The West End Museum

The West End Museum We preserve and celebrate the history of Boston's West End through exhibits, events, and archive collections. We are a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit.
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The West End Museum is a neighborhood museum located at 150 Staniford Street, in Boston, Massachusetts in a 4000 square foot space on the ground floor of West End Place (and Lomasney Way). The primary purpose of the West End Museum is to operate and maintain a neighborhood museum dedicated to the collection, preservation and interpretation of the history and culture of the West End of Boston. The Museum acknowledges its role as an educational institution and a trustee of significant material culture. Exhibitions: "The Last Tenement" (permanent exhibit) http://thewestendmuseum.org/exhibitions/the-last-tenement/ Fall 2015 Exhibitions: Dewey Defeats Truman/The Housing Act of 1949 http://thewestendmuseum.org/mc-events/exhibition-dewey-defeats-trumanthe-housing-act-of-1949/ Indelebile Italia by Giselle Valdes http://thewestendmuseum.org/exhibitions/exhibition-indelebile-italia-by-giselle-valdes/

Mission: The primary purpose of The West End Museum is to operate and maintain a neighborhood museum dedicated to the collection, preservation, and interpretation of the history and culture of the West End of Boston. The Museum acknowledges its role as an educational institution and a trustee of significant material culture. The West End Museum fulfills its mission by providing exhibits to the public on a regular basis, by providing access to its collections for research, and by providing a resource to the West End neighborhood for historical and cultural interests. It involves the public in its mission through outreach programming, neighborhood events, and educational programming in the school systems, thereby increasing and sustaining the public’s appreciation of an important American urban neighborhood from the 17th century to the present day.

THIS SATURDAY, FEB 29: "Cycling Legends of the West End" Show Reception (2-4PM) and West End Heritage Night (4-6PM) – bo...
02/26/2020

THIS SATURDAY, FEB 29: "Cycling Legends of the West End" Show Reception (2-4PM) and West End Heritage Night (4-6PM) – both FREE. Enjoy light refreshments and tour the exhibit of vintage bicycles, photographs, artifacts, and more. Then help us honor #bicycling legends Kittie Knox, Annie Cohen Kopchovsky (aka Annie Londonderry) and MGH's Dr. Paul Dudley White – all with ties to Boston's West End. More info at bit.ly/3bzXU3L and bit.ly/2I1QIA3.

#WestEndBoston #history #cycling

Happening TOMORROW!Author Talk: @Lorenz J. Finison — A History of African-American Cycling in Boston, from 4:00 – 6:00 p...
02/21/2020

Happening TOMORROW!

Author Talk: @Lorenz J. Finison — A History of African-American Cycling in Boston, from 4:00 – 6:00 pm.

🎫Learn more and register at bit.ly/2UR8Y70

Check out this terrific article on our "Reflections on Boston’s West End: The Origins & Lessons of Urban Renewal" lectur...
02/20/2020
Looking back at Boston’s West End, and the forces that led to its destruction - The Boston Globe

Check out this terrific article on our "Reflections on Boston’s West End: The Origins & Lessons of Urban Renewal" lecture series by Emily Sweeney - Boston Globe journalist! Thank you, Emily!! We had an incredible turnout last night for the first lecture. Six more sessions to come; next one on March 25. More info at bit.ly/2SEaBmP. Facebook events for subsequent lectures will be posted as the dates approach.

#UrbanRenewal #WestEndBoston #history

A new lecture series at the West End Museum will take a closer look at the urban renewal efforts that led to the demolition of one of Boston’s most densely populated and diverse neighborhoods.

📅Happening This SATURDAY!Author Lorenz J. Finison will discuss his books, sharing a 100-year trajectory of African-Ameri...
02/19/2020

📅Happening This SATURDAY!
Author Lorenz J. Finison will discuss his books, sharing a 100-year trajectory of African-American cycling life in Boston, highlighting the barriers cyclists faced and the triumphs they made.

