South End - 1960
United States > Boston > South End - 1960
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"As the South End geographically grew from filling in land north and west of "the Neck" (today's Washington Street) the city of Boston envisioned a large inner city residential neighborhood to relieve the crowded downtown and Beacon Hill neighborhoods. The city also hoped for a large and stable tax base. Architect Charles Bulfinch laid out some of the first filled land. He designed a large residential park called Columbia Square located at the present Franklin and Blackstone Squares. Bulfinch's plan was to route traffic around the square, not through it. Eventually his plan was abandoned and Washington street was allowed to once more divide the square creating today's separate squares.
A burgeoning middle class moved to the South End including business owners, two mayors, bankers, and industrialists. Though the neighborhood's status as a wealthy neighborhood was relatively short-lived, myths of a dramatic white flight in the 1880s are not entirely true. A series of national financial panics (see e.g., Panic of 1884, Economic history of the United States), combined with the emergence of new residential housing in Back Bay and Roxbury fed a steady decline of whites of English Protestant ancestry. Still whites remained in the neighborhood, but increasingly they were Catholic and recent immigrants.
By the close of the nineteenth century the South End was becoming a tenement district, first attracting new immigrants and, in the 1940s, single gay men. The South End also became a center of black middle class Boston life and culture. The largest concentration of Pullman Porters in the country lived in the South End, mostly between Columbus Avenue and the railroad bed. As the decades progressed, more buildings became tenements and by the 1960s absentee landlordism was rampant and the neighborhood was one of the poorest of the city.
The first settlement houses in Boston were in the South End: the South End House, Haley House, Lincoln House, the Harriet Miller House, and the Children's Art Centre. In 1960 these settlement houses merged to form United South End Settlements.
The racial makeup of the South End in 2000 was 45% non-Hispanic white, 23% black or African-American, 17% Hispanic or Latino, 12% Asian-American (almost all from Castle Square), and 2% multi-racial." (wiki)
The comparison between south end in the 1960s and the 2000s showed a decrease in population and dwelling unit, a much larger percentage of young-to-middle-aged residents today, and a higher income level. """"" References:
1. Caminos, Horacio. Urban Dwelling Environments; an Elementary Survey of Settlements for the Study of Design Determinants. Cambridge, Mass: M.I.T. Press, 1969. p.70, based on Census Tract L-1, equivalent to todayâ€™s census tract 706.\r\n\r\n2.Google Earth. Boundaries include census tract (1960) L-1 through L-6, G-2, G-3, J-1, J-2, I-1 through I-4, same as todayâ€™s census tract 704 through 709, 711, 712, 804, 805\r\n\r\n3. Social facts by census tracts 1960, Vol. Metropolitan Boston: United Community Services, Inc : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive, n.d. http://www.archive.org/details/socialfactsbycen1960unit. p.10. The total population of census tract L-1 through L-6, G-2, G-3, J-1, J-2, I-1 through I-4