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.

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 photo of the 1954 West End House boys' basketball team comes from the  Skiffington collection in the Museum's archi...
06/28/2019

This photo of the 1954 West End House boys' basketball team comes from the Skiffington collection in the Museum's archives. Do you spot any familiar faces? Tag them or give them a shout-out below. What activities did you participate in at the West End House? We can't wait to hear your stories!
#Westendhouse #westendmuseum West End House

We came across this photo in the 1954 Skiffington collection in the Museum's archives. It looks like these children are ...
06/26/2019

We came across this photo in the 1954 Skiffington collection in the Museum's archives. It looks like these children are in a procession to their first Communion, we're betting at St. Joseph Catholic Church. Do you see any familiar faces? What memories do you have of St. Joe's?

#WestEndBoston #firstCommunion

***From Stagecoach to Subway: The West End Street Railway***This 2017 exhibit explored the history and evolution of Bost...
06/19/2019

***From Stagecoach to Subway: The West End Street Railway***

This 2017 exhibit explored the history and evolution of Boston's public transportation system from the 18th century through the present day via graphic panels and artifacts like trolley tickets, conductor buttons, and tokens.

Revisit the exhibit to trace the story from public stagecoaches and horse-drawn omnibuses to the West End Street Railway and "El," all leading ultimately to today's MBTA. http://bit.ly/2Iegj9H

People of the MBTA MBTA

#WestEndBoston #WestEndMuseum #transportation #MBTA

06/14/2019

Take a look at some of the highlights from last month's Annual Jewish Heritage Night. The Museum honored Henry Barr and Colonel Alan L. Gropman, both of whom have actively contributed to preserving the history and culture of the West End and the Jewish American history of the neighborhood.

“Henry and Alan are examples for generations to come, so people will always remember the West End was anything but a slum. It was a neighborhood of remarkable people,” said Museum board member Paul Senecal. “Then and now, they epitomize commitment of service to the greater community.”

Photos by Abigail Egan Photography

#WestEndMuseum #JewishHeritage #FlashbackFriday #BostonHistory

The large gray building in the background below is the old Boston and Maine Railroad terminal that stood at Haymarket Sq...
06/07/2019

The large gray building in the background below is the old Boston and Maine Railroad terminal that stood at Haymarket Square – located between The North End, Government Center, Boston, the Bulfinch Triangle, and the West End – from 1845 to 1897. The building gave way to the Boston City Hospital Relief Station, which provided emergency services to the downtown area from 1905 through the early 1960s. Read the Lost New England blog entry at https://bit.ly/2VZ8GaJ to learn more.

Image courtesy of the #WestEndMuseum Archives

Boston & Maine Railroad Historical Society North End Historical Society, Inc. Boston Medical Center

Ever wondered what Leverett Circle looked like back in the early 1900s? Here's an image from #WestEndMuseum Archives tha...
06/05/2019

Ever wondered what Leverett Circle looked like back in the early 1900s? Here's an image from #WestEndMuseum Archives that might interest you, alongside a much more recent version for comparison. Much has changed – including the modes of #transportation and the additions of the Museum of Science, Boston and the Science Park/West End MBTA station – but this junction was a busy spot even way back then.

#LeverettCircle #WestEnd #MuseumOfScience

Born in Chelsea, Hyman Rosenberg (pictured below) became a West Ender with his family in the 1920s. He lived there until...
06/01/2019

Born in Chelsea, Hyman Rosenberg (pictured below) became a West Ender with his family in the 1920s. He lived there until demolition and returned to the neighborhood in the 1990s. Rosenberg worked as a
house painter until World War II. Ineligible for military service, he worked at the Boston Shipyard. He returned to
house-painting after the war and later worked in the maintenance department at Children’s Hospital. In his boyhood, Rosenberg was very active with the West End house, particularly in track and field. He was also passionate about boxing and ballroom dancing.

His personal papers, now part of the museum archives, preserve significant portions of West End history and include his brother Archie’s letters during wartime, his mother Bessie’s accounts
of Jewish organizations before 1960, dozens of ballroom dance programs and Rosenberg’s own business records.

#WestEndMuseum #WestEndBoston #JewishHeritage

The warmer temperatures and sunshine of Memorial Day weekend certainly lifted the city's spirits. We're all looking forw...
05/31/2019

The warmer temperatures and sunshine of Memorial Day weekend certainly lifted the city's spirits. We're all looking forward to more of the same so we can get outside and enjoy the season just like these kids along the banks of Charles River. What are some of your favorite summer activities in Boston, whether in days past or now? We're all ears for your stories.