🎫Learn more and register at bit.ly/2UR8Y70

TONIGHT 7-8PM "#UrbanRenewal & the People of the West End Demolition," 1st lecture in a series of 7. Explore the story o...
02/19/2020

TONIGHT 7-8PM "#UrbanRenewal & the People of the West End Demolition," 1st lecture in a series of 7. Explore the story of the clearance and redevelopment of the #WestEndBoston and the people at the heart of those events. The rich mix of #families that filled the dense, winding streets of the #neighborhood comprised about 7,500 residents from more than 20 different ethnic and racial groups. Their backgrounds, hopes, and aspirations will be considered along with the vision for the city and the suspect motivations of the key players who sought to build a new, supposedly better Boston by tearing down the West End. Registration required. bit.ly/2SEaBmP

STARTS TOMORROW “Reflections on Boston’s West End: The Origins & Lessons of #UrbanRenewal,” a dynamic lecture series tha...
02/19/2020

STARTS TOMORROW “Reflections on Boston’s West End: The Origins & Lessons of #UrbanRenewal,” a dynamic lecture series that provides a comprehensive examination of the forces that led to the urban renewal programs in mid-20th century America. Structured as a series of 7 lectures with discussion, each session has a distinct topic, but all use the #WestEndBoston urban renewal project as the primary example & connecting point. Learn more & pre-register (required) at bit.ly/2SEaBmP.

Don't miss our brand new exhibit "#Cycling Legends of the West End!" Learn about Kittie Knox, Annie Londonderry & MGH ca...
02/18/2020

Don't miss our brand new exhibit "#Cycling Legends of the West End!" Learn about Kittie Knox, Annie Londonderry & MGH cardiologist Paul Dudley White; plus the #history of #bicycling in the US. Vintage bicycles, photos, artifacts. Runs through May 30. FREE bit.ly/3bzXU3L

Researcher and author Dr. Dorothy E. King says, “There’s something magical about the Saturday Evening Girls ... It’s a s...
02/15/2020

Researcher and author Dr. Dorothy E. King says, “There’s something magical about the Saturday Evening Girls ... It’s a story that has to be told; the kind of thing we need to embrace today as it harkens back to a time when it didn’t matter where you came from, but that you could go somewhere positive together.”

Read more about the SEG in the 2016 blog by The Museum's PR volunteer, Sue Minichiello http://goo.gl/rwTLrB

Photo Courtesy of UMass Boston Archives

#historic #boston #westend

TONIGHT at 7:30!!Celebrate #Valentine's at An English #Music Hall Night with The Old Howard Troupe. Bring your dear ones...
02/14/2020

TONIGHT at 7:30!!

Celebrate #Valentine's at An English #Music Hall Night with The Old Howard Troupe. Bring your dear ones to the Museum and have a great time!

$10/$5 Museum Members; Pre-registration required.
bit.ly/36POqxZ

TOMORROW at 7:30PM!!An English #Music Hall Night with The Old Howard Troupe, named for the renowned Howard Athenaeum in ...
02/14/2020

TOMORROW at 7:30PM!!
An English #Music Hall Night with The Old Howard Troupe, named for the renowned Howard Athenaeum in old Scollay Square. Sing along to classics like “Let Me Call you Sweetheart” & “Daisy Bell.” Fun for all!
$10/$5 Museum Members
bit.ly/36POqxZ

#Throwback to Steve & Son Barber Shop, pictured here in this undated photo of 88-90 Staniford St in Boston's old West En...
02/13/2020

#Throwback to Steve & Son Barber Shop, pictured here in this undated photo of 88-90 Staniford St in Boston's old West End. Do these buildings look familiar to you? Do you know which car model is parked on the street?

Photo courtesy of the Boston Planning & Development Agency Archives.

#boston #oldboston #westendboston #history #celebratehistory #throwback #wednesday #BPDA

On Tuesday, February 18, The West End Museum premieres a new exhibit, “Cycling Legends of the West End,” which highlight...
02/08/2020

On Tuesday, February 18, The West End Museum premieres a new exhibit, “Cycling Legends of the West End,” which highlights three key characters in bicycling history. Two of them were West End residents; one was a longtime physician at Massachusetts General Hospital. The show reception takes place on Saturday, February 29 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. Concurrent programs complement the show (see below), which runs through May 30. Programs will include a West End Heritage Night, author talks, roller racing, bike tours, film screenings, and the New England Builders Ball (NEBB). The exhibit and reception are free. Some concurrent programs require admission for non-Museum members.

