East Boston

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East Boston
Neighborhood of Boston
An airplane approaching Logan International Airport in 1973.
An airplane approaching Logan International Airport in 1973.
Nickname(s): Eastie, EBO
Neighborhood map of East Boston, Massachusetts
Neighborhood map of East Boston, Massachusetts
Country United States
State Massachusetts
County Suffolk
Neighborhood of Boston
Annexed by Boston 1836
Population (2010) 40,508
Time zone Eastern (UTC-5)
Zip Code 02128, 02228
Area code(s) 617 / 857
Website www.eastboston.com

East Boston, nicknamed Eastie, is a neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts with over 40,000 residents. The neighborhood was created by connecting several islands using land fill. It was annexed by Boston in 1836. It is separated from the city proper by Boston Harbor and bordered by Winthrop, Revere, and the Chelsea Creek. Directly west of East Boston, across Boston Inner Harbor, is the North End and Boston's Financial District. The neighborhood is easily accessible to downtown Boston via the MBTA Blue Line.

East Boston has long provided a foothold for the latest immigrants with Irish, Russian Jews and later, Italians.[1] John F. Kennedy's grandfather was one of many Irish people to immigrate to East Boston, and the Kennedy family lived there for some time.

From the 1990s into the early millennium, Latin American immigrants settled in East Boston, eventually composing more than fifty percent of the population in the 2010 neighborhood census.[2] In recent years, East Boston has become home to a wave of young professionals seeking residence in Boston in newly renovated condominiums along Jeffries Point, Maverick Square, and the Eagle Hill waterfront, ushering in gentrification. Jeffries Point specifically has become one of the most desirable neighborhoods, due to its location to the harbor, marinas, and Piers Park.

Originally, five islands[3] made up the East Boston neighborhood. To connect to the mainland to the north, fill was mostly used. Originally, Logan International Airport is located in East Boston, connecting Boston to domestic and international locations.[4]


Early history[edit]

The landmass that is East Boston today was originally made up of five islands: Noddle's; Hog's (which later known as Breed's Island, and would become Orient Heights); Governor's; Bird; and Apple. Not long after Boston was settled, Noddle Island served as grazing land for cattle.[5]

Originally, people used ferries to get from East Boston to downtown. They were eventually replaced by the streetcar tunnel that became the MBTA Blue Line. Additionally, the five islands were connected using landfill, the latter three during the expansion of Logan Airport during World War II.

In 1801, William H. Sumner had proposed to the federal government of the United States to create a turnpike to connect Salem to Boston via the undeveloped Noddle's Island. He argued that the road would create a much more direct route, making it easier for the neighborhood to develop. He stated

"…in my opinion that the circular route from Chelsea thro’ Charlestown to Boston is about 1 of a mile farther than a direct course over Noddle’s Island in Boston.... The course suggested will be almost in a direct line, from my knowledge of the land….On the back part of the Island is a muddy creek and the distance of the Island to Boston is not so great by one third, I presume as it is from Chelsea to Moreton Point in Charlestown.... There is no doubt that but that the necessities of the town of Boston will some require a connection with Noddle’s Island with the town of which it is part." [6]

The one issue that Sumner foresaw, but glossed over, was that land in Charlestown was purchased by the federal government as the site for a future naval yard. The ships en route from this yard to the ocean would be blocked by the proposed turnpike. Sumner believed this would not stand in his way, since a standing navy was in such disfavor at that point in the nation’s history. However, the War of 1812, which was considered a naval war, changed the public's opinion about the needs for a naval yard. Because the route through East Boston and over the Boston Harbor would block ships route to the future Charlestown Navy Yard the turnpike was planned to go through Chelsea as opposed to Noddle's Island.

Formation of East Boston Company[edit]

Sumner began to make his move for the acquisition of all of Noddle’s Island upon the death of Colonel David Stoddard Greenough, who had been a longtime holdout against selling to him. Greenough died of apoplexy, and his wife and children wanted to cede their portion of the island. In 1836, Sumner coincidentally married Greenough’s widow, Maria Foster Doane.[7] With the assistance of his new business partners, Steven White and Francis J. Oliver, he purchased the land for $100 per acre or $32,500. This purchase gave Sumner control of one half of the Island. Subsequently, in February 1832, the partners formed the East Boston Company. They stated that their part of the Island was to be divided into 666 shares and that it would be managed by a board of directors, who would be able to sell the Company’s interest in the island. Establishing transportation to the area was imperative and they were dedicated to pushing for a railroad connection from Boston to Salem over the Island. They also wanted to establish a ferry system from Boston. Each share of the Company was equivalent to 0.5-acre (2,000 m2). There were 5,280 acres in total, of which Sumner owned 1320; Mrs. Gerard, 880; Steven White, 880; and Oliver, 440. The rest were spread among twenty-nine other shareholders. By the end of 1833, the East Boston Company had complete control over the entire Island.