Photo courtesy of the #WestEndMuseum Archives
The Charles River Conservancy

#SummerIsHere #BostonSummer #WestEndSummer #CharlesRiver

Check out this photo of a little girl with her life-sized doll outside an old West End shop. By the looks of the front w...
05/29/2019

Check out this photo of a little girl with her life-sized doll outside an old West End shop. By the looks of the front window, it appears to be at least part butcher shop but we also note the "Salada Tea" sign. Do you recognize this storefront? We're listening.

Photo by Charles Frani
Courtesy of the #WestEndMuseum Archives.

#WestEndBoston #BostonHistory #CharlesFrani

We had some visitors at the museum a couple of days back and you can see them carefully looking up the West End map, try...
05/24/2019

We had some visitors at the museum a couple of days back and you can see them carefully looking up the West End map, trying to locate their family's home in the old neighborhood. We've been told unanimously by almost everyone who visits the museum that reliving their family's past is an experience which is both exhilarating and very personal.

Have you had the opportunity to discover your family's rich past in the historic West End? Tell us more about it, we're listening!

For those of you who haven't had the chance to visit us yet, come and experience this rare treasure trove of exhibits and artifacts from the old neighborhood preserved to immortalize their memories. Experience what it meant to live in this neighborhood from our museum volunteers, some of who are original West Enders. FREE ENTRY!

Photo by Noah Lucia

#WestEndMuseum #MuseumVisitors #BostonHistory #MuseumTour #FamilyHeritage

Here's an old West End photo that Diane DeLia found in her parents' photo album. She tells us the girl in the center is ...
05/22/2019

Here's an old West End photo that Diane DeLia found in her parents' photo album. She tells us the girl in the center is Joanne Brogna. To her left is Mary Bart. Also pictured are the Fitzpatrick twins. Do you remember any of these West Enders?

Photo by Diane Delia

#WestEndMuseum #WestEndBoston #BostonHistory #UrbanRenewal

Sharing Dirty Old Boston’s post of the West End’s favorite son Leonard Nimoy playing guitar in #DrSpock garb. #WestE...
05/21/2019

Sharing Dirty Old Boston’s post of the West End’s favorite son Leonard Nimoy playing guitar in #DrSpock garb. #WestEndBoston

Spock & Roll. An old West Ender strums. Wonder what tune he's playing?

It makes us so happy when we get to welcome original West Enders and their descendants to the Museum. We love being part...
05/17/2019

It makes us so happy when we get to welcome original West Enders and their descendants to the Museum. We love being part of the transfer of memories from one generation to another, and it's always fun to witness the spark of joy on former residents' faces when they spot their street on our map of the old neighborhood.

Volunteer docent Noah Lucia captured just such a moment in the photo below. "I work Saturdays and I get a lot of gratification meeting original West Enders and their families who are back visiting the neighborhood and sometimes the West End Museum for the first time," Noah said.

Have you been to the Museum lately, or ever? We'd love to hear about your experience if you have. And, if you haven'y, what are you waiting for? ;)

#WestEndMuseum #MuseumVisitors #BostonHistory #MuseumTour #FamilyHeritage

We're thrilled to share this exclusive video in the wake of Jane's Walk weekend, which honors the legacy of Jane Jacobs....
05/15/2019
Jane Jacobs, Herbert Gans, more on the Tragedy of Urban Renewal in Boston's West End

We're thrilled to share this exclusive video in the wake of Jane's Walk weekend, which honors the legacy of Jane Jacobs. An author and activist, Jacobs was a vocal critic of the West End urban renewal project. In the video, she and other experts – including Herbert Gans – address the “repulsive” process of lies told and promises unkept that sealed the West End’s fate and had devastating effects on its residents.

Please view the video on YouTube, or go to https://bit.ly/2BcBUeK, and subscribe to our channel! We'll be adding more videos in the coming months, including ones featuring former residents sharing their memories.

Videographer: Jim Campano (West End Museum founder & board member)
Editor: Lyra Piscitelli (volunteer)

#urbanrenewal #WestEndBoston

This exclusive video features clips of (in order of appearance): Thomas O’Connor, Boston College’s official historian and a professor of history, as well as ...

We found this photo in the Museum's archives and couldn't wait to share it with you! The West End boasts a robust histor...
05/10/2019

We found this photo in the Museum's archives and couldn't wait to share it with you! The West End boasts a robust history of education, being home to almost 20 schools between 1800 and 1975 including The Phillips School, which became one of the first integrated schools in Boston in 1855.

The children pictured here attended the Blackstone Elementary School at 33 Blossom Street. It appears to be a nice sunny day with the girls playing in the background while a young boy poses with a puppy.

Did you or someone you knew go to the Blackstone School? Do you have memories of your school days you'd like to share with us? We want to hear from you!

