Boston’s West End
Boston’s West End is a small neighborhood occupying the northwest portion of the Shawmut Peninsula and tucked behind Beacon Hill. It is also the home of Massachusetts General Hospital.
The history of the West End can be found at the The West End Museum. According to their website, the neighborhood was inhabited mostly by immigrants who were displaced by the urban renewal campaign between 1958 and 1960, which plays a large part in being called the “lost neighborhood”.
Boston’s West End became a home to many different immigrant groups, one of the first being Irish, and a large Irish population flourished in here.
Prior to the late 1950s the neighborhood looked much like rest of Boston, densely settled with a diverse culture, houses, business, churches and government buildings.
Must Visit Places in the West End
Museum of Science (MoS). Considered a Boston landmark, it features over 700 ininteractive exhibits, and a number of live presentations throughout the building every day. The museum is also an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and is home to over 100 animals, many of which have been rescued and rehabilitated.
Old West Church. This historic church is located at 131 Cambridge Street and was built in 1806. It was designed by architect Asher Benjamin, and is considered one of his finest works. The church also played a role in the American Revolution where the phrase “no taxation without representation” was first coined.
The Otis House (now the headquarters of Historic New England. The last surviving mansion in Bowdoin Square. Check here for visiting hours.
Massachusetts General Hospital. According to wikipedia it is the original and largest teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. It is also a biomedical research facility and is the third oldest general hospital in the United States and the oldest and largest hospital in New England.. Mass General conducts the largest hospital-based research program in the world, with an annual research budget of more than $750 million. It is currently ranked as the #1 hospital in the United States by U.S. News & World Report.
Charles Street Station. The original subway station to service the then hard to get to West End opened on February 27, 1932, and is still used today.
St. Joseph’s Church. Designed by Alexander Parris and built in 1834 for the Twelfth Congregational Society, it was purchased by the Boston Roman Catholic Diocese in 1862. St. Joseph Catholic Church serves Beacon Hill and the West End.
Dining in the West End
Like the rest of Boston, the West End neighborhood has an eclectic list of unique restaurants. Some of the popular ones include:
- West End Johnnie’s. The cornerstone of the renewed West End incorporating the melting pot of this historic area through its ambience, people, and food.
- Boston Beer Works. Restaurant and brewery serving American food and various micro-brews.
- The Fours Restaurant. Recognized by Sports Illustrated as the best Sports Bar in America, it serves passionate fans among memorabilia that captures the excitement and lore of Boston sports.
Shopping in the West End
While the West End can’t boast the famous shopping of Newbury Street in Boston’s Back Bay, it does have a few specialty shops spread out throughout the neighborhood.
Hilton’s Tent City is a four-floor specialty store dedicated to outdoor lifestyle gear, including camping kits and backpacks.The Wine Cave is a specialty wine and liquor store right in the heart of the West End.
Whole Foods Market, Tedeschi, and Salumeria Italiana, provide a nice selection to choose from for grocery shopping.
West End Parks
All West End parks are public and do not require a fee. Here are a few to choose from for you next outdoor adventure:
- Thoreau Path
- Nashua Street Park
- Lederman Park
- Red Sox Field
Don’t forget to add Boston’s West End to your itinerary of things to do in Boston.