“Bicycling legends Kittie Knox and Annie Cohen Kopchovsky (aka Annie Londonderry) lived in the West End during the progressive era, and in their own way, became activists for women’s equality,” said Duane Lucia, exhibit curator. “Dr. Paul Dudley White, longtime cardiologist at MGH, led the charge for the fitness movement starting in the 1950s, which in turn saw the reemergence of bicycling in the 1970s.”

In addition to relating the chronicles of Knox, Kopchovsky and White, “Cycling Legends of the West End” recounts the invention of the bicycle, its popularization and innovations in the 1800s, the bike craze of the 1890s, and the renaissance of the 1970s. Vintage bicycles, photographs, artifacts, and graphic panels take visitors on a trip back in time, while also revealing that much of what happened in the late 19th century is happening again today.

Suffragist Susan B. Anthony said of the bike, “I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world.” Both Knox’s and Kopchovsky’s stories exemplify its crucial role in the early women’s movement.

A seamstress and a woman of color, Kittie Knox (1874-1900) lived near the corner of Irving and Cambridge Streets in the West End of the 1890s. She became a member of the Riverside Cycling Club and the League of American Wheelmen (LAW). At a time when some chapters of LAW sought to ban African Americans, Knox attended a cycling meet in Asbury Park, NJ, confronting the organization’s racism and gaining national attention—just one example of her trailblazing ways.

In June 1894, Latvian/Jewish immigrant Annie Cohen Kopchovsky (1870–1947) left her husband, three small children, and their Spring Street home in the West End to embark on a bike ride around the world. Kopchovsky created the story that a wager with Boston businessmen over women’s physical capabilities instigated the trip. That myth, including a fictional payoff, lives on. In September 1895, after completing her goal, she returned home having ridden the last hundreds of miles with a broken arm, but fortified with tall tales that ran just as long.

The bicycle’s popularity faded in the first half of the 1900s, but MGH’s Dr. White (1886-1973) helped to change that. Considered the founder of preventive cardiology, Dr. White famously prescribed a cycling regimen to President Eisenhower after his heart attack in 1955, greatly influencing the bike’s resurgence in the 1960s and 70s. The Paul Dudley White Bike Path honors his role in cycling’s revival and his staunch advocacy for safe cycling. The 18-mile loop runs along the Charles River Basin, including a section bordering the West End.

We would like to acknowledge and thank our exhibit partners: Massachusetts General Hospital, New England Builders’ Ball, Keating Wheel Co., Lorenz Finison, Peter Zheutlin, Linda Ferrini, Gallery East Network, Richard Olken, and Boston Arts Sports Entertainment.

TODAY at 4PM:  See "Birth of a Nation" 105 years after its release. The film's innovations are far outweighed by its dep...
02/08/2020

TODAY at 4PM: See "Birth of a Nation" 105 years after its release. The film's innovations are far outweighed by its deplorable disinformation. A careful discussion will follow the screening. Pre-registration required; $10/Free to Museum members. bit.ly/2v0M4Pw

Notable #Boston West Ender, actress Veda Ann Borg was born to Swedish immigrants in 1915. She acted in more than 100 mov...
02/08/2020

Notable #Boston West Ender, actress Veda Ann Borg was born to Swedish immigrants in 1915. She acted in more than 100 movies and countless TV shows. Her most notable rfilm oles included Laverne in "Guys and Dolls" and the blind Nell Robertson in "The Alamo," her final film.

In 1939, Borg survived a harrowing car crash and underwent complete surgical reconstruction of her face. She returned to acting once recovered and continued working in Hollywood for another 20 years. She died from cancer in 1973 at age 58.

Do you remember any of Veda Borg's TV or film roles?

