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.

Operating as usual

"The Charles Cinema was opened April 7, 1967, and had, for a time, the biggest movie screen in Massachusetts. It was a g...
03/01/2021

"The Charles Cinema was opened April 7, 1967, and had, for a time, the biggest movie screen in Massachusetts. It was a great place to see an ‘event’ movie, like “The Empire Strikes Back” or other blockbusters. The style was modern and simple. The Charles Cinema was the “Astor Plaza” of Boston: a top-notch presentation with a huge audience.

The Charles Cinema was built for the Walter Reade circuit. The Charles Cinema eventually became part of Loews and was closed in 1994."

From cinematreasures.org.

185 Cambridge Street, Boston, MA 02114

Image from Gerald A. DeLuca

A  pushcart vendor on city streets isn't much to gawk at–-well, at least it wasn't before the pandemic. But these pushca...
02/25/2021

A pushcart vendor on city streets isn't much to gawk at–-well, at least it wasn't before the pandemic. But these pushcart vendors have brought color, character, and delicious produce to Boston since the 1600s. Many vendors were and still are immigrants, and taking care of the cart provides a good career as well as economic stability for themselves and their families. Seen here is a seller hawking fruits and vegetables on Irving Street at Cambridge Street back in 1957. Let us know your fond memories of these pushcart vendors! #bostonwestend #oldboston #bostonhistory #bostonfood #bostonstreetvendors #historiboston #WestendBoston

Those who are familiar with #ScollaySquare in the #WestEnd know that many considered it an "infamous" part of the neighb...
02/24/2021

Those who are familiar with #ScollaySquare in the #WestEnd know that many considered it an "infamous" part of the neighborhood. True, by the time that it was destroyed in the 1960s, Scollay Square could be dangerous and had many 'seedier' businesses, like burlesque attractions and dive bars––but it was once very different, as David Kruh wrote in his book "Always Doing Something: A History of Boston's Infamous Scollay Square." The square had long been home to colorful dime museums, theatres, and food stands, and back in the 1800s it maintained a scholarly, residential vibe. Enjoy these pictures featuring Scollay Square Looking down Hanover Street in 1957 as well as a Fenway Taxi in the square in 1942! #bostonwestend #bostonhistory #oldboston #Lostboston #WestendBoston #Urbanrenewal

We don't know much about the kids in this pic. But maybe you can help us identify them! The West End neighborhood was pr...
02/22/2021

We don't know much about the kids in this pic. But maybe you can help us identify them!

The West End neighborhood was probably one of the best places to grow up in back in the 40's 50's. With places like the #Elizabethpeabodyhouse, the #westendhouse, the pools, the cinemas, the bowling alleys.

It seems like there was always something to do in the West End ❤️.

Picture shared by Dana Price.

#mondaymood #museumathome #BostonWestEnd #westendboston #bostonhistory #urbanrenewal #oldboston #lostboston

"If you don't think photos are important, wait until they are all you have left." This quote from Missy Mwac perfectly d...
02/19/2021

"If you don't think photos are important, wait until they are all you have left."

This quote from Missy Mwac perfectly describes the importance of images to West End history. They capture a neighborhood that is no longer physically present in the same way but that remains a pillar of so many people's lives. Pictures like this one from the City of Boston Archives, featuring an unidentified West End street in 1958, can evoke old feelings and memories. #westendboston #bostonhistory #oldboston #BostonWestend #LostBoston #Bostonloststreets #Urbanrenewal #Museumathome

Believe it or not, you're looking at what is now #CityHallPlaza !  This 1920 photo of downtown Boston features the famou...
02/18/2021

Believe it or not, you're looking at what is now #CityHallPlaza ! This 1920 photo of downtown Boston features the famous Quincy House hotel, built in the early 1800s and closed in 1935 and located on the corner of Brattle Street and Brattle Square in the neighborhood of #ScollaySquare. Popular in the late 19th century as a meeting place for local labor unions, the hotel began advertising itself as Boston's "official headquarters for organized labor," and was one of the most fashionable locales for local Democratic politicians.

Quincy house c. 1920
#BostonHistory #boston #HistoricBoston #museumathome #westenBoston #BostonWestend #Bostonlostarquitecture #Lostboston #oldBoston

A postcard of the Massachusetts General Hospital back in 1930! Founded in 1811, the original hospital was designed by th...
02/17/2021

A postcard of the Massachusetts General Hospital back in 1930!
Founded in 1811, the original hospital was designed by the famous American architect Charles Bulfinch. It is the third-oldest general hospital in the United States.

