Frequently Asked Questions

What became of my school records / transcripts, etc. from my time at Grahm

They are now held by the University of Massachusetts, Amherst

What became of the Grahm Buildings?

 632 Beacon St. the old academic and administrative building,  was purchased by Boston University and combined with the adjacent BU Miles Standish residence hall.  The former basement studio space room configuration remained, but was used as study space last we checked in 2015.   We made a video of the that tour during the last reunion.

Leavitt Hall is presently under renovation.   It had been transformed into the Buckminster Hotel until it closed in 2020.   The first floor contained Pizzaria Uno and a Popeyes resttaurants, both of which closed in 2020. 

Kenmore Hall is subsidised senior housing.  Adjacent to the Kenmore, the school library is now a used record shop.

Wadsworth Hall is now subsidized housing for senior citizens.

Kensington Building - if you are old enough to remember the Kensington, it stood on Boylston Street opposite the "new" BPL Addition.  It was demolished in the 1970s.  In front of it stood the two concrete lions, which were painted gold and now grace the hotel in Copley Square.

See the Grahm history section for more information.

Are any of my old haunts still around?
Not in a form you would recognize any longer.

Virtually all of Kenmore Squares Night scene establishments have passed into history.  Pizza Pad a/k/a Kenmore Deli operated for years at the corner of Brookline Ave. & Commonwealth, feeding thousands of  Baseball fans and club goers until the wee hours, but now it's been replaced by a McDonald's. The famous Disco club Lucifers (later Narcissus) closed and is now a restaurant.  Pooh's Pub is also gone, and The Rathskeller, better known as "The Rat" which spawned many punk/new wave bands in the 70's and 80's closed in 1998.  Even the bus station has been entirely replaced with a chrome and glass structure.

Deli Haus, which once touted itself as the "Oldest restaurant in Kenmore Square" closed in December 2001 after over 40 years.  "Libbys", across from 632 Beacon is no longer there, but the building is.

In 2002, an entire block of Kenmore square buildings was demolished to make way for the new Hotel Commonwealth right next door to old Kenmore Hall.  Victims of the wrecking ball were Kenmore Pharmacy, Rathskellar, Strawberries (Discount Records), Paperback Booksmith, Relax-A-Bit, Souper Salad (The Fatted Calf) Dunkin' Donuts, Kenmore Barber shop and Kenmore Wine (supplier of many keg parties). 

In 2019, a significant part of the north side/Beacon Street of the square was demolished, (contstruction underway) to be replaced by a large high-rise.   Starting at the corner of Deerfield, the former record shop, Agean Fare, New England School of Photograpy and ending at the Kenmore Club/Lucifer/Narcissus night club have all been demolished.  Further down the block,

At least the Citgo Sign is still there, although we weren't so sure about it's longevity when the building was sold in 2019.   A large public outcry and city government pressured the owner to preserve the sign.  The new high rise next to it was ostensibly designed so the the view of the sign in all directions is not impaired.  We'll see.

Read more about Kenmore Suare history, written by Bill Tarkulich '75

Is Grahm Street still in Kenmore Square?
The street is still there of course, but in 1980 the City of Boston removed the Grahm name and changed it back to Kenmore Street.  Since the Square was named after the street, it seemed the appropriate thing to do. 

How did Kenmore Square Get its name?
Funny you should ask.  It’s quite simple really.  Mayor Curley signed an order changing the name from Governor Square to Kenmore Square.  “Kenmore” was taken from the trolley stop “Kenmore Station”.  Kenmore Station took its name from the intersecting street, Kenmore Street.   It’s as simple as that. Bill Tarkulich wrote a lot more about it.

Is Does "Kenmore" have anything to do with Sears Roebuck company? 

Nope.  The name "Kenmore" was part of the original street plan for Commonwealth Avenue.   The development of the back bay portion of the avenue progressed over a 20-year period, starting at at Arlington Street and continuing to Kenmore square. Bill Tarkulich is researching the exact origins of the name Kenmore along with other Back Bay streets.  Expect to hear more about this by the end of 2021.

 Coincidentally, there is a hotel in Albany also named Kenmore, but apparently unrelated.

Why did Grahm close?
GJC was a victim of the "Perfect Storm" -End of the Vietnam war, a recession, excessive real estate costs, competition, financial aid variability, energy crisis, community colleges and no endowment.  Both strategically and operationally the school was not equipped to capably navigate the storm.  Alumni Bill Tarkulich '75 wrote an extensive history of the college  (published within this website) researching many public records and interviewing several former administrators, faculty and staff.   Read more about Grahm history.

Where are my instructors?

Several of our instructors are still around the Boston area and have attended gatherings and reunions.   Many were not many years older than the students they taught.

Whatever became of Milton Grahm?
He retired as president about four years before the school closed.  He passed away at the age of 82 in December 1992.  Bill Tarkulich reached out to the Grahm family several years ago. 

Is Eugene O'Neill buried in Kenmore Square?
No, but he did die there.  The late playwright lived for several years in the old Hotel Shelton on Bay State road.  He is buried in Forest Hills Cemetery in Jamaica Plain.

When is the next class reunion?
Thanks to COVID19 we had to cancel the 2020 event.  We do not anticipate being able to hold another all-class reunion thanks to the lingering COVID19 pandemic as well as the age of most alumni, faculty and friends.   We would be happy to help you plan a smaller event..