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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.

Timeline

  • 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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