Visit our website to learn of other notable West Enders: http://bit.ly/36NCr3O

Photo Courtesy: Wikipedia

TOMORROW 4PM: 105 years later, "Birth of a Nation" is as controversial as ever. Its innovations are overshadowed by its ...
02/07/2020

TOMORROW 4PM: 105 years later, "Birth of a Nation" is as controversial as ever. Its innovations are overshadowed by its shameful propaganda. A mindful discussion will follow the film screening. Pre-registration required; $10 / Free to Museum members. bit.ly/2v0M4Pw

A week from tonight – Celebrate #Valentine's in the #WestEndBoston! Grab dinner or drinks nearby, then come to the Museu...
02/07/2020

A week from tonight – Celebrate #Valentine's in the #WestEndBoston! Grab dinner or drinks nearby, then come to the Museum for An English #Music Hall Night with The Old Howard Troupe.

$10/$5 Museum Members; Pre-registration required.
bit.ly/36POqxZ

West End Johnnies The Harp Boston Ruby Room Boston McGanns Irish Pub Causeway Restaurant & Bar Porters Bar and Grill BeerWorks

The intersection of Green & Staniford Streets in the old #WestEndBoston. Looks like an ordinary day in the old neighborh...
02/06/2020

The intersection of Green & Staniford Streets in the old #WestEndBoston. Looks like an ordinary day in the old neighborhood. Do you recognize this spot?

Photo courtesy of #BPDA Archives

#boston #history #celebratehistory #throwback

TONIGHT at 7PM!! Lizabeth Cohen: Saving America's Cities book discussion and signing at The West End Museum. Trident Boo...
02/04/2020

TONIGHT at 7PM!!
Lizabeth Cohen: Saving America's Cities book discussion and signing at The West End Museum. Trident Booksellers & Cafe will facilitate book sales and signing at the event. Come one, come all!
More info: bit.ly/2Of8282.

Happening TOMORROW: Prizewinning author Lizabeth Cohen will discuss her new book, “Saving America’s Cities,” which exami...
02/04/2020

Happening TOMORROW: Prizewinning author Lizabeth Cohen will discuss her new book, “Saving America’s Cities,” which examines #urbanrenewal following #WWII.

Registration required. $10 / Free to Members. bit.ly/2Of8282.

Tuesday Feb 4: Prizewinning author Lizabeth Cohen will discuss her new book, “Saving America’s Cities,” which examines #...
02/01/2020

Tuesday Feb 4: Prizewinning author Lizabeth Cohen will discuss her new book, “Saving America’s Cities,” which examines #urbanrenewal following WWII. Trident Booksellers & Cafe will facilitate book sales and signing. Registration required. $10 / Free to Members. bit.ly/2Of8282.

TODAY!! Jan. 18 2-5PM: West End Stories Scanning & #Photography Parties. Preserve your West End photos & more from the p...
01/25/2020

TODAY!! Jan. 18 2-5PM: West End Stories Scanning & #Photography Parties. Preserve your West End photos & more from the past through the present. bit.ly/2QGSM5M #WestEndBoston #Boston Photo by @BimalPhoto, West End Museum volunteer photographer

TOMORROW!! Jan. 18 2-5PM: West End Stories Scanning & #Photography Parties. Preserve your West End photos & more from th...
01/25/2020

TOMORROW!! Jan. 18 2-5PM: West End Stories Scanning & #Photography Parties. Preserve your West End photos & more from the past through the present. bit.ly/2QGSM5M #WestEndBoston #Boston Photo by @BimalPhoto, West End Museum volunteer photographer

TONIGHT at 7PM! Silent Movie Night: "The Great Train Robbery," "A Natural Born Gambler," and "Fights of Nations" plus a ...
01/23/2020

TONIGHT at 7PM! Silent Movie Night: "The Great Train Robbery," "A Natural Born Gambler," and "Fights of Nations" plus a lively discussion. Come on down!! More info at http://bit.ly/2SkEWah.

