Graffiti on 4 Charles River bridges

attributable to school crew squads

Updated September 2003


This is the face Boston and Cambridge are showing to the international visitors to the Head of the Charles Regatta, as well as the blight users of the Charles River Lower Basin, the Esplanade and Storrow Drive face on a daily basis.   It's not "art" or a joke or evidence of school spirit.  It is vandalism, and visual pollution, defiling an environment which millions of dollars of public money is attempting to clean up. If it were painted on multi-million dollar campus buildings, it would be punishable by expulsion.  But it is on view very publicly on at least four bridges over the Charles.  The perpetrators don't even attempt to hide their identities, but are proud of their affiliation with the rowing squads of prestigious secondary schools, colleges, and universities.  The schools should be ashamed of the vandalism of their students and should pay to have the graffiti removed immediately, and form a fund to keep the bridges graffiti-free in perpetuity.

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To read Boston Globe Article, click here.



Click on thumbnails to view larger photos

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Harvard Varsity Lightweight (HVL):  BU Bridge–EARC refers to the Eastern Association of Rowing Colleges—the years listed, 2003, 2001, 1999, 1997 are the years championships were won by the team, as confirmed on their website. Note the H and V on the bridge supports.  The lens wasn't wide enough to include the L.

September 2003:  a new low, a commercial website advertising


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Tufts: Railroad Bridge at Cottage Farm, and in 2003m BU Bridge


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MIT:  BU Bridge and Railroad Bridge--Initial photos were taken in May, 2002;  by September graffiti has been corrupted to be even more offensive.  Last photo September 2003


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Northeastern University:   Particularly offensive as it is seen from the entire lower basin as well as Storrow Drive.  Attempting to outdo the Boston University vandals, who usually have their own graffiti on this railroad bridge, Northeastern (the Huskies) leave their mark on BU territory.  This was painted within the last few months.  Four months later, it has been changed twice:  once to "better degree, better job" and then several letters totally obliterated.  The "GONU" literally pales in comparison.


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Boston University:  Railroad Bridge, '97 shows how long the graffiti lasts and how ugly it gets.

BU has even used vandalism to promote itself on its website.


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Buckingham Browne & Nichols (Knights) vandals are prolific, favoring the Western Avenue and River Street Bridges.


Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute


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Simmons College, 1997--BU Bridge


Wellesley College


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Brookline High School--Railroad and River Street Bridges


Belmont Hill School


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The Winsor School-Railroad Bridge and River Street Bridge

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Community Rowing, Inc.


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Miscellaneous: colors and style are similar to other "tags." River Street Bridge


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Other, miscellaneous graffiti, primarily on the railroad bridge, but now on a vacant MDC building and on the retaining wall in front of the Doubletree Suites Hotel.  Graffiti begets graffiti.