Boston's Neighborhood Museum 

Q1 2017
Dear Friend of The West End Museum,

We hope this edition of our newsletter finds you well and that you're all staying warm. Punxsutawney Phil may have predicted six more weeks of winter, but things are definitely warming up at The West End Museum!  
  
In this newsletter, we ...

Share two articles reflecting vivid, lovely memories of the old West End, including remembrances from our own Museum volunteer Paula Andreottola.

Preview two new and exciting exhibits set to open on February 21 -- The New York Streets: Boston's First Urban Renewal Project and Under the Wrecking Ball: A West End Landlord.

Bring attention to our new Oral History Videos project and tell you how you can take part, sharing and preserving your personal recollections of the old neighborhood.

Enjoy, and we hope to see you or hear from you soon!

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If you do enjoy our communications, exhibits and events, we hope you'll consider becoming a West End Museum member. If you're already a member, please help us spread the word about supporting our ongoing mission. Corporate and individual members  are always welcome (special rates for students and seniors) as are donations. Membership and donations are tax deductible.  

Remember to keep up and stay in touch with the Museum on our website and via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  
 
Thank you and best wishes!
   
Paula Andreottola:
A Museum Volunteer's West End Memories
By Timothy Larson
 
Paula_Andreottola
Paula Andreottola with
"Mr. West Ender" statue in Last Tenement gallery
The warmth of Paula Andreottola's brownstone apartment stands in stark contrast to the frigid winter air along the Back Bay sidewalk. Paula is a thin, friendly woman with light grey hair. She's funny and easy to talk to. Inside her neat apartment, a bright hallway presents an expansive collection of NASCAR photos. The walls of her living room feature exposed brick, a picture of the Titanic and her collection of degrees from Northeastern University.
 
Paula is as connected to her history today as she was during her childhood. Born at the old Boston Lying Inn at the site of Brigham and Women's Hospital, she grew up in the West End in an apartment at 209 Chambers Street, near Blossom Street and Mass. General Hospital. It was her home until 1958, when it was demolished in the name of 'urban renewal.' In fact, her family was among the last to leave the old West End. Paula was a little girl at the time, stunned to see a wrecking ball swing into her building and expose all of its staircases and rooms. "You could recognize the inside," she recalls of the eerie image and how traumatic it was "standing there with your mouth open."
 
As a third generation West Ender, Paula's family had a long history in the community. Both of her parents were born and grew up in the place known as "the greatest neighborhood this side of heaven." Her mother's parents from Poland and her father's ... (continue reading here
  
The West End I Remember
And What I Later Learned Happened to It
By James Armstrong
 
James_Armstrong
James Armstrong
I write this as a mature-even old, by most measures-man recalling vivid memories of walking through Boston's West End in my youth. I am relying only on my recall as I write. I'm afraid that if I refresh my memory in reading the works of other witnesses, I'll subtly adopt someone else's memories as mine. So, I write only what I can remember...
 
I got off the train and left North Station headed for choir practice at the church at the bottom of Mount Vernon Street. It was a trip I made every Monday, Wednesday and Friday after school, as well as on Sunday for the church service. It was 1943. I was nine.
 
As I walked toward Charles Street, I moved through roads lined with tall, brick tenements that had storefronts right on the sidewalk. There were people on the street. There were kitchen chairs in which they sat and talked. There were children playing games, and grandmothers, elbows on windowsill pillows, watching the whole scene from above.
 
The air I inhaled seemed from a foreign country. I recall strange aromas-coffee being roasted, herbs in open boxes, damp sawdust on the floors of the butcher shops ... (continue reading here)

Oral History Video Project
Preserving & Sharing Your Memories

microphone Let's face it, sometimes plain old history books can make for seriously dry reading. One of the main things we try to do here at the Museum is bring history to life in a more dynamic way. Whether through photographs, artifacts, and memorabilia, talks, walking tours or other means, our exhibits and programs aim to convey important historical and cultural  information in ways that are dynamic and interesting.

Expanding on that premise, we've embarked on a new video project that plays right into our mission of preserving the history and culture of Boston's West End, and does so in a lively, engaging way.

Through our new Oral History Videos project, we are recording and posting interviews with former West Enders as they share their personal and touching recollections of "the greatest neighborhood this side of heaven." Nothing brings history to life quite like the stories from the mouths of those who lived it, and we want to chronicle those stories for current and future generations. Check our first couple of videos and learn how you can contribute your own, even if you don't live locally.

We want and need your story. Please share it with us!

Coming Soon: 
New Exhibits
Open February 21
  New_York_Streets
Prior to the demolition of Boston's old West End, another vibrant, multi-ethnic neighborhood of tenement houses and mom-and-pop shops fell victim to so-called 'urban renewal.' The New York Streets: Boston's First Urban Renewal Project tells the story of this lost 'sister' community in the northeast corner of the South End.
"The New York Streets project preceded the more infamous redevelopment of the West End," says Museum Curator Duane Lucia. "But, in much the same way, federal funding was used to demolish an entire neighborhood and displace its residents with total disregard to the hardship it would cause them."
Tarlin_exhibit_photo
Featuring photographs from a collection donated by Ira Tarlin, Under the Wrecking Ball: A West End Landlord depicts the West End at the time of demolition. Ira's father, Eli Tarlin, was an original resident who came to own numerous properties in the neighborhood. The demise of the community, says the family, was also Eli's demise.
West End Museum Membership Benefits

Did you know that members of The  West End Museum receive a 10% discount on all gift shop items and are first to hear the latest news about new exhibits, special events and more? 

 

Plus, membership helps the Museum fulfill its mission by providing exhibits for the public to enjoy, as well as preserving archives and offering access to those collections. It also helps with outreach programs that increase and sustain appreciation of an important American urban neighborhood.

 

Please condier becoming a member or -- if you already are one -- make a gift of memebrship to a family member or friend.  Click here to find out how. 


Support the West End Museum
old logo

Donate
Our all-volunteer Museum can always use your support to help produce exhibits and other programming to preserve the history and culture of the West End.
Please consider making a donation of any size today. No amount is too small, and every dollar is greatly appreciated.
Volunteer
YOU can make a huge contribution to the Museum by donating just a few hours a week of your time. Regardless of your background or experience, we have a role for you, and your time will be deeply appreciated. Check out our Volunteer Match page to learn more about the opportunities available right now.
Rent the Museum
The Museum also is the perfect setting to ho st  meetings, receptions, luncheons and lectures for up to 100 people. Museum staff can customize a tour or present any of our virtual tours and presentations.
Learn more about renting the Museum.

The West End Museum
150 Staniford Street, Suite 7  Boston, MA  02114  (617)-416-0718
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