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Photos: The past, present, and future along Dorchester Bay

(Top image) An aerial view of Bayside Exposition Center in Boston, Jan. 3, 1983. (Bottom Image) A rendering of the 36-acre Dorchester Bay City site.Ted Dully/Globe Staff, Stantec

The Boston Planning & Development Agency on Thursday approved a massive, 21-building mixed-use project on the site of the former Bayside Expo Center in Dorchester. The project intends to transform a 36-acre stretch along Mount Vernon Street and Morrissey Boulevard into a climate-resilient micro-city. The developer, Accordia Partners, has laid out plans for over 6 million square feet of commercial space, housing, and open land.

It will likely take at least a decade until the project is completed. So, in the meantime, take a look at the past, present, and potential future of the site: From its days as a convention center to its current use as a UMass Boston parking lot to its potential as a thriving urban center.


Two men swept the parking area outside the main entrance to Bayside Exposition Center in Boston on Jan. 3, 1983.Ted Dully/Globe Staff
Crowds visited the New England Boat Show at the Bayside Exposition Center in Boston on Feb. 22, 1987.David L. Ryan/Globe Staff
An aerial view of Bayside Exposition Center in Boston, Jan. 3, 1983. It was set to open on Jan. 7.Ted Dully
Former Bayside Expo Center sign in 2016.Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff
The site of the former Bayside Expo Center in 2019.Lane Turner/Globe Staff
Demolition continued on the Bayside Expo Center, on June 21, 2016. Pat Greenhouse
A man jogged on the Harborwalk that runs along the former Bayside Expo Center property, right, in Boston on June 21, 2022. Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff
The site of the former Bayside Expo Center is currently used as a parking lot for UMass Boston in 2019.Lane Turner/Globe Staff
A view of the Dorchester Bay City/former Bayside Expo Center site. in 2023. The $5 billion, 21-building project is likely up for a vote at the Boston Planning and Development Agency board on Thursday, Sept. 14. David L. Ryan/Globe Staff
Dorchester Bay City is slated to feature a 6.1 million-square-foot mini-city at the former Bayside Expo Center and adjacent properties. The 36-acre project is expected to feature 1,957 residential units and more than 4 million square feet of office, research and development, and potentially academic uses, along with 15.4 acres of public open space. Stantec
A rendering of the Dorchester Bay City. The master plan calls for 21 buildings. Future architects will be encouraged to pursue designs with a variety of facades, materials, and ground-floor activity. Stantec
The 21-building Dorchester Bay City, seen in this rendering, will include 15.4 acres of open space, including waterfront green space with a playground and esplanade. Stantec

Dana Gerber can be reached at Follow her @danagerber6.