The MGH "Bulfinch" building still remains to this day. Have you ever seen it?

#bostonarquitecture #bostonoldbuidlings #bostonhistory #historicboston #westendboston #Bostonwestened #MGHbuilding #bostonmgh
#museumathome

Built in 1852, St. Joseph's Church stands as a West End local gem and unique addition to the edge of Mass General's camp...
02/12/2021

Built in 1852, St. Joseph's Church stands as a West End local gem and unique addition to the edge of Mass General's campus. A rare architectural survivor of Boston's early 1960's urban renewal developments, St. Joseph's block was declared a "slum" in 1953, but persevered through the loss of parish members as local property was seized through eminent domain. It continues to operate to this day, bringing a little slice of historic West End life to a modernized neighborhood. Pictured is St. Josephs, standing tall in 1960 in the otherwise-demolished West End. #Boston #BostonHistory #BostonWestend #WestendBoston #Bostonbuildings #historicboston #oldboston #Bostonoldandnew #urbanrenewal

Last month, we asked the community for their knowledge of the Mercury Club, a private social club for men at the West En...
02/11/2021

Last month, we asked the community for their knowledge of the Mercury Club, a private social club for men at the West End. Thanks to all your responses, we found out that the Mercury Club included a bowling league, football team, and ski club--they even had their own group of cheerleaders! It was located at 179 Cambridge St. Thanks again to everyone who commented and sent us information!
Pic1 Mercury club cheerleaders sent by Dana Price.
Pic 2 Mercury Club boys sent by Dana Price.
Pic 3 Mercury Ski club medal shared by Tim Douglas
#westendboston #bostonhistory #lostboston #oldboston #Urbanrenewal #BostonWestend #museumfromhome

“I’m not sure if the West End urban renewal project killed [my father], but I suspected that as I got older."  Ira Tarli...
02/10/2021

“I’m not sure if the West End urban renewal project killed [my father], but I suspected that as I got older." Ira Tarlin's father Eli Tarlin owned several properties in the West End neighborhood that were seized under eminent domain by the City of Boston for redevelopment in 1958 receiving just pennies on the dollar for his buildings. Eli Tarlin passed away shortly after. The West End Museum's 2018 exhibit Beneath the Wrecking Ball: A West End Landlord explored the story of Eli Tarlin through photographs of his properties donated by his son. Pictured here is one of Eli Tarlin's demolished West End properties. #Boston #BostonHistory #lostboston #urbanrenewal #BostonWestend #Westendboston #Museumfromhome #Oldboston #Bostonhistory

The Bowdoin Square Theatre used to be a fixture in Boston's ""infamous"" Scollay Square, which was demolished in the ear...
02/08/2021

The Bowdoin Square Theatre used to be a fixture in Boston's ""infamous"" Scollay Square, which was demolished in the early 1960s to make room for City Hall and Government Center in the 1960s. According to a theatrical guide written by Julius Cahn, for an admission price of about 25 cents guests would be treated to a movie or vaudeville show. Bowdoin was one of several theatres in Scollay Square that offered live shows as well as films.

Pics from: cinematreasures.org
#bostonhistory #oldboston #bostonwestend #theatre
#lostboston #westendboston

Although Jules Aarons was born and raised in the Bronx, his  photographs of the community have made him a cherished figu...
02/04/2021

Although Jules Aarons was born and raised in the Bronx, his photographs of the community have made him a cherished figure in West End history.

The pictures he took capture a pre-Urban Renewal West End, featuring close-knit relationships and more people than cars. In fact, this photograph (courtesy of Aarons' estate as well as Gallery Kayafas) is called "In Conversation," and similarly to his others, shows three young West Enders absorbed in their own world, totally unaware of the camera. The West End Museum honored Aarons' work with an exhibit back in August 2013. #bostonhistory #oldboston #bostonwestend #photography #Westendboston #bostonmuseum #museumfromhome

Louis Klayman Sq at North Russell st in our beloved old West End. This picture was shared by Frank P Levine in the Fb gr...
02/02/2021

Louis Klayman Sq at North Russell st in our beloved old West End. This picture was shared by Frank P Levine in the Fb group Old School Boston, his family lived in this building around 1931, and what a beautiful building it was! 😍
North Russell st is one of the West End's lost streets and would be located somewhere where the Charles River Plaza now stands.

Any other residents of this area?

