joan Wye - Many tiles created by children placed on the brick wall of the station mezzanine. In 2009, a group of local artists attempted to find as many of the tile-makers as possible. The schoolchildren are now 35–45 years old
- Poetry by various poets - Lines of poems are embedded into bricks on the station platform floor
- Sculpture with a D by Sam Gilliam - A large scale, brightly colored, abstract work
Davis has an off-street busway served by seven MBTA Bus routes:
- 87: Clarendon Hill or Arlington Center - Lechmere via Somerville Avenue
- 88: Clarendon Hill - Lechmere via Highland Avenue
- 89: Clarendon Hill or Davis - Sullivan
- 90: Davis - Assembly
- 94: Medford Square - Davis
- 96: Medford Square - Harvard
- 194 Clarendon Hill - Haymarket
Inbound route 87, 88, 89, 96, and 194 buses do not use the busway; they instead stop on surface streets near the station entrances.
- "Ridership and Service Statistics" (PDF) (14th ed.). Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. 2014.
- "Rebekah Gewirtz E-Newsletter: December 2006". December 2006. Archived from the original on July 13, 2012. Retrieved May 4, 2007.
- "Rails of the Past" (2008), p. 6 Archived December 15, 2013, at the Wayback Machine Accessed December 15, 2013
- Gordon, Edward (Fall 2006). "College Avenue, Gateway to West Somerville – From Davis Square to the Medford Line" (PDF). somervillema,org. Chapter of Victoria Society of America. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 13, 2013. Retrieved December 7, 2013.
- "Somerville Crowd Battles Firemen". Boston Globe. July 5, 1938. p. 2 – via Newspapers.com.
- Curtatone, Joe; Gewirtz, Rebekah (June 7, 2013). "Column: Davis Square design in Somerville will be community-driven". Wicked Local Somerville. Archived from the original on December 13, 2013. Retrieved December 7, 2013.
- Operations Directorate Planning Division (November 1990). "Ridership and Service Statistics" (3 ed.). Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. p. 1-4 – via Internet Archive.
- Tran Systems and Planners Collaborative (August 24, 2007). "Evaluation of MBTA Paratransit and Accessible Fixed Route Transit Services: Final Report" (PDF). Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.
- Red Line Northwest Extension Pamphlet page 5. The Davis Square Tiles Project. Accessed May 31, 2010
- "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on October 24, 2007. Retrieved August 24, 2007.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "249 Tiles". The Davis Square Tiles Project. Retrieved March 26, 2012.
- Red Line Northwest Extension Pamphlet pages 10-11. The Davis Square Tiles Project. Accessed May 30, 2010
- "MBTA, City of Somerville, Tufts University Officially Unveil Community Art at Davis Square Station" (Press release). Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. May 6, 2008.
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