This Sat. Jan. 18 2-5PM: West End Stories Scanning & #Photography Parties at the Museum. Preserve your West End photos &...
01/16/2020

This Sat. Jan. 18 2-5PM: West End Stories Scanning & #Photography Parties at the Museum. Preserve your West End photos & more. bit.ly/2QGSM5M #WestEndBoston #Boston Photo: Mayhew School, West End Museum Archives

TOMORROW NIGHT @ 7PM: The Museum presents "Scollay Square: Boston's Bygone Playground."Complementing the current exhibit...
01/09/2020

TOMORROW NIGHT @ 7PM: The Museum presents "Scollay Square: Boston's Bygone Playground."

Complementing the current exhibit, “The Old Howard Theatre", “Boston the Way it Was,” is a two-part documentary produced by WGBH in 1995, featuring interviews with Bostonians sharing their favorite memories of Joe & Nemo’s famed hot dogs, “burly” shows featuring “the queen of Scollay Square” Ann Corio. (pictured below)

Tag your friends below and let them know your January 9th plans!

$10 / Free to Members

Pre-registration required, click here 👉 https://bit.ly/2QbK0et or call 617 723-2125.

Photo courtesy of Duane Lucia
#bostonhistory #WestEndBoston #WestEndMuseum

This coming Thursday, January 9, join us for an evening of film and discussion, "Scollay Square: Boston's Bygone Playgro...
01/05/2020

This coming Thursday, January 9, join us for an evening of film and discussion, "Scollay Square: Boston's Bygone Playground."

$10 / Free to Members

Pre-registration required, click here 👉 https://bit.ly/2QbK0et or call 617 723-2125.

Image courtesy: Library of Congress
#bostonhistory #WestEndBoston #WestEndMuseum

Paul the Barber, West End, 1950s.Photo by Jules Aarons, Courtesy of The West End Museum Archives Learn more about the Mu...
01/03/2020

Paul the Barber, West End, 1950s.
Photo by Jules Aarons, Courtesy of The West End Museum Archives
Learn more about the Museum at https://thewestendmuseum.org/.

Wishing you a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year! Come visit us after we resume regular hours tomorrow: Tuesday - F...
01/01/2020

Wishing you a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year! Come visit us after we resume regular hours tomorrow: Tuesday - Friday, 12 - 5 pm and Saturday, 11 am - 4 pm. Free admission, as always. Hope to see you soon!

On January 9, join us as we usher in the New Year with an evening of film and discussion, "Scollay Square: Boston's Bygo...
12/31/2019

On January 9, join us as we usher in the New Year with an evening of film and discussion, "Scollay Square: Boston's Bygone Playground."

Tag your friends below and let them know your January 9th plans!

$10 / Free to Members

Pre-registration required, click here 👉 https://bit.ly/2QbK0et or call 617 723-2125.

Image courtesy: The West End Museum Archives
#bostonhistory #WestEndBoston #WestEndMuseum

On Thursday, January 9, the Museum presents "Scollay Square: Boston's Bygone Playground."Complementing the current exhib...
12/30/2019

On Thursday, January 9, the Museum presents "Scollay Square: Boston's Bygone Playground."

Complementing the current exhibit, “The Old Howard Theatre", “Boston the Way it Was,” is a two-part documentary produced by WGBH in 1995, featuring interviews with Bostonians sharing their favorite memories of Joe & Nemo’s famed hot dogs, “burly” shows featuring “the queen of Scollay Square” Ann Corio.

Tag your friends below and let them know your January 9th plans!

$10 / Free to Members

Pre-registration required, click here 👉 https://bit.ly/2QbK0et or call 617 723-2125.

Image courtesy: The West End Museum Archives
#bostonhistory #WestEndBoston #WestEndMuseum

Check out these photos from our Night of Burlesque Music w/John Licata's Burlesk Band on Nov. 16! In the first photo, le...
12/28/2019

Check out these photos from our Night of Burlesque Music w/John Licata's Burlesk Band on Nov. 16!

In the first photo, left to right: John Licata, Ken Gross, Bob McCloskey. In the second photo, left to right: Mark Michaels, Rob Rudin, Rich Appleman.

What are your favorite burlesque or jazz tunes?

Photos by Bimal Nepal, Photographer for The West End Museum

Learn more about the Museum at https://thewestendmuseum.org.

