North End, Boston, Massachusetts

Boston's North End is the city's oldest residential community, where people have lived continuously since it was settled in the 1630s. It has been home to a number of immigrant populations. Before the waves of immigrants began to arrive, however, the North End was home to some of Boston's wealthiest residents and later to the first community of black people created by freed and escaped slaves. In the early 19th century, the Irish began to migrate to the North End in huge numbers and dominated the neighborhood until approximately 1900. The North End then became one of the centers of Jewish life in Boston; Hebrew inscriptions can still be found on several buildings. In the early 20th century, it became the center of the Italian community of Boston. Today, it is still largely residential and well-known for its small, authentic Italian restaurants.

Although the North End is part of Boston's original area of settlement, the bulk of the architecture one sees there today dates from the late nineteenth to early 20th centuries (tenement architecture is especially prominent). The neighborhood has a mixture of architecture from all periods of American history, including early structures such as the Old North Church (1723), the Paul Revere House (1680), the Pierce-Hichborn House (1711), and the Clough House (1712). The Copp's Hill burial ground (1660) is one of America's oldest cemeteries and contains many graves dating back to the 17th, 18th, and early 19th centuries including Puritan divines Cotton and Increase Mather and Prince Hall, founder of Prince Hall Freemasonry.

The Freedom Trail passes through the North End, making official stops at Paul Revere's house and Old North church.

On January 15, 1919, the North End was the site of the Boston Molasses Disaster.

The construction of the elevated Central Artery (Interstate 93) in the 1950s divided the North End from the rest of Boston. With the completion of the Big Dig, the old elevated highway has been completely removed and the North End is finally being re-joined with the rest of the city.

The North End is famous for its selection of bakeries, eateries and Old-world feeling. In this midsized neighborhood, there are approximately 100 eating establishments.