Monday, September 28, 2015

Monkey Carcass Found in Rafters of Boston Gardens, 1998
28 September 2015

A distinctly Boston urban legend

By Perry Eaton

[…] According to a May 1998 Boston Globe article, construction workers encountered something peculiar in the Garden about halfway through the building’s demolition.

“Add another bit of myth and mystery to the old Boston Garden now being slowly consigned to history by demolition crews,” Judy Rakowsky wrote for the Globe. “Workers said they found the remains of a monkey in the rafters Thursday, and were even moved to pause for a moment of silence, hard hats in hand.” […]

Joe Bearak, senior vice president of Morse Diesel at the time and project executive in charge of both the demolition of the old Garden and construction of the FleetCenter, recalls no such thing.

“Absolutely not,” he said. “I was in charge of the project, and believe me, I would have known. It’s an urban legend. There were pigeons, there were rats, there were other things, but no monkeys.” […]
6 November 2015

The saga continues—with some (fair warning: slightly gross) photos.

By Perry Eaton

Late in September, in honor of the 20th anniversary of the closing of the Boston Garden, we told the story of the Boston Garden monkey: In 1998, while taking down the historic arena, building wreckers were said to have come across the corpse of a monkey.

Despite our research, many parts of the story remained nothing more than urban legend. Where did this monkey come from? Where did it go? Was the monkey even real at all?

Thanks to Richard Bagen Sr., a building wrecker from East Weymouth who helped demolish the Garden, and his wife, Kathy Bagen, we may have some clarity. […]
9 November 2015

A (warning: slightly gross) final chapter to the monkey tale.

By Perry Eaton