#oldboston #lostboston #Bostonwestend #WestendBoston #Charlesriverplaza #Urbanrenewal #bostonhistory #BostonMuseum #westendmusem

William Cooper Nell was a writer for William Lloyd Garrison’s #abolitionist newspaper "The Liberator", and is considered...
02/01/2021

William Cooper Nell was a writer for William Lloyd Garrison’s #abolitionist newspaper "The Liberator", and is considered the first African American Historian.

He wrote Services of Colored Americans in the Wars of 1776 and 1812 in 1851, which, in Nell’s words, was intended to spotlight African Americans’ “patriotism and bravery” exhibited in a “much-neglected department of American history.”
He lived in the West End on 3 Smith Court and attended the Abiel Smith School back when education was still segregated.

#oldboston #oldwestend #Bostonwestend #Westendboston #bostonhistory #Blackhistory #Africanamericanhistory #africanamericanhistorymonth #bostonmuseum

Vaudeville, comedy shows, movies...the now-demolished Palace Theatre that once stood in Scollay Square had it all.  Acco...
01/30/2021

Vaudeville, comedy shows, movies...the now-demolished Palace Theatre that once stood in Scollay Square had it all.

According to the site CinemaTreasures, which provided this photograph and information, the Palace often had entertainment from 10 a.m. until 11 p.m., and might have been showing moving pictures as early as 1897! Sadly, in the early 1960s, all of the buildings in Scollay Square were destroyed in order to make room for Government Center.

If you have any memories of the Palace Theatre or Scollay Square, please share them with us! #historicboston #bostonhistory #westendboston #theatre #Bostonwestend #Oldboston #lostboston #bostonmuseum #bostonarchives

A winter day during the Urban Renewal Program 1958-60. From the West End looking toward Hotel Madison/Hotel Manger.Read ...
01/29/2021

A winter day during the Urban Renewal Program 1958-60. From the West End looking toward Hotel Madison/Hotel Manger.

Read more about Boston’s Urban Renewal Program at https://thewestendmuseum.org/history-of-the-west-end/urban-renewal/

#Westendboston #Bostonwestend #Oldboston #urbanrenewal #Gentrification #Lostboston #Bostonhistory #Bostonmuseum #Museumfromhome

Oh, how the times have changed! In the picture shown below, shared by Vito Aluia in the Old school Boston group, is a St...
01/28/2021

Oh, how the times have changed! In the picture shown below, shared by Vito Aluia in the Old school Boston group, is a Stop and Shop at the West End on Cambridge street (1960's).

Now, this building has turned into a gymnasium and fitness center for @suffolkuniversity and the building right next to it turned into @TheTipTapRoom. Talk about change of architecture, right? That being said, it is still awing to see how much Boston has changed over the years.

To find more interesting facts & pictures of West End's past, why not visit our website?https://thewestendmuseum.org/

#historicboston #bostonhistory #westend #oldboston #lostboston #Bostonwestend #Westendboston #museumfromhome #cambridgest #suffolkuniversity #stopandshop @StopandShop

On January 24 2014, the West End Museum premiered a new exhibit, A Neighborhood in Transition: 1961 -­‐ 1980, featuring ...
01/26/2021

On January 24 2014, the West End Museum premiered a new exhibit, A Neighborhood in Transition: 1961 -­‐ 1980, featuring the photographs of West End resident Charles Frani, who snapped hundreds of images of his changing neighborhood over the course of two decades.

To check more about this exhibit, visit The West End Museum website: https://thewestendmuseum.org/exhibt-a-neighborhood-in-transition-1961-1980/

#WestendBoston #BostonWestend #Franicollection #Museumfromhome #Lostboston #oldboston #urbanrenewal #museumexhibit

Firefighters use a building being demolished in Boston’s West End section as a backdrop for a civil defense test may 196...
01/20/2021

Firefighters use a building being demolished in Boston’s West End section as a backdrop for a civil defense test may 1960 City of Boston Archives.

#wednesdaymood #westendboston #bostonwestend #lostboston #urbanrenewal #firefighters

Does anyone remember or was part of the Mercury club? It was a men's private social club with 2 locations, one was on Ca...
01/19/2021

Does anyone remember or was part of the Mercury club? It was a men's private social club with 2 locations, one was on Cambridge St in the West End. In this Picture Sebastiano Petrella and a friend walking into the club. Any other members out there who can give us more information?