See our archived exhibit, "School Days in the West End" at http://ow.ly/iafA50u3Hlt

#WestEndBoston #WestEndMuseum #SchoolsofBoston #BostonHistory

Check out this sharp-dressed woman graciously posing for photographer Charles Frani in 1961. We don't know the exact spo...
05/08/2019

Check out this sharp-dressed woman graciously posing for photographer Charles Frani in 1961. We don't know the exact spot where this photo was snapped, but we can see the number 19 on the building. Do you recognize it and know what the street is/was? Did you or someone in your family know this stylish lady?

Photo courtesy of the #WestEndMuseum Archives

UPDATE: Thanks to @historicimage for sharing on Twitter that the location is 19 Marlborough Street, bordering Beacon Hill and the Back Bay. It seems Mr. Frani ventured beyond the West End when he was taking photos around the time of #urbanrenewal.

In this 1961 photo, a lone couple has the Hatch Memorial Shell all to themselves. What a rare treat! The Hatch Shell law...
05/03/2019

In this 1961 photo, a lone couple has the Hatch Memorial Shell all to themselves. What a rare treat!

The Hatch Shell lawn is a popular spot on the Charles River Esplanade, just down the road from the #WestEndBoston. On the 4th of July, it overflows with people watching the Boston Pops concert and an incredible fireworks display.

What are some of your favorite memories from the Hatch Shell? Did you get involved in activities at and around the Esplanade and Charles River?

Photo by Charles Frani, courtesy #WestEndMuseum Archives

#HatchShell #BostonHistory

Here's a photo of the construction of Boston's Elevated Railway, or El, on Leverett Circle circa 1909. That area is now,...
05/01/2019

Here's a photo of the construction of Boston's Elevated Railway, or El, on Leverett Circle circa 1909. That area is now, roughly, where the Science Park/West End T station stands.

"The Boston Elevated Railway (BERy) was a streetcar and rapid transit railroad operated on, above, and below, the streets of Boston, Massachusetts and surrounding communities. Founded in 1894, it eventually acquired the West End Street Railway via lease and merger to become the city's primary mass transit provider. Its modern successor is the state-run Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), which continues to operate in part on infrastructure developed by BERy and its predecessors."

See our archived exhibit, "From Stagecoach to Subway: The West End Street Railway" at http://ow.ly/XsZZ50qOhVL.

Photo and quote courtesy of the #WestEndMuseum

#WestEndBoston #BostonHistory #Transportation

04/30/2019
Jane's Walk at The West End Museum

Don't miss our FREE event on Saturday, May 4 from 10AM-4PM!

Jane Jacobs’ lecture in which she discussed what happened to the West End under urban renewal and the injustices suffered by the neighborhood’s residents will run on a loop throughout the day, and docents will guide visitors to areas of the Museum’s exhibits, “The Last Tenement” and “The Housing Act of 1949,” that relate to Jacobs’ ideas and principles.

http://ow.ly/sJd130oAWh7

We just discovered this gorgeous 1909 illustration of Scollay Square on eBay.Per Wikipedia, "The square was named after ...
04/26/2019

We just discovered this gorgeous 1909 illustration of Scollay Square on eBay.

Per Wikipedia, "The square was named after William Scollay, a prominent local developer and militia officer who bought a landmark four-story merchant building at the intersection of Cambridge and Court Streets in 1795. "

Home to the Old Howard Theater, the lively area became popular with many West Enders. In the 1940s, it was deemed "seedy" and by the early 50s, had been put on the urban renewal block to be transformed into Government Center. More than 1,000 buildings were demolished, and 20,000 residents displaced.

#ScollaySquare #WestEndMuseum #BostonHistory

We just discovered this photo from the 1920s of the West End Library branch observing Jewish Book Week. Fanny Goldstein,...
04/24/2019

We just discovered this photo from the 1920s of the West End Library branch observing Jewish Book Week.

Fanny Goldstein, a West End Museum #JewishHeritageMonth Honoree in 2016, worked in the West End Branch of the Boston Public Library for 35 years and created Jewish Book Week, among other pioneering programs. That event lay the groundwork for what became the Jewish Book Council's National Jewish Book Month.

Fanny was the first Jewish woman to direct a branch library in Massachusetts and, in 1954, became the BPL’s first Jewish woman curator of Judaica. After retiring in 1957, she served as literary editor of The Jewish Advocate.

Stay tuned for information on the Museum's 2019 celebration of Jewish Heritage Month in May!

Photo Courtesy: West End Branch of the Boston Public Library

#WestEndBoston #JewishHeritage

04/19/2019
ow.ly

Don't miss our FREE book talk and signing Tues. 4.23 at 6:30PM. Author Ed Quill relates the story of the Massachuset, the Native American tribe for which the Commonwealth is named. http://ow.ly/nQxP50qOudg

Here's a glimpse of just another day in the old West End captured by photographer Jules Aaron. We love the "Louis" build...
04/17/2019

Here's a glimpse of just another day in the old West End captured by photographer Jules Aaron. We love the "Louis" building's finer details, like the fleurs de lis and other embossing, not to mention the West Enders captured casually in the moment. Did your family or someone you knew own a butcher shop at the West End? Do you have memories of visiting this or other Mom-and-Pop West End shops? Please comment below. We want to hear from you!

