Photos: Boston’s West End
Photos: Boston’s West End
It’s been more than 50 years since the demolition, between 1958 and 1960, of the vast majority of Boston’s old West End neighborhood. Pictured, demolition in 1959.
It has been half a century since residents lost their homes in a brutal example of so-called "slum clearance." Pictured, 1940, knife sharpener in the West End.
August 1958: Pile of trash ready for the torch at the West End project.
The old West End was a neighborhood located roughly between Cambridge Street and North Station, surrounding Massachusetts General Hospital. Pictured, demolition in the West End.
In the 1950s, Boston was worried about the flight of the middle and upper classes to the suburbs. The urban renewal became a way to get rid of poor people in effort to bring the middle-class and money back to the city. Pictured, May 1960, West End project of Blood House.
Members of Boston City Council and Housing Authority looked over the West End housing conditions on Brighton Street.
The city took the land, demolished 900 buildings, and turned most of the site over to a developer who built a group of bland apartment blocks called Charles River Park.
1959 Boston Redevelopment pamphlet on the Charles River Park.
The West End had been mostly a mix of first- and second-generation, low-income immigrants: Italian, Irish, Polish, Jewish, others. Pictured, 21 Barton St.'s destruction.
New streets and buildings were given Yankee names - Whittier, Longfellow - as if to erase the memory of the former diverse population. Pictured, May 1960.
November 1968: The Holiday Inn, a 15 story motel-hotel in the West End Charles River residential-commercial complex, was the newest building in the area at the time.
West End shopping plaza Dec. 22, 1966.
August 1968: Skyline shows the old and new of Boston, J.F. Kennedy building in the background and the West End church on Cambridge Street in the foreground.
West End, printed in May 1972.
West End photo printed in May 1972.
Boston skyline 1980-1985 — West End of Boston skyline.
1984: City Hall Plaza, part of the State Service Center on Cambridge Street.
January 1997: View of the West End from the Saltonstall building's 19th floor.
2004: A terraced garden andthe Edward W. Brooke Courthouse to the left.
October 2004: Buildings have come out of the shadows with the dismantling of the Central Artery on Causeway Street.
June, 2005: The Charles River Park complex towers. The high-rise residential buildings, medical complexes, and urban shopping areas now define the area.
June 2005: 42 Lomasney Way, one of the last vintage West End apartment buildings, defied destruction by encroaching construction.
June 2005: The Charles River Park a complex is a beautifully landscaped green oasis in an urban environment marked by ongoing contruction.
June 2005: Christina Conforti, 3, danced in the sprinkler spray of the flowerbeds at 8 Whittier Place in the West End.
June 2005: Alexandra Cook walked with her children, Christina and Dylan Conforti, 1, back from an evening shopping errand at the Charles River Park food mart, Pace's.
June 2005: A composite photo comprising 19 pictures taken from the rooftop of a parking garage in the West End.The solitary old West End building on Lomasney Way can be seen on the far right.
May 2005: The Charles River Park complex towers.