Long Love The West End of Boston

The West End of Boston had been developed for the rich. The neighborhood also sheltered freed blacks, who bravely served in the Civil War. The waves of Armenians, Greeks, Irish, Lebanese, Italians, Jews, Lithuanians, Poles, Russians, Syrians, and Ukrainians emigrants pushed out the wealthy, creating a ethnic haven for one and all.

The Ward 8 boss, Martin Lomasney, aka ‘the Mathama’ protected the people, especially the Irish families, but helped all newcomers find jobs to insure their future votes. The lifelong bachelor’s even-handed reign over the West End endured over forty years under his motto, “Don’t write when you can talk; don’t talk when you can nod your head.”

The strong Jewish community centered on the Vilna Shul, whose revered double hand symbol for the Kohanim, known to Trekkies as the Vulcan salute.

At its height over 23,000 people lived in the flourishing West End, however the Brahmin landlords decided to ‘deslum’ the neighborhood with a grandiose development project. Resistance to this change was strong, but by the 1950s the population had shrunken to 7500 diehards without a political champion.

Tawdry Scollay Square was leveled for a new city hall designed by IM Pei.

In 19523 Mayor Hynes declared the West End’s narrow streets a fire hazard without mentioning anything about the cobble-stoned lanes of Beacon Hill, bastion to the Cabots, Lodges, and Lowells.

The West End was doomed by wrecking balls fueled by greed.

The Boston Housing Authority demolished the West End with the high-explosive viciousness of Curtis Le May’s Eight Army Air Force.

When nothing was left the BHA built luxury apartments for a little over 400 families.

At the end of Storrow Drive a billboard promoted the project with the sales pitch, “If you lived here, you would be home now.”

Only one tenement building remains from the rage of progress.

42 Lomasney Way.

The Winter Hill Gang’s HQ.
Fuck the rich.

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