Tour: The Urban Renewal Walking Tour

Charles River Park

Charles River Park

Saturday, November 7 at 11 am.

@ The West End Museum.

The Urban Renewal Walking Tour helps attendees to understand the broad range of forces that drove urban renewal in the 1950s. Beginning with a presentation inside the museum, tour leader Jim Briand introduces the neighborhood that was Boston’s West End, a dense community of urban vitality and ethnic diversity. Yet he also introduces the perspective of city officials, downtown merchants and others who viewed the area as backward, rundown and an obstacle to building the city of tomorrow they envisioned. The talk touches on the economic, demographic and governmental forces that ultimately resulted in the condemnation and destruction of the area despite valiant efforts on the part of residents to save it. Finally, the legacy of the destruction of the West End is considered in light of subsequent changes in federal and city policy. Following the indoor presentation, the group leaves to visit the surviving buildings remaining after the neighborhood was cleared. Each tells a story of the neighborhood and its displaced population. Featured locations include a surviving tenement, the neighborhood’s leading church, schools and social organizations, a historic synagogue and finally Charles River Park itself, the modernist apartment complex built by noted architect Victor Gruen that replaced the winding streets of the lost neighborhood with high rise buildings and ordered greenery. Join us for an exciting and informative look at the recent past of Boston.

Total Time: 80 minutes.

Cost: $7 for members / $15 for non members.

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