Introduction to Boston's Downtown
Ask anyone about the West End of Boston, and they will be scratching their heads trying to figure out where this town is located. The West End, home to about 4,500 residents, is a small pocket neighborhood bordering Beacon Hill to the South and Charles River to the North. The West End has always been an ethnically diverse and vibrant neighborhood. It's home to prominent Boston institutions, including Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and TD Garden (home of the Boston Celtics and the Boston Bruins). With a bustling business community and a growing residential population, the West End is the up-and-coming neighborhood in Boston.
History of the West End
Visit West End today, and you will find a diverse scenery of both residential and commercial buildings. But don't make a mistake by imagining that West End has always been like this. Here is a bit of West End's history. Until the 1950s, the West End was largely occupied by Jewish and Italian residents. But since this small neighborhood was economically deprived, the officials orchestrated an idea that would change West End for years to come. Through a program called "urban renewal," the authority embarked on a plan to demolish areas designated as "slums" and replace them with modern, high-end buildings. The aim was to attract new residents in a bid to shore up the economy.
While the outsiders viewed West End as a crowded, ghettoish neighborhood, its residents knew West End as a place they called home. As such, when eviction orders were issued in 1958, there was a plethora of protests, but this fell on dead ears. Most of the buildings were flattened, leaving behind a post-apocalyptic scene. Many residents were left homeless. And for those that were promised alternative, cheap housing, or a return to the neighborhood once the project was completed, the promises remains unfulfilled to date.
West End Today
A neighborhood that was once considered residential has transformed into one that feels commercial today. Beyond the fascinating landmarks of TD Garden and MGH, West End is also home to the West End Museum. If you want to explore Boston, the West End Museum (located on 150 Staniford Street) is the go-to place to understand the West End of Boston's history and heritage. You will get to learn about the history of influential West Enders, the neighborhood's diverse culture, and many Boston places with historical significance.
Are you planning for a staycation? You might want to put West End on your list. When you come to explore this neighborhood, there are plenty of activities to undertake. If you are a sportsperson, you can catch NBA action at the TD Garden. Again, TD Garden isn't all about sports. It holds concerts and other notable events throughout the year. If you are a "foodie," there are a few restaurants and boutique hotels that you can't go wrong with. For hotel, you could try Kimpton Onyx or the Boxer. And if you want a touch of vintage décor and tantalizing cuisine, you could try the Boxer's restaurant, the Finch. And because West End is a walkable city, regardless of where you stay, you can explore the nearby neighborhoods of North End, Faneuil Hall, and Charlestown.