End residents struggle to raise neighborhood’s
Hall sits on what used to be Scollay Square, once considered
to be Boston’s skid row.
Bostonians know the location of the city’s West End
from the two signs on Storrow Drive that read, “If you lived
here, you’d be home now.”
Charles River Park, in Boston’s West End, is a residential
area of towering luxury apartment and condominium high-rise buildings
with million dollar views. Bordered by Beacon Hill, the North End
and the Charles River, it is a utopian dream of ‘60s suburbanism
created with lots of open space and bookended by hospitals and
a vastly different world from the West End of bustling front
stoops, crowded streets and neighborhood
by the city during urban renewal in 1958-1959.
residents of the new West End are striving to be recognized by
the city as a neighborhood just as residents
of the old West
End have struggled to keep the name, and the neighborhood’s
Today the West End is not recognized by the city of Boston as
a neighborhood, said Louise Thomas, president of the West End Civic
Association. In fact, she does not even know how the city recognizes
“We’ve pushed to have the West End recognized,” she
said. “Recently the newspapers have begun to refer to the
West End again.”
The Longfellow buildings are part of Charles
River Park, built by developer, James Rappaport.
bid to raise the profile of the neighborhood is being made by
Richard Drinkwater, a real estate professional
with Otis & Ahern.
Since urban renewal took place in the 1960s, the West End has been
isolated and nearly non-existent, Drinkwater said.
few years ago when the South End was being revitalized, the Back
Bay station name was changed to Back Bay/South End. “That
gave it recognition as a neighborhood,” Drinkwater said.
The West End could likewise benefit from having a T station of
its own, he said.
In his newsletter, Charles River Park, Drinkwater asked residents
if they would like to change the name of the Science Park T stop,
the main stop for the neighborhood, to Science Park/West End.
said many residents are in favor of the proposal. “Everyone
is really taken with it,” he said.
He said he hopes to approach the MBTA within the next couple months.
A Historic Past