The South End - Boston, MA
The South End - Boston, MA
The South End - A Boston Town
With its neat rows of mid-nineteenth century 5 story brick-front homes, the South End has an unparalleled esthetic appeal. Proudly the largest Victorian urban residential neighborhood in the nation, Boston’s South End is where historic charm meets eclectic diversity. Nestled between the Back Bay and South Boston, this trendy neighborhood has a rich cultural and artistic community. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places and one of Boston’s Landmark Districts, the South End was the jazz mecca of the 1950s, and is now home to the Boston Center for the Arts and the Boston Ballet, as well as many art galleries and studios. Tremont Street serves as the South End’s upscale “Restaurant Row”, where you can find nearly any type of cuisine—ranging from Italian to Indian, Ethiopian to Brazilian, and everything in between. Celebrating its ethnic, religious and household diversity, the South End enjoys relatively low crime in an economically varied environment, allowing for a neighborhood where anyone can feel right at home.
South End History
Few other Boston neighborhoods have experienced such distinct evolution as the sought after South End. Once a narrow strip of land referred to as the Boston Neck, the South End was nothing more than an area connection Boston to Roxbury and surrounded by tidal marsh. Once housing only a few large mansions spread throughout open fields, the initial change into a proper Boston neighborhood began in the 1840s, when the city began to add land to the Neck in response to the demand for more space due to the overcrowding of Beacon Hill and downtown Boston. In the 1850s, the famous architect Charles Bulfinch created a housing plan for the city, consisting of tree-lined streets with charming brick-front row houses featuring unique characteristics such as bay windows and petite gardens enclosed by small iron fences. This architectural detail combined with tranquil fountain-centered parks peppered throughout the area made for an especially picturesque setting for new residents to call home.
The next hundred years of the South End’s development would be rather tumultuous, transitioning from a beautiful, trendy neighborhood for well-to-do Bostonians to an area afflicted by economic crises and plagued by crime and violence until revitalization began in the late 1960s. Despite the deterioration of the neglected neighborhood, many upper class families and young professionals moved into the South End for its proximity to downtown Boston, and began renovating the once-stunning bow front homes. The South End Historic Society developed in 1966 to preserve and revive the neighborhood’s architectural allure. This rebuilding and protection of the neighborhood landed the South End on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973, as North America’s largest Victorian district. In 1983 the area was named a Boston Landmark District and has since experienced continued development into one of the trendiest neighborhoods in Boston.