UPDATE: Thanks to Marilyn G Zacks for sharing that the woman seated in the doorway is Mrs. Fanny Krivitsky. She ran the shop with her husband, Harry.

#WestEndMuseum #WestEndBoston #BostonHistory

A very happy 80th birthday to former West Ender Bruce Guarino, who is also marking 15 years as a volunteer at The West E...
04/12/2019

A very happy 80th birthday to former West Ender Bruce Guarino, who is also marking 15 years as a volunteer at The West End Museum! Bruce is the Museum's senior docent and provides personally guided tours of the Museum. A group of his fellow volunteers, as well as board members and friends, celebrated his special day today. Please join us in thanking Bruce for his many years of service and wishing him all the best!

#WestEndBoston #WestEndMuseum

Have you been to the The West End Museum lately, or ever? Come see our new exhibit, "The Housing Act of 1949," which exp...
04/06/2019

Have you been to the The West End Museum lately, or ever?

Come see our new exhibit, "The Housing Act of 1949," which explores the circumstances that led to the final chapter in the story of the old West End.

And check out our permanent exhibit, "The Last Tenement," which documents the history of the West End from 1850 to 1958 including its architecture, evolution into a densely populated and ethnically diverse neighborhood, and tragic end under #urbanrenewal.

Please enjoy a sampling of photos from last week's Irish Heritage Night at the Museum. We were thrilled to welcome a cap...
04/04/2019

Please enjoy a sampling of photos from last week's Irish Heritage Night at the Museum. We were thrilled to welcome a capacity crowd as we honored Dr. Patricia O'Malley and celebrated all things Irish. See more at https://bit.ly/2uGSakE. Read more about our honoree and the night's festivities at https://bit.ly/2YMIGCo.

2019 Irish Heritage Night
04/03/2019

2019 Irish Heritage Night

Court Yard, West End Library, Boston, ca. 1900–1901Post-impressionistic artist Maurice Prendergast painted a series of...
03/29/2019

Court Yard, West End Library, Boston, ca. 1900–1901

Post-impressionistic artist Maurice Prendergast painted a series of watercolors of the West End Library. In this one he captures the church courtyard bustling with patrons. This painting also reflects Prendergast’s interest in experimentation, which is apparent in the center foreground, where he outlined in graphite and wash the figures of a man and a young girl but never completed them.

#WestEndBoston #WestEndMuseum

03/28/2019

We look forward to seeing you'll at 6:30PM today!

#IrishHeritageNight #WestEndBoston #WestEndMusuem

Growing up, Leonard Nimoy worked various jobs in the West End to supplement his family's income. He sold newspapers, wor...
03/27/2019

Growing up, Leonard Nimoy worked various jobs in the West End to supplement his family's income. He sold newspapers, worked at local theaters, and shined shoes. We know that he was passionate about photography. But did you know that he started his own photography firm at 17? You'd be surprised to see what an archivist unearthed during one of her routine checks at the Boston City Archives. Leonard Nimoy registered this business on July 9, 1948. Read more about this amazing find at https://bit.ly/2UfjHZF.

#WestEndBoston #WestEndMusuem #LeonardNimoy #CityofBostonArchives

Here's a photo of Leverett Circle from November 5, 1954. We can't help but notice the vintage Coca-Cola billboard on one...
03/22/2019

Here's a photo of Leverett Circle from November 5, 1954. We can't help but notice the vintage Coca-Cola billboard on one of the buildings in the distance. Who remembers the brand's popular slogan from the 1950s? And what else do you recognize in the photo?

Photo Courtesy: Public Works Department photograph collection

#WestEndMuseum #WestEndBoston

The response to our Feb 13 post of a former West Ender's childhood photos has been unbelievable. Thanks to everyone who'...
03/20/2019

The response to our Feb 13 post of a former West Ender's childhood photos has been unbelievable. Thanks to everyone who's been sending in pictures in response!

This photo was shared by Mike Bernis. That's his father, Ed Bernis (on the left) and he thinks the boy in the front might be Paul Dascoli. The shot was snapped on Auburn St in the 1950s. Special shout-out to Ed's friend Robert Roulasonis, who emailed this photo to him.

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If you've got West End photos you'd like to share, please do! Click on Send Message below and in the message window, tell us about the photo – what/who/where/when is it – then click the photo icon to upload a photo from your computer and Send.

#WestEndMuseum #WestEndBoston

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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