The Old West End

The West End Museum is a neighborhood museum dedicated to the collection, preservation and interpretation of the history and culture of the West End of Boston.

The history of the West End is one of a largely immigrant neighborhood displaced or destroyed by ‘Urban Renewal‘ in a campaign that saw a third of Boston’s downtown demolished between 1958 and 1960, but it’s also the history of a diverse community that produced several influential people, boasted a unique culture and included many places of historical significance.

Our mission is not only to preserve this history for old West Enders and their families, but to invite members of the wider community to engage with this history, to learn from it and explore the wider culture and meaning of ‘The Greatest Neighborhood This Side of Heaven’.



News & Programs

West End Heritage Night

As many of you know, the Museum hosts annual events honoring notable West Enders of Irish, Jewish and Italian descent. But that hardly even scratches the surface of the number of ethnic groups that once called our neighborhood home. The Old West End boasted residents…

The New York Streets: Boston’s First Urban Renewal Project

Now through Fall 2017 @ The West End Museum. Prior to the demolition of Boston’s old West End, another vibrant, multi-ethnic neighborhood of tenement houses and mom-and-pop shops fell victim to so-called ‘urban renewal.’ The New York Streets: Boston’s First Urban Renewal Project is a…

Beneath the Wrecking Ball: A West End Landlord

Now through Fall 2017 @ The West End Museum. The West End Museum photography exhibit, Beneath the Wrecking Ball: A West End Landlord, depicts the buildings and architecture of the West End around just prior to demolition under urban renewal and conveys the perspective of…

From Stagecoach to Subway: The West End Street Railway

Now through Fall 2017. Public transportation has shaped life in Boston and its neighborhoods since the first English settlers arrived in the early 17th century. Its evolution over the course of more than 200 years is a fascinating tale of continuously rising demand, financial and…

Exhibition: The Last Tenement

“The Last Tenement” exhibition, originally set up in 1992 at the Old State House by the Bostonian Society through a grant by the National Endowment for the Humanities and relocated to the West End Museum in 2006, is now permanently housed in its own dedicated…

Rent The Museum

Did you know The West End Museum is available for functions like meetings, receptions, luncheons and lectures? You can hold such events in our spacious main gallery and/or smaller permanent gallery surrounded by historic displays and artifacts. The Museum can accommodate up to 50 people…