CCTV is requesting your programming about the current coronavirus pandemic and its effect on your life. Submit here!



As one of Porter Square's monuments to fast food, the former Taco Bell/KFC at the corner of Massachusetts Avenue and Walden Street was never much to look at and the fare wasn't great, but at least when it was open, it was, well, open and operating.

But it closed well over a year ago, a victim of the state's long-term project to replace the bridge on Walden Street that spans the Fitchburg commuter line tracks. The construction drastically reduced the number of cars using Walden, and with that the flow of customers into the restaurant.

Now the building is boarded up, sitting forlornly with a "For Lease" sign on it, surrounded by an empty parking lot. Most residents always regarded the circa 1950 building as something less than an architectural gem, but in its current state, it easily ranks as an eyesore.

A while back, the building caught the eye of one of Cambridge's graffiti taggers, so now it sports spray-painted ... Art? A Message?

The property has been a topic of conversation among Porter Square residents who have suggested uses for it ranging from a child care center to a natural food store or another, but more upscale, eatery. For the time being, it's just a sad reminder of taco days past, one more outlet lost to a hungry fast food nation.

When news spread that the restaurant had closed, one neighborhood wag wondered, "Did the owner board it up? Or did the customers?"