Connections to the mainland[edit]

East Boston in 1838
East Boston in 1879

In the 1830s, the largest problem keeping East Boston from thriving was transportation. The East Boston Company believed the neighborhood could not become a valuable asset until people had a way to reach the area from the Boston mainland. As a temporary solution, they set up a paddle steamer to carry 15 people at a time from Boston Proper to the neighborhood. It was used primarily for occasional visits from public officials and laborers. Though they did not have the ridership to support additional boats, the company purchased the Tom Thumb steamboat.

The steam railroad system was still in its infancy at this point, and the East Boston Company was approached by an inventor of a new type of rail system, the suspension railway. This system was one of the earliest suspended railroads to be built. The railroad cars were propelled by a steam engine hanging from a suspended track. Henry Sargent, the inventor, stated "that his invention would make the Island a center of attraction to many people." The Company allowed it to be built on its land and it was in use for nine days in 1834, then closed citing lack of ridership.

Most Holy Redeemer Church was built in East Boston in 1844.

In the mid-1830s, the Company made several investments to further East Boston's desirability. They continued attempts to get the Eastern Railroad to come to East Boston. The Maverick and East Boston ferries began service from Lewis Wharf on the mainland to East Boston. A bridge to Chelsea was built, roads were laid out, and houses were built. Much of this activity was spurred by the formation of the East Boston Lumber Company. During this period, the Boston Sugar Refinery was also founded, which was the first manufacturing establishment in East Boston. They are credited for the creation of white granulated sugar.[8]

Kennedy family[edit]

President Kennedy addressing the people of New Ross, Ireland, June 1963: —

When my great grandfather left here to become a cooper in East Boston, he carried nothing with him except two things: a strong religious faith and a strong desire for liberty. I am glad to say that all of his great grandchildren have valued that inheritance.

The Kennedy Family lived on Meridian Street in what is now a small home wedged between a Hispanic market and hardware store, approaching the Meridian Street branch of the Boston Public Library. The family later moved to a larger home on Monmouth Street. P. J. Kennedy's success enabled him to purchase a home for his son, Joseph, and another for his two daughters at Jeffries Point.

In 1954, John F. Kennedy famously paraded through East Boston with his wife, Jackie, in anticipation for his campaign to run for United States Senate, to secure votes from the neighborhood. In a famous photograph, Kennedy is shown walking down Chelsea Street heading towards Maverick Square, waving to the crowd in front of Santarpio's Pizza.[9]

On numerous occasions throughout his career in the United States Senate, Senator Ted Kennedy mentioned that his family's roots are embedded in East Boston.

Later history[edit]

Since the mid-19th century, the community has served as a foothold for immigrants to the United States: Irish and Canadians came first, followed by Russian Jews and Italians, then Southeast Asians, and, most recently, a large influx from Central and South American countries.[1] The Orient Heights section of East Boston was the first area in Massachusetts to which Italians immigrated in the 1860s and 1870s, and today the heart of the Italian community remains in East Boston.

The population of East Boston, which was recorded as a mere thousand in 1837, exploded to a high of just over 64,000, according to the 1925 census. The sudden rise is attributed to the immigrants who came from Southern Italy. Today, the neighborhood is home to over 40,000 inhabitants, with a median income per household of around $46,000.[10][11]


Aerial view of Logan Airport
The eastern terminus of I-90 in East Boston

Transportation has long played a role in the shaping of East Boston. The world's finest clipper ships were built at the shipyard owned by Donald McKay in the mid-19th century. A subway tunnel connecting the neighborhood to the rest of the city opened in 1904 and was the first undersea tunnel of its kind in the United States. Rows of houses were torn down to build the Sumner Tunnel in 1934 and the Callahan Tunnel in 1961, directly connecting automobile traffic from downtown Boston. In the early 1920s, an airfield was built, and eventually it was expanded to become Logan International Airport. The eastern terminus of Interstate 90 (the Massachusetts Turnpike) has been at Route 1A next to Logan Airport since 2003, and the newer Ted Williams Tunnel (1995) links I-90 from East Boston to the rest of the city.

