Boston Washington Street

Boston, Massachusetts

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From Dudley Square to Chinatown, Washington Street is in the midst of an astonishing small-business and real-estate revival that is bringing new life and vitality to this historic part of the city. This is not, of course, the first time the area has seen enormous change. In colonial times Washington Street was a narrow land bridge connecting Boston proper, which lay out on a peninsula, to the mainland behind. Called Boston Neck and no more than 100 feet wide at some points, the bridge was surrounded by swampy marshland; when tides were very high it almost disappeared. The “El,” or elevated rapid transit train, was constructed down the center of Washington Street in 1899—doing little to enhance the area’s appeal. When the El was dismantled in the 1980s, however, the stage for redevelopment was finally set. Now, for the first time in nearly a hundred years, the broad thoroughfare again stands open and visible as the center of the neighborhood. Come take a stroll through one of Boston’s oldest—and yet newest—neighborhoods.
Walk Boston

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Walk Boston

by Robert Sloane (editor) of WalkBoston (Appalachian Mountain Club Books)

From Dudley Square to Chinatown, Washington Street is in the midst of an astonishing small-business and real-estate revival that is bringing new life and vitality to this historic part of the city. This is not, of course, the first time the area has seen enormous change. In colonial times Washington Street was a narrow land bridge connecting Boston proper, which lay out on a peninsula, to the mainland behind.

Called Boston Neck and no more than 100 feet wide at some points, the bridge was surrounded by swampy marshland; when tides were very high it almost disappeared. The “El,” or elevated rapid transit train, was constructed down the center of Washington Street in 1899—doing little to enhance the area’s appeal. When the El was dismantled in the 1980s, however, the stage for redevelopment was finally set. Now, for the first time in nearly a hundred years, the broad thoroughfare again stands open and visible as the center of the neighborhood. Come take a stroll through one of Boston’s oldest—and yet newest—neighborhoods.

©  Robert Sloane (editor) of WalkBoston/Appalachian Mountain Club Books. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Walking
Nearby City: Boston
Distance: 3
Trail Type: Shuttle
Skill Level: Easy
Duration: 2 hours
Season: Year-round
Accessibility: Stroller/Wheelchair Accessible
Driving Directions: Directions to Boston Washington Street

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Apr 2018