#westend #oldboston #Lostboston #BostonWestend #WestendBoston #Mercuryclub #Bostonlostplaces #Urbanrenewal #oldtimesboston #oldtimes #blackandwhite #Tuesdayvibes

Shared with us by Michael Scimeca  1946 Blackstone School. His dad is in the back row white shirt and tie with pattern o...
01/19/2021

Shared with us by Michael Scimeca 1946 Blackstone School. His dad is in the back row white shirt and tie with pattern on it. #139.

#oldbostonschool #oldboston #Westendboston #Bostonwestend #oldschoolboston #lostboston #westnendschool

The Crawford Bowladrome opened on September 8, 1938. As the Great Depression was ending, bowling was perfect for the wor...
01/15/2021

The Crawford Bowladrome opened on September 8, 1938. As the Great Depression was ending, bowling was perfect for the working class that started enjoying more leisure activities, it was inexpensive, easy to learn, and social. The West end held many bowling alleys but only two (Crawford Bowladrome and Daylight Alley) had the required documents to open on sundays it was called a “Petition to Operate Bowling Alleys on the Lord’s Day.”

Pictures from City of Boston Archives
Pic1: crawford bowladrome circa 1958
Pic 2: Petition to Operate Bowling Alleys on the Lord’s Day, 1947.

#bostonhistory #bostonwestend #Westendboston #lostboston #oldboston #bostonbowling #bostonlostbusiness #Urbanrenewal

Shared by  Historian Anthony Samarco in Lost Boston:The Bowdoin Square Baptist ChurchThis West End Church faced Cambridg...
01/13/2021

Shared by Historian Anthony Samarco in Lost Boston:

The Bowdoin Square Baptist Church

This West End Church faced Cambridge Street back in the day and today would be to the left of Government Center.

A Gothic Revival church built in 1840 of hammered granite with a crenellated center tower surmounted by pinnacles, and it was typical of the pre Civil War churches that were built in Boston and surrounding towns.

In 1898, the church became known as the Bowdoin Square Baptist Tabernacle, and its congregation worshipped in a changing neighborhood but had a sign above the entrance that said “Welcome Stranger.”

The church was eventually sold in 1916 to the New England Telephone and Telegraph Company. In 1930, the telephone company demolished the church and built an Art Deco high-rise office building on the site

#Westendboston #bostonwestend #bostonoldarchitecture #oldboston #lostboston #wenesdaymood #wenesdayvibes

Let's take some time to admire this #OldBoston picture!Aerial views are exquisitely beautiful, sometimes you are just to...
01/08/2021

Let's take some time to admire this #OldBoston picture!
Aerial views are exquisitely beautiful, sometimes you are just too close to things to see the big picture and the beauty in it.

Remember to change your perspective from time to time!

Aerial view of State House, Beacon Hill, West End, Cambridge, Somerville, Charlestown, circa 1926-1928.

By Boston City Archives

#WestenBoston #Bostonwestend #Beaconhillboston #bostonurbanrenewal #urbanrenewal #bostonmuseum #bostonurban #aerialview #charlesriver #somerville #charlestown #cambridge

The Causeway Street Elevated and Canal Street Loop in the 1930s. The other El on the right is the old Main Orange Line C...
01/06/2021

The Causeway Street Elevated and Canal Street Loop in the 1930s. The other El on the right is the old Main Orange Line Charlestown Elevated, which met the Green Line at North Station as the present-day Orange Line does.

Shared by Paul Reardon in Old School Boston Fb group

#Bostonhistory #bostonmuseum #urbanrenewal #oldboston #westendboston #bostonwestend #bostontransportation #bostonmbta #MBTA #greenline

Happy new year! This has been a challenging year but we are so glad we made it through. The New year might bring a new l...
12/31/2020

Happy new year!

This has been a challenging year but we are so glad we made it through. The New year might bring a new look at the museum and it's exhibits, we are looking forward for what the future holds.

Best wishes to all!

#westendboston #bostonwestend #HappyNewYear2021 #goodriddance2020 #urbanrenewal #bostonmuseum #bostonma

Old West End over New West end:Buzzy’s Fabulous Roast Beef (located near Charles/MGH  Station) was a “Boston’s famous la...
12/30/2020

Old West End over New West end:

Buzzy’s Fabulous Roast Beef (located near Charles/MGH Station) was a “Boston’s famous landmark 24-hour restaurant,” said Robert (2002). The restaurant was permanently closed in 2002 when Mass General Hospital decided to buy and tore it down, ending Buzzy’s nearly 50-year journey since its opening in the 1960s.

Any memories to share?