For many years, East Boston’s connections to Boston, which included the Sumner and Callahan tunnels, including the Tobin Bridge by way of Chelsea, were overcrowded. The constant flow of traffic of those who wished to reach the Airport would have to approach one of these few passageways, causing chronic traffic jams. Much of this traffic has alleviated now that the Ted Williams Tunnel has been built. The City of Boston has also supplied residents of East Boston with special transponders, known as Fast Lane (now E-ZPass), that allow them to automatically pay reduced tolls through the Sumner and Ted Williams Tunnels.

Logan Airport, New England’s primary international airport and 48th busiest in the world, resides mainly in East Boston (though part of the airfield itself lies in Winthrop). It is almost completely surrounded by water. There has been continual controversy surrounding Logan, as constant conflict with the Massachusetts Port Authority has been a source of bitterness among some local residents since its inception. One expansion of the Airport resulted in the loss of Wood Island Park, a green space designed by the noted landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted. The expansion of Logan Airport in the late 1960s and early 1970s displaced families along Neptune Road, which is now used for warehouses and rental car property. The airport has since implemented four "airport edge buffers," which include parks and greenery to appease residents.[12]

The MBTA's Blue Line stops in East Boston include Maverick, Airport, Wood Island, Orient Heights, and Suffolk Downs. Massport provides free shuttle buses from the Airport MBTA station to all Logan Airport terminals and the Rental Car Center. The East Boston Greenway, a shared use path and park along a former rail line, connects to the Airport station.

A recent issue for commuters and residents has been the city's planned removal of the toll plaza at the Sumner Tunnel. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation claims it will make people's lives easier, especially commuters, who won't have to deal with the traffic. At the same time, some residents of East Boston have protested against losing historical roadways and have even threatened strikes.[13]

The MBTA is another source of transportation for East Boston Residents working outside their area. Unfortunately, the MBTA cancelled its late-night services, which adds challenges for commuters, who may then need to pay added taxi costs to get home. in 2016, East Boston's State Representative, Adrian Madaro, wrote a letter to the Department of Transportation sharing his findings and asking them to reconsider the idea of cancelling the late -night services.[14]


Residences on Cottage Street

East Boston's population is ethnically diverse, reflecting the immigrants from around the world who moved there. Since the early 1900s, immigrants have been a part of the East Boston community. First Irish and Canadians, then Russian Jews and Italians, Southeast Asians, and finally Latinos. In 2011, East Boston was estimated to have 41,128 residents living in 14,832 housing units.[15] There are 1,258 empty units in the community.

Hispanic/Latino people form the largest race in the community, making up 54.4% of the population, followed by whites (35.5%). Other races include Asian (4.4%), black or African American (2.9%), biracial or multiracial individuals (1.9%), and other races (0.9%).

Just over half (50.3%) of the population was native. Over three quarters (77.9%) were born in Massachusetts, while 15.2% were born in other states, and 6.9% were born outside of the U.S.

East Boston's Hispanic/Latino population is itself diverse.[16] Unlike other Hispanic communities in the city, which on average are almost exclusively Puerto Rican or Dominican[citation needed], East Boston's Latino community is mostly composed of immigrants from Central and South America. Immigrants have come to East Boston from Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Peru, and many other countries.[17] Until the immigration of Spanish-speakers, East Boston had an Italian-American majority.

According to the East Boston 2010 Census, there was a definite increase among the Latino population from 2000 to 2010. The American Community Survey from 2005-2009 shows estimates collected for East Boston regarding residents of Puerto Rican and Dominican ethnicity.[18] Regarding foreign-born East Bostoners:

  • The largest group are El Salvadorans, who make up 26.6% of the foreign-born population
  • Dominicans make up 3.8% of the foreign-born population
  • Puerto Rico was not among the top 20 countries of origin for foreign-born East Bostoners
  • Eight non-Latino countries made the list of the top 20 countries of origin for immigrants to East Boston. These countries included Morocco, Vietnam, China, Cape Verde, Poland, Haiti, Canada, and Malaysia.[19]


Males comprise 53.2% of the population, while women comprise 46.8% of the population.

