Logo   South End, Boston, Massachusettss
A prime residential area one mile (1.6 km) south of Copley Square.

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Boston's South End, the district southeast of Huntington Avenue between Berkeley Street and Massachusetts Avenue (map), was once a tidal marsh, but during the 1800s it was filled with gravel to expand the land area of Boston.

(The Back Bay is also filled land, but most of the South End was filled before the Civil War (1861-1865), and most of Back Bay was filled afterwards.)

The South End (not to be confused with South Boston) is mostly residential, with harmonious five-story red brick buildings in a variety of architectural styles including Second Empire, Italianate and Renaissance Revival. You'll see a lot of fine bow-front buildings here (compare those on Louisburg Square on Beacon Hill).

  Union Park, Boston MA
  Bow-front houses on Union Park.

Blackstone Square and Franklin Square are the South End's two city-block parks, shady refuges on the north and south sides of Washington Street at W Newton Street.

The district also has eleven "residential parks," one-block-long public gardens at the center of a divided street framed by townhouses. Union Park is perhaps the best exemplar.

If you don't live in the South End, what's it good for?


The urbanites who live here love to dine out, and Columbus Avenue (MA Route 28) has numerous good bistros, bars and cafes.

Although the northern edge of the South End is only about five blocks south of the Public Garden (map), the neighborhood is somewhat cut off from downtown Boston by the urban canyon built for the Massachusetts Turnpike (I-90). You cross the canyon via Tremont Street, Columbus Avenue and Huntington Avenue.

To get to the South End by subway, take an MBTA subway Orange Line train to Back Bay station (which is also served by Commuter Rail trains.)

For more on the South End, have a look at the South
End Historical Society

—by Tom Brosnahan

Huntington Avenue

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About Massachusetts


Paris Girls Secret Society, the new novel by Tom Brosnahan


Union Park, South End, Boston MA

Above, Union Park, a typical 19th-century residential park in Boston's South End.





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