Reference: https://robertandchristina.com/buzzys.html

#bostonwestend #westendboston #oldtimes #oldboston #bostonfoodies #lostboston #oldbussinesboston #westend #libertyhotel #MGHboston Massachusetts General Hospital

"The original Boys of the hood"  This 1957 photo was taken on Brighton Street. Around a year after this, West Enders sta...
12/29/2020

"The original Boys of the hood"

This 1957 photo was taken on Brighton Street. Around a year after this, West Enders started getting eviction letters to leave their homes.
Curiously enough, this picture shows the real #WestEnd neighborhood with clean streets and friends enjoying each other's company.

In this picture: Mike Roberto, George McNeill, Eddie Niland, Bobby Smith and Paul Tkaczuk.

Originally posted on the WestEnder Newspaper.

#bostonwestend #WestendBoston #Oldtimes #Oldboston #Bostonlost #Lostboston #urbanrenewal

"The Last West Enders"By the spring of 1960, 379 Charles Street was one of the last homes to survive, standing only a fe...
12/28/2020

"The Last West Enders"

By the spring of 1960, 379 Charles Street was one of the last homes to survive, standing only a few blocks from the #ElizabethPeabodyHouse.

Its resident, Elizabeth Kearney Blood, emigrated from Ireland at the outbreak of World War One in 1918, and married John Blood from Newburyport.

In May 1960, Blood and two of her daughters, Elizabeth McCormick and Dorothy Eastman, protested their removal from the #WestEnd. They attempted to block entry into their well-maintained home after movers took the front door from its hinges, and otherwise made their presence felt: Elizabeth Blood would eventually sit on the hood of her car and watch as movers carted away her possessions.

#westendboston #bostonhousing #LostBoston #bostonwestend #oldboston #urbanrenewal #bostonstories

Address

150 Staniford St
Boston, MA
02114

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

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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/

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Comments

Any plans to reopen, or are you already opened?
1946 Blackstone School. Sorry for the poor quality. My dad is back row white shirt and tie with pattern on it. #139.
I'm sorry I don't know how to share this story that was just posted, so I copied the first few paragraphs. This will be great publicity for the Museum if you can get involved somehow. Everyone interested should make sure the monument is located in a prominent place in the West End Proposed West End Monument Would Pay Tribute to Former Neighborhood Resident Leonard Nimoy by Dan Murphy • October 21, 2020 • 0 Comments A monument proposed for the West End would pay tribute to one of the neighborhood’s favorite sons, Leonard Nimoy, while also honoring Mr. Spock – the character he immortalized on “Star Trek” and whose signature Vulcan hand salutation (along with its accompanying spoken expression of well-wishing, “Live Long and Prosper”) ranks among the most indelible and instantly recognizable images from the classic 1960s TV series. Like many Bostonians, Tom Stocker, the artist and Northampton Street resident who is spearheading the effort, was unaware of the actor’s connection to the city before viewing “Leonard Nimoy’s Boston” – a half-hour special that first aired on WGBH-TV in 2014 in which Nimoy, accompanied by his filmmaker son, Adam, returned to his native city to reminisce about growing up in the old West End as the son of Jewish immigrants from Ukraine. In fact, his ties to the city ran so deep that Nimoy, who died in February of 2015 at age 83, revealed in his autobiography “I Am Not Spock,” that he based the Vulcan salutation, which comprises a raised hand with the palm forward and thumb extended while the middle and ring fingers are parted, on a rabbinical blessing he saw performed during a religious service at an Orthodox synagogue he accompanied his grandfather to as a boy.
This is a photo shared by Barbara Santosuosso. Her father Joseph Berlandi was a Rep for Ward 3. Seated at the head table.
Does anyone have pictures or memories of Klaman's Deli? Walter Klaman was my Great Grandfather.
My mom and her sisters were born and raised in the West End about 1910-1940. When I was a small child, she took me several times to see the destruction of the neighborhood that she had loved.
Survey question from Boston's West End Civic Association: "Is a neighborhood public elementary school a priority for the West End?" Please share!
Survey question from Boston's West End Civic Association: "Is a neighborhood public elementary school a priority for the West End?" Please share!
Please share your opinion with Boston's West End Civic Association on this question!
LOVED LIVING THERE
I just found this page and it was excited to see. My family all grew up in The West End on Leverett st. All of my Ruma family isn't with me anymore to hear the great stories of this Historical area. So finding this page was great. I have some pics of my father when he was in the Romans club with all the guys from the neighborhood. Amazing....