Over the past 12 months, 85.9% of the male population and 74.4% of the female population had worked at a paid job.[15]

Boston is also diverse in terms of its age distribution:

  • 20.8% are under 18
    • 6.9% are age 5 or under
    • 6.2% are ages 5–9
    • 4.2% are ages 10–14
    • 3.5% are ages 15–17
  • 32.6% are between the ages of 18-34
    • 3.0% are ages 18–19
    • 8.1% are ages 20–24
    • 10.8% are ages 25–29
    • 10.7% are ages 30–34
  • 30.5% are ages 35–64
    • 8.2% are ages 35–39
    • 7.7% are ages 40–44
    • 7.2% are ages 45–49
    • 6.8% are ages 50–54
    • 4.2% are ages 55–59
    • 3.1% are ages 60–64
  • 7.4% are ages 65 and older
    • 2.2% are ages 65–69
    • 2.0% are ages 70–74
    • 1.4 are ages 80–84
    • 1.8% are 85 and older

There were 14,832 households in East Boston. These included:

  • 4,969 with at least one child living there
  • 2,981 with at least one elderly person living there
  • 4,949 family households
  • 2,505 married couples
  • 842 unmarried males
  • 1,602 unmarried females
  • 26 non-families


The median household income for an individual in East Boston was $45,849, while the median income for a family was $47,198.[15] Median incomes varied based on race:

  • Full-time, year-round white workers had a median income of $49,063
  • Hispanic or Latino workers had a median of $47,384
  • Asian workers had a median of $32,250
  • Black or African American workers had a median income of $28,201
  • Workers of other races had a median of $45,236.

In the past 12 months, the city's per capita income was $22,403. 16.5% of households and 13.8% of families were living in poverty.


Up until 2011 there were a total of 16,090 housing units in East Boston. Of these, 14,832 were occupied and 1,258 were vacant. Out of the 14,832 occupied units, 4,248 were owner-occupied and 10,584 were renter-occupied. The median gross rent was $1,092.[20]

Homelessness is an issue in the shelters and on the streets of East Boston. To help families transition out of East Boston's homeless shelter, the City of Boston, Crossroads Family Shelter, and the East Boston Community Development Corporation joined together in 2015 create subsidized housing on Havre Street. There are seven new affordable units planned.[21]


Rising rents are an issue for some residents in East Boston. Recent renovations to much of the condominium and apartment rental properties in East Boston have resulted in demands for higher rents, forcing mostly uneducated low-income residents to move.[22]

On the other hand, the influx of educated professionals has resulted in renewed interest in East Boston historical housing stock, and many buildings are being restored after years of neglect.

Affordable housing advocacy[edit]

In response to rising rents, some activists and East Boston residents have formed a community development corporation called Neighborhood of Affordable Housing (NOAH).[23] They seek to assist low-income clients in obtaining affordable housing, through a variety of child-, adult-, and elder-focused programs. Initiatives include homebuyer classes; no-cost home safety repairs for the elderly and people with disabilities; free counseling; free English classes to immigrants; various programs for children; and more. Every year, 65% of NOAH's clients are from an ethnic minority household. Half of these are Spanish speakers, in accordance with the city's demographics.[23]

Opioid crisis[edit]

Over the past few years the plague of heroin addiction overdoses in East Boston has increased and are continuing to increase. The overdose deaths showed that this neighborhood is not immune to the growing epidemic. Governor Charlie Baker signed landmark legislation into law to address the deadly opioid and heroin epidemic plaguing neighborhoods like Eastie and the state. This law is supposed to strengthen prescribing laws and increase education for students and doctors. It is the first law in the nation to limit an opioid prescription to a 7-day supply for a first-time adult prescriptions and a 7-day limit on every opiate prescription for minors, with certain exceptions. Other provisions from the Governor’s recommendations include a requirement that information on opiate-use and misuse be disseminated at annual head injury safety programs for high school athletes, requirements for doctors to check the Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) database before writing a prescription for a Schedule 2 or Schedule 3 narcotic and continuing education requirements for prescribers—ranging from training on effective pain management to the risks of abuse and addiction associated with opioid medications.[24]

Several community organizations in East Boston, like the East Boston Neighborhood Against Substance Abuse, are fighting the opiate crisis.[25] There are also many substance abuse treatment facilities and programs in East Boston.[26]

Public utilities[edit]

Water source[edit]