#WestEndBoston #burlesque #jazz

From all of us at The West End Museum, warmest wishes for a Merry Christmas! May you be surrounded by friends and family...
12/25/2019

From all of us at The West End Museum, warmest wishes for a Merry Christmas! May you be surrounded by friends and family and an abundance of treats!! 🎅

Also, a friendly reminder, the Museum will be closed on Christmas Day & New Year's Day, but we're open regular hours throughout the rest of the holiday season.

Learn more about The West End Museum at https://thewestendmuseum.org.

#WestEndBoston #neighborhoodlife #OldBoston #BostonHistory #NewEnglandHistory #VisitBoston

Happy Hanukkah to all our patrons and friends! 🕎
12/22/2019

Happy Hanukkah to all our patrons and friends! 🕎

A couple shots from our current exhibit, "The Old Howard Theatre," which runs through Feb. 15, 2020. Come find out more ...
12/21/2019

A couple shots from our current exhibit, "The Old Howard Theatre," which runs through Feb. 15, 2020. Come find out more about Boston’s oldest and best-loved playhouse, which stood in the heart of Scollay Square just steps from the old West End. More info at https://bit.ly/34gyzqT.

Photos by Abigail Egan Photography for The West End Museum

The Howard Athenaeum The Old Howard Troupe #theater #WestEndBoston #burlesque

The Longfellow Bridge overlooking boats on the Charles River and an Old Town Trolley between West End Place and the Tip ...
12/13/2019

The Longfellow Bridge overlooking boats on the Charles River and an Old Town Trolley between West End Place and the Tip O'Neill Building in the West End.

What do you remember about the "Salt and Pepper Bridge" or activities along the Charles? Have you ever taken a guided tour of part of Boston? Which one and what was your experience like?

Photos by Bimal Nepal, Photographer for The West End Museum

Learn more about the Museum at https://thewestendmuseum.org.

Old Town Trolley Tours Charles River Esplanade Charles River Esplanade Charles River Museum of Industry & Innovation #WestEndBoston

Professor Lois Ascher, a West End Museum Board member, with her Wentworth students as they embark on a tour of the West ...
12/13/2019

Professor Lois Ascher, a West End Museum Board member, with her Wentworth students as they embark on a tour of the West End. Notice the new sidewalk sign about the Museum featuring a drawing of old Ward Boss Martin Lomnasney! 11.22.19

Address

150 Staniford St
Boston, MA
02114

5-Minute Walk from North Station & Bowdoin; Less than 10 Minutes from Science Park/West End & Haymarket

Opening Hours

Tuesday 12:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 12:00 - 17:00
Thursday 12:00 - 17:00
Friday 12:00 - 17:00
Saturday 11:00 - 16:00

Telephone

(617) 723-2125

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Our Story

The West End Museum is a neighborhood museum located at 150 Staniford Street in Boston on the ground floor of West End Place (entrance on Lomasney Way across from the North Station Garage). Run entirely by volunteers, The West End Museum is incorporated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. It is dedicated to the collection, preservation, and interpretation of the history and culture of Boston’s West End neighborhood.

The West End is known nationally to generations of students of urban planning and sociology as a textbook example of urban renewal gone wrong. The lessons learned from the razing of the neighborhood have instructed city planners and spurred neighborhood activists to cope more successfully with urban challenges. Hours: Tuesday - Friday 12:00pm - 5:00pm; Saturday 11:00am - 4:00pm Admission is free; a donation of $5 per person is requested for groups of 10 or more. Permanent Exhibit – The Last Tenement: Originally established in 1992 at the Old State House by the Bostonian Society, through a grant by the National Endowment for the Humanities, The Last Tenement relocated to The West End Museum in 2006. It is now permanently housed in its own dedicated 1,100 square-foot gallery space. The exhibit documents the history and culture of Boston’s West End during the immigrant era from 1850 through its decimation under urban renewal in the late 1950s. http://thewestendmuseum.org/events/exhibition-the-last-tenement/ Current Exhibits: https://thewestendmuseum.org/whats_on/exhibits/

Donate to the Museum or become a member.