The North End of Boston, Massachusetts, is a maze of small streets with some of Boston’s older historical buildings dotting the landscape. On the guided Self-guided Freedom Trail, visitors pass through beautiful old buildings such as the 1680s Paul Revere House, and the Old North Church that played a pivotal role in the development of Boston. Italian restaurants, authentic coffeehouses, old-fashioned pastry shops and local cafes pack the neighborhood, especially along Hanover Street. The renovated John Hancock Tower adds a stylish, modernist addition to this list of Boston’s top-rated historical attractions.
Many of the homes built in Boston’s north end were built by Italian immigrants. The colonial-styled homes along Commonwealth Avenue were created especially for Italian immigrants. Boston’s rich Italian heritage is evidenced by the fact that most of the first settlers were from a group of immigrants that settled in what is now known as Sicily. In fact, the largest Italian community in the United States is found in the town of Boston, which was one of America’s first established Italian enclaves.
Today, the western border of this working-class neighborhood is known as Commonwealth Park, which is the location of today’s famous boston public library, which is located on the north end of boston’s north end. Another notable landmark of this working-class neighborhood is the John Hancock Tower. Just north of the Charles River, it was the home of General George Washington. Today, it serves as a popular location for a bookshop and other book-related businesses. The William Dartmouth House is an elegant historic building just across the river from the library, which served as the birthplace of the third U.S. president.
The upscale, middle-class neighborhoods of Back Bay and Boylston Streets represent Boston’s new-style development. Back Bay, which is just north of Boston’s center, has seen a surge in real estate development as the name-brand hotels and upscale boutiques have come to replace the original Irish pubs and coffee houses. Whereas the west side of Boylston Street experienced a decline in residential development, particularly in the early 1990s, this part of the neighborhood received a sudden burst of new development when the Boston Red Sox relocated to Fenway Park in nearby Boston.
The late twentieth century brought a new influx of Italian residents, mostly from the former Yugoslavia. They settled in Boston’s North End and helped create a unique character and architectural style reminiscent of their native countries. Their shops and buildings stand as a stark reminder of their decades-long journey across Europe, a journey that may have been traumatic but for which they’ve made wonderful friendships across the years. Many of the Italian-designed structures date back to the late nineteenth century, including the Casa Natalco, which was built in 1869 and served as an orphanage during the Italian occupation of Boston.
Today Boston’s North End houses a diverse population of immigrants and their descendants, many of whom have become beloved locals. The renovated neighborhoods are now frequented by art enthusiasts, writers, and newlyweds who are drawn to the vibrant nightlife that is now offered by Boston’s North End. There are many Italian restaurants and cafes that serve delicious food and wine. In addition, visitors can take in the many striking 19th century landmark buildings that remain standing, including the Fenway Park House and the John Hancock Tower.