Boston's drinking water comes from two source reservoirs in central and western Massachusetts, the Quabbin and the Wachusett Reservoirs. This system is known as the Metropolitan Boston Water System. The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) and the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) jointly manage the Metropolitan Boston Water System. Boston Water and Sewer Commission (BWSC) delivers the water to homes and businesses throughout the City of Boston. As one of MWRA's water community members, BWSC represents approximately 33 percent of the current demand on the MWRA water supply. BWSC's water comes from the Quabbin Reservoir and the Wachusett Reservoir, located about 65 miles and 35 miles west of Boston. Water distributed to the Boston metropolitan area is conveyed from the reservoirs through the Cosgrove or Wachusett Aqueducts and treated at the MWRA's John J. Carroll Water Treatment Plant at Walnut Hill in Marlborough. Treatment includes ozone disinfection, pH adjustment with sodium bicarbonate and the addition of chloramines and fluoride.[27]

Urban policies[edit]

The Boston Redevelopment Authority for East Boston displays upcoming projects in terms of buildings for housing, parks, and recreation. This allows residents of East Boston to be aware of what new housing developments are taking place and where. It also informs them of other news - for instance, what the future of Suffolk Downs will be. In a fashion, BRA displays the plans in motion or plans being reviewed, plans being approved, leading up to the construction beginning as well as the progress of the development. This gives residents the awareness of the all changes to come in their neighborhood.

In terms of policies on zoning, Boston Redevelopment Authority has presented the zoning laws for the cities of Boston in three volumes. To get specific information on East Boston zoning, review the zoning commission on Boston Redevelopment Authority. Again, according to the Boston Redevelopment Authority, it shows that residents are welcome to include input on developments within the community. Boston Redevelopment Authority request residents to access information on urban design, developing projects, planning initiatives, what specific landed[clarification needed] is own by the Boston Redevelopment Authority, and Capital construction in East Boston. Residents can access all this information in many different ways, especially through the Boston Redevelopment Authority's website, or by attending meetings held at Jeffries Yacht Club in East Boston.

At this time, there are many changes and new housing projects in East Boston. "The Boston zoning code dictates the allowed shape, density, and use of development in a given area".[28] For example, the BRA just approved a "loftel" style hotel, which is a $20 million project. According to the BRA, "A new restaurant serving the hotel and the East Boston community will be constructed on the ground floor of the project, and a cafe facing Orleans Street will help to further activate this corner of the neighborhood". "The development team will also add a shuttle bus to reduce the number of vehicles coming to and from the airport or other locations"[29] The project may bring new jobs to East Boston as well as reducing traffic.

Sites of interest[edit]

Belle Isle Marsh Reservation[edit]

The largest remaining salt marsh in Boston, the 350-acre (1.4 km2) Belle Isle Marsh Reservation, lies in East Boston. The marsh also borders the towns of Revere and Winthrop. It was once a Metropolitan District Commission reservation, but it is now run by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation. It is a reserve for a variety of flora and fauna.

Community gardens[edit]

A sunflower blooming in the Eagle Hill Memorial Community Garden on Border Street

East Boston is home to six community gardens, managed by various organizations such as the Boston Parks and Recreation Department and the Boston Natural Areas Network.[30] Participating gardeners at some of the gardens are assigned small plots which they may plant as they like, in exchange for a nominal annual dues payment. Other gardens, such as "Nuestro Jardín" ("Our Garden") across from the Umana School, was formerly reserved for use by schoolchildren, but is now maintained by a community-based youth program.

Constitution Beach[edit]

Located in Orient Heights is one of Boston's more popular public beaches, Constitution Beach. The easternmost portion of the beach is known to locals as "Shay's Beach." The beach underwent renovations in the late 1990s as a new public bathhouse and refreshment stand was added, as well as a new pedestrian walkway over the tracks of the Blue Line onto Bennington Street. The East Boston Greenway was recently connected to the beach by the creation of a multi-use path from Wood Island.[citation needed]

Don Orione Shrine[edit]

One of the most recognizable landmarks of East Boston is the Madonna Shrine, atop Orient Heights. This is a 35-foot (11 m)-high statue of the Madonna. It stands at the national headquarters for the Don Orione order. Constructed in 1954, the statue is a full-size replica of the original statue at the Don Orione Center in the Montemario district of Rome, Italy. It was designed by Jewish-Italian sculptor Arrigo Minerbi, who wanted to show his gratitude to the Catholic Church for having shielded him and his family from the Nazis during World War II.

Across the street from the Shrine is the Don Orione Home, a nursing home founded by the Don Orione priests.

