North End Boston MA Neighborhood

The North End is a neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts, has the distinction of being the city’s oldest residential community, where people have continuously inhabited since it was settled in the 1630s. Though small, the neighborhood has nearly one hundred establishments and a variety of tourist attractions. It is known for its Italian American population and fine Italian restaurants. The district is a pending Boston Landmark.

The North End has a mixture of architecture from all periods of American history, including early structures such as the Old North Church (1723), the Paul Revere House (1680), the Pierce-Hichborn House (1711), and the Clough House (1712). However, the bulk of the architecture seen in the area today dates from the late 19th to early 20th centuries, when tenement architecture replaced mansions and other buildings to accommodate the influx of immigrants.

The North End Music and Performing Arts Center (NEMPAC) and the Improv Asylum Theater are located on Hanover Street. All Saints Way, a private art project located on Battery Street, is occasionally open to the public. It consists of framed portraits of Roman Catholic saints hung on a brick wall, some of which are visible from the street.

At the end of the 19th century the North End was filled with small restaurants that served inexpensive meals. In 1909, there were 12 active Italian restaurants, and by the 1930s a few of these restaurants were renowned. Today, the North End’s streets are lined with cafes, small grocery stores, and Italian restaurants. These restaurants are a popular destination for both locals and tourists.

The North End is home to six of Boston’s publicly accessible artworks. The Boston Art Commission has care and custody of all public art located on city property.

North End Library Mosaics (2009) – located at 25 Parmenter Street.

Paul Revere sculpture (1940) – located at the Paul Revere Mall, between Hanover Street and Salem Street.

Merchant Marine Memorial – located near the Andrew P. Puopolo Junior Athletic Field, on Commercial Street.

Benjamin Franklin Tablet (1946) – located on the corner of Union Street and Hanover Street.

Christopher Columbus sculpture (1979) – located in the Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park, near Atlantic Avenue.

Massachusetts Beirut Memorial (1992) – located in the Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park.

Every summer, the residents of the North End hold festivals (feasts) to honor the patron saints of different regions in Italy. Statues of the saints are paraded down the streets of the neighborhood while well-wishers attach dollar bills to the statues as a donation and show of support. The feasts also include marching bands, food and other vendors, and live music.

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