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West End

Home > Boston's Neighborhoods > West End

Learn more about your ancestor's neighborhood through the timeline, find more information in the Further Reading section, or use the links to experience life in that community today.


  • 1733: Spring Street is laid out.
  • 1763: Noted architect, Charles Bullfinch (1763-1844) is born in the Bullfinch House.
  • 1772: The Brattle Square Church is designed by Thomas Dawes.
  • 1792: Charles Bullfinch designs Joseph Coolidge's house on Bowdoin Square that is destroyed in 1843.
  • 1796: Charles Bullfinch designs and builds the Otis House on Cambridge and Lynde Streets for Harrison Gray Otis (1765-1848).
  • 1801: Charles Bullfinch designs the Leverett Street Almshouse.
  • 1804: Charles Bullfinch designs the Kirk Boodt House named after the canal and mill business magnate of Lowell and Boston.
  • 1806: The Old West Church is built using a design of Asher Benjamin (1773-1845)
  • 1815: Charles Bullfinch builds the Blake-Tuckerman House for Samuel Parkman.
  • 1817: Bullfinch designs the Massachusetts General Hospital on Fruit Street.
  • 1824: The Massachusetts Charitable Eye and Ear Infirmary is founded by Drs. John Jeffries and Edward Reynolds.
  • 1826: The Green Street Church built next to the Melvill House.
  • 1831: Samuel Stillman Pierce (1807-1881) operates the leading gourmet food store in Boston located on Tremont and Court Streets. Later S.S. Pierce becomes a Boston institution until the early 1960's
  • 1840: The Bowdoin Square Baptist Church is constructed.
  • 1846: Mass General's first surgery conducted on October 16, when Dr. John C. Warren (1778-1856) operates on Gilbert Abbott using William Morton's (1819-1868) recent discovery of ether to dull pain.
  • 1851: Gridley J.F. Bryant designs the Charles Street Jail that replaces the Almshouse. The Union Boat Club is founded on the Charles River.
  • 1860: Birth of Irish ward boss Martin Lomasney (1860-1933) who rules the West End for more than thirty years.
  • 1861: Nathaniel J. Bradlee designs the Wendell Phillips School, named after the abolitionist publisher. The school is located on Phillips and Anderson Streets.
  • 1868: The Wells School is built.
  • 1885: The Winchell School, designed by Arthur H. Vinal, is built on Blossom and Parkman Streets.
  • 1893: Jews from Vilna, Lithuania create an informal place of worship, landsmanschaft, in the West End.
  • 1896: The Elizabeth Peabody House is dedicated to the founder of the first kindergarten in Boston.
  • 1897: The Mayhew School is constructed, designed by John L. Faxon. It closes in 1959.
  • 1910: The Peter Faneuil School is built on Joy Street. It is designed by Kelley and Graves. Also North Station opens.
  • 1914: The Chassidic congregation of Grand Rabbi Pinchas D. Horowitz is created on Poplar Street.
  • 1916: The William Blackstone School, named after Rev. William Blackstone, opens on Blossom Street designed by Harrison Atwood.
  • 1919: The Anshe Vilna temple is built for Lithuanian Jews.
  • 1926: The Hatch Shell is given to the city by Maria Hatch.
  • 1949: Boston Housing Authority administers funds for urban renewal under the Housing Act at the direction of Mayor John B. Hynes.
  • 1958-1960: West End is developed under the supervision of the Boston Redevelopment Authority.
  • 1961-1968: A new shopping center and housing for upper income Bostonians is built. Massachusetts General Hospital expands.
  • 1960-66: Scollay Square is raised for Government Center, including a new City Hall and the John F. Kennedy Federal Building. Government Center is designed by I.M. Pei.
  • 1997: Housing built by the Archdiocese of Boston is opened for former West End residents at Lowell Square.

Further Reading

  • Sammarco, Anthony Mitchell. The West End. Images of America Series. Dover, NH: Arcadia, 1998.




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