Historic places[edit]

East Boston has eight places on the National Register of Historic Places.

Piers Park[edit]

Piers Park with the downtown Boston skyline in the distance

Piers Park is located on the west side of East Boston, overlooking Boston Harbor and downtown Boston. Designed by Pressley Associates Landscape Architects of Cambridge, the 6.5-acre park was conceived to reclaim a former pier to allow the neighborhood direct access to its waterfront. The park consists of multiple trails paved in brick and granite from the pier's original 1870 seawalls; native salt-tolerant New England plants; more than thirty-two tree varieties; seasonal flowers; ornamental shrubs; and a 600-foot meandering brick pedestrian promenade with four smaller shade pavilions.[31] One of the pavilions is dedicated to Donald McKay.

There is also a play area and spray pool for children; a small exercise station; an amphitheater; and a community boating program, Piers Park Sailing Center.[32]

Santarpio's Pizza[edit]

Santarpio's Pizza on Chelsea Street

Santarpio's Pizza is a well-known restaurant in the neighborhood. Established in 1903 as a bakery, Frank Santarpio began selling pizza three decades later. A landmark to locals and a destination for visitors, the eatery is primarily known for its New York-style pizza, which it has served at its Chelsea Street location since 1933.[33]

Suffolk Downs[edit]

Suffolk Downs, opened in 1935, is a thoroughbred race track located in East Boston. For years, Suffolk Downs has held a Grade II race event at the track called the MassCap. Because of declining revenues as result of growing Indian Casinos in Rhode Island and Connecticut, Suffolk Downs canceled the 2009 MassCap.[34]

On August 18, 1966, the Beatles played a concert before approximately 24,000 people in the infield of the race track.

Government and business[edit]

Boston Fire Department Engine 5 on Saratoga Street

East Boston is the headquarters for District A-7 of the Boston Police Department. The Boston Fire Department has three fire stations in East Boston: Ladder 2 & Engine 9 in Maverick Square; Engine 5 in Day Square; and Ladder 21 & Engine 56 in Orient Heights.

Boston EMS's Station 7 is based at Logan Airport, but provides emergency medical services to all of East Boston.[35]

The United States Postal Service operates a branch in East Boston at 50 Meridian Street.[36]

The Logan Office Center, which contains the headquarters of the Massachusetts Port Authority, is adjacent to Logan Airport.[37]

Prior to its dissolution, Air New England was headquartered on the grounds of Logan International Airport.[38]


Public libraries[edit]

The former Orient Heights branch of the Boston Public Library

The first public branch library in the United States was established in East Boston in 1870.[1] Boston Public Library currently has one location in East Boston, at 365 Bremen Street in the Bremen Street Park. This branch opened in November 2013. The old branches at 276 Meridian Street and 18 Barnes Avenue were closed in 2013, shortly before the current branch opened.

Primary and secondary schools[edit]

Public schools[edit]

Boston Public Schools operates numerous schools in East Boston.[39] BPS assigns students based on student preference and priorities of students in various zones. Due to the geography of East Boston, every child in the neighborhood is guaranteed a seat at a school in East Boston. The district instructs parents wanting to send their children to East Boston schools to place East Boston campuses on their school assignment priority lists higher than non-neighborhood campus.[40]

East Boston Early Childhood Center is a district K0–1 school in East Boston. District elementary schools include Samuel Adams, Manassah E. Bradley, Curtis Guild, Patrick J. Kennedy, Hugh R. O'Donnell, and James Otis.

Mario Umana Academy and Donald McKay K-8 School are the two district K–8 schools in East Boston. East Boston High School is the sole district public high school in East Boston.

Excel Academy Charter School, a charter middle school, is located on Moore St. in East Boston.[41]

Private schools[edit]

In spring 1892, a school named after Fr. James Fitton was dedicated on the Holy Redeemer site. In 1974, a school merger occurred, producing the current East Boston Central Catholic School.[42] The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston operates East Boston Central Catholic School on the Most Holy Redeemer Parish site. It is a K1–8 private school in East Boston. The school is managed by a board from the Our Lady of the Assumption, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Most Holy Redeemer and Sacred Heart parishes.

In Spring 2008, the Archdiocese ordered the closure of St. Mary, Star of the Sea School, a K–8 school in East Boston. The parish attached to the school had closed three years prior to the closure of the school.[43]

Until it closed in 2007, Savio Preparatory High School was a private, coeducational high school in East Boston.[44]

Community resources[edit]

East Boston has a wide variety of community resources, both not-for-profit and government-funded.

