Chinatown/Leather District, Massachusetts Information
The Chinatown/Leather District is on the south side of Boston, Massachusetts. The eastern entrance to Chinatown is marked by an elegant gate on Beach Street. This is the only remaining Chinese area in New England. The Leather District, located near South Street, was where the leather industry was primarily located in the late 1800s. Its boundaries are Essex Street, Atlantic Avenue, Kneeland Street, and Lincoln Street between Chinatown and the Financial District. Buildings in the Leather District were designed with showrooms on the first floor, offices on the second floor, and storage space on the upper floors. The first floors still house commercial properties, but the upper floors have been turned into residential lofts.
Chinatown/Leather District, Massachusetts Details
The Chinatown/Leather District neighborhoods were built on the tidal flats of the South Cove which were filled in during the land-making expansions of the 1830s. Anglo-Bostonians were the first residents of the newly developed Chinatown area, but the encroachment of the railroads, which were necessary for inland shipping, made it a less desirable neighborhood. Consequently, it then became an area for newly arrived waves of immigrants in this order: Irish, Jewish, Italian, Syrian, and Chinese. The Chinese arrived in the 1870s and have remained a strong presence in the area. However, as the area becomes more upscale, the percentage of Chinese residents in the area is decreasing. The Chinatown area was the heart of the garment district from the late 1800s until the 1990s.
The population of Chinatown-Leather District is 28,022 living in 14,456 households. Among the population, 62 percent have a high school degree or higher, and 46 percent have a Bachelor’s degree or higher. The median household income is $61,556. Owner-occupied housing in the neighborhood is 69.6 percent, and the median value of that housing is $692,000. The median monthly rent is $1,100 in Chinatown and $2,400 in the Leather District.
Things to Do in Chinatown/Leather District, Boston, Massachusetts
This area offers shopping, dining, and entertainment, and it is next to the Theater District. The variety of restaurants include Chinese, Middle Raster, and Vietnamese.
The three-quarter acre Chinatown Park is located by the Chinatown Gate. There is a beautiful mural on the wall of a building beside the gate facing the park. The paved portion on the southern end of the park is the largest open area in Chinatown, and it is the location of many Chinese festivals and celebrations. In the northern end of the park, a serpentine path winds through gardens of calming waters and Asian plants, including bamboo. Chinatown Park is located at Surface Road and Beach Street.
Castle Island Park
Castle Island Park is a 22 acre park where Fort Independence is located. You can walk around the fort, run and bike on the trails, enjoy a picnic, or watch the planes take off and land at Logan Airport across the harbor. You can also visit the beaches near Castle Island, including Castle Island, M Street, Pleasure Bay, and Carson Beach.
The first fortification was built on Castle Island in 1634. The fort was renamed Fort Independence in 1797. The present Fort Independence was built between 1834 and 1851 and is the eighth fort built on the island. In 1928, a strip of land was created to connect the island to the mainland.
Castle Island is located at 2010 William J. Day Boulevard and is open daily 7 am to 6 pm.
The Emerald Necklace
The Emerald Necklace covers 1,100 acres and was conceived by Frederick Law Olmstead in the 1880s as a chain of parks linked by paths and waterways running from Boston to Brookline, Massachusetts. Olmstead’s whole plan has not yet been completed. The Dorchesterway link from Roxbury to Dorchester is yet to be done. However, you can visit the various locations and enjoy Olmsted’s vision.
The Emerald Necklace includes:
• Boston Common
• Public Garden
• Commonwealth Avenue Mall
• The Fens
• The Riverway
• Olmsted Park
• Jamaica Pond
• Arnold Arboretum
• Franklin Park
Black Heritage Trail®
The Black Heritage Trail® showcases the homes, churches, schools, and Underground Railroad sites that were part of the lives of the free African American community. These citizens and business owners worked to end slavery and establish equal rights in the 19th and 20th centuries.
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