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Curbed Awards 2016: Best opening

Not the biggest—the best

MBTA

There were several big-time openings in Greater Boston this year, including the region’s tallest condo tower and Boston proper’s biggest new apartment building.

But the best opening of all was that of the humble Government Center Station in downtown Boston.

The MBTA closed it in March 2014 for an $82,000,000 renovation that left it airier, sunnier, and more accessible upon its reopening this past March.

Changes to the station—which contains the T’s only direct connection between the Blue and Green lines—included newer elevators from the street to the Green Line level and then from the Green Line level to the Blue Line level; fresh LED signage; a bigger area for fare collection; and more room for vendors on both the Green and Blue platforms.

Moreover, the station’s head house was redesigned to serve as “a new landmark on City Hall Plaza,” according to the MBTA, a striking, glassy feature in the otherwise largely drab expanse.

It was also crafted to facilitate views of the Old North Church from certain points, including from within the house itself. Commuters emerging from underground via escalators likely see the church through the glass walls before exiting the station.