Community centers[edit]

The City of Boston runs two community centers in East Boston: Orient Heights Community Center (now called The Marcintino Community Center) and Paris Street Community Center.[45] These Centers are an initiative of a citywide organization called Boston Center for Youth and Families.[46] The Centers aim to assist local youth with after-school programming.

Open space[edit]

In the early 1990s, East Boston had the least open space of any Boston neighborhood, except Chinatown.[citation needed] However, the city of Boston, and East Boston in particular, has undergone several major initiatives to increase open space in Boston. One such initiative is called Urban Wilds. Unveiled in 2016, it focuses on protecting "urban wilds" in Boston's neighborhoods. The city has identified four sites in Boston which it is targeting to improve coastal habitats, rejuvenate fish populations, restore soil, and use for flood control and water quality improvement purposes.[47]

The city's creation of the East Boston Greenway, which stretches from the wharfs at Maverick Square to the Bayswater Urban Wild, has also been a major addition to the neighborhood's green space.

Today, East Boston has 230 acres of protected open space, and 371 acres of total open space. This averages out to 5.98 acres of protected space per thousand individuals. This is less than the citywide average of 7.43 acres per thousand people.[48]

Neighborhood organizations[edit]

Many community resources also cater to different types of individuals and families such as those who are low-income, non English-speaking, immigrants, victims of abuse, senior citizens, women, in need of housing, and those who are refugees. The City of Boston's website has a full list of those organizations with descriptions of their missions.[49] A few are described below.

Health and wellness[edit]

Several East Boston organizations focus on health and wellness. For example, the East Boston Community Activity Corp works to provide physical education, sports awareness, arts, and other activities for inner city youth. The Let's Get Movin' Program runs the East Boston Farmer's Market, as well as nutrition classes, a community garden, and after-school physical activities for youth.

The East Boston YMCA also offers a workout center, fitness and recreational opportunities, child care, and more.[50]

Many organizations, like the Friends of the East Boston Greenway, have worked to create, expand and maintain the Greenway and the neighborhood's other open spaces.

Poverty and housing[edit]

There are many organizations for low- and moderate-income individuals in East Boston. For example, Action for Boston Community Development - the largest non-profit human services agency in New England - advocates for low-income people as well as for institutional change.

East Boston Community Development Corporation works to provide low-income and elderly housing in East Boston.

Neighbors United for a Better East Boston (NUBE) organizes low-income people, people of color, immigrants, and allies to build their political power.

'For homeless families in East Boston, Crossroads Family Shelter provides temporary housing and helps residents transition from homelessness to independent living and self-sufficiency.

Other organizations[edit]

To help give young East Bostoners a head start, the Thrive in 5 / Countdown to Kindergarten Program runs Play to Learn Playgroups. These groups bring together parents, children, and an early childhood professional to build a community of peers for support, foster nurturing behaviors, and help families access needed services.

East Boston Main Streets is an organization that aims to initiate private and public improvements, promote commerce, and support efforts to improve the quality of life for all who live, work, and do business in East Boston.

Airport Impact Relief, Inc., works to reduce and manage Logan Airport's impact on East Boston.


Notable people[edit]

See also People from East Boston, Boston

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "East Boston". City of Boston. April 3, 2017. Retrieved May 30, 2017. 
  2. ^ "City of Boston East Boston Planning District Profile" (PDF). 
  3. ^ "Exploring Boston’s Neighborhoods: East Boston" (PDF). CityofBoston.gov. Boston Landmarks Commission. 1994. Retrieved 25 November 2015. 
  4. ^ "East Boston". www.cityofboston.gov. City of Boston. 2013. 
  5. ^ Sweetser, Moses Foster (1888). King's Handbook of Boston Harbor. p. 124. Retrieved April 8, 2016. 
  6. ^ Sumner, William H. (1858). A History of East Boston. J. E. Tilton. p. Chapter 14–15. Retrieved March 18, 2013. 
  7. ^ Memorial Biographies, 1845-1871: 1860-1862, Vol. IV. The New England Historic Genealogical Society. 1885. p. 354. 
  8. ^ "The Sugar Cane" (14). Galt and Company. 1882: 487. Retrieved 18 March 2013. 
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External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°22′30″N 71°02′21″W / 42.37500°N 71.03917°W / 42.37500; -71.03917