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The Boston Globe

Business

In Roxbury, a neighborhood’s heart

The 100-year-old Hibernian Hall serves as a welcoming beacon amid a rebuilding and changing Dudley Square.

After dark, when throngs of commuters have left Roxbury’s Dudley Square, the lights still burn brightly at Hibernian Hall. It has been that way for most of the building’s 100 years, even after the curtains stopped closing on Irish step dances and then Jewish bat mitzvahs. The bustle of life has continued at Hibernian Hall even as Dudley Square stood neglected and isolated while the rest of the city sizzled with development.

And, supporters say, it will be that way for generations to come, as hope rises from the dust of once-barren lots that dot the square, and as a new generation of African-Americans, Somalis, and Salvadorans flocks to the hall to hold weddings, birthday celebrations, and graduation fetes.

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