A small but historic neighborhood, the West End is a mix of old and new Boston. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, Boston’s waterfront and the North End were becoming increasingly overcrowded, and many of the city’s well–off residents took the opportunity to develop the area now known as the West End. Once simply a small bay and mill pond used by early colonists, the West End is another of Boston’s neighborhoods built on reclaimed land. It was decided to use the earth from one of Beacon Hill’s three original hills to fill the pond in. The architect Charles Bulfinch, responsible for much of Boston’s architectural character at the time played a large part in the development of the West End. This was one of the few places in the United States where African Americans had a political voice before the Civil War. In the coming years they would be joined by immigrants arriving from across Europe, Russia, and the Middle East. By the 1950s the once overcrowded area was in the process of “de-slumming” along with the North End. As part of a plan to create a “New Boston”, the Boston Housing Authority and its 1957 successor, the Boston Redevelopment Authority, redeveloped neighborhoods throughout the 1950s and 1960s. In the 1960s Scollay Square was leveled to create the Brutalist Government Center fondly voted one of the ugliest buildings in America. Notable residents of the old West End neighborhood include Charles Bulfinch, media magnate Sumner Redstone, Lawrence Berk, founder of Berklee School of Music and actor Leonard Nimoy. With a bustling business community and a growing residential population, the West End is the up and coming neighborhood in the City of Boston. It will never again feel like a sister to the North End, but as the tall buildings of glass and steel take the place of 50s era parking lots, the West End stands ready to turn the page and write its next chapter.
Getting to The West End
The West End is bounded by Cambridge Street to the south, the Charles River to the west and northwest, North Washington Street on the north and northeast, and Sudbury Street on the east. Beacon Hill is to the south, and the North End is to the east. Easy T access from the Green Line at Haymarket, North Station, Science Park/West End Station and the Orange line at Haymarket Station.
Things to do in The West End
Visit the TD Garden, New England’s largest sports and entertainment arena, home to the NHL’s Boston Bruins and NBA’s Boston Celtics franchises and host to world-renowned concerts, family shows and other sporting events can also be found in the West End. While in the area check out many of Boston’s best sports bars on Causeway and Canal Streets!
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