Dorchester, Massachusetts Information
A hidden Boston, Massachusetts neighborhood gem, Dorchester — a.k.a., the “Dot” — is often described as “under-appreciated” by its loyal residents. Locals are currently sowing a Renaissance of sorts, and city officials are pouring funds into the region. In short, the time to get in is now, because Dorchester’s trajectory is skyward.
Dorchester, Massachusetts Details
Weighing in at six square miles, Dot is, by far, Beantown’s largest neighborhood. It sits south of downtown and is typically divided into North Dot and South Dot.
The north section of the neighborhood is city-like; the south side skews residential, with many families owning homes in the area for generations.
According to the latest estimates, Dot’s population is about 114,000 and relatively young. People under 25 represent 38% of residents, about 53% are between 25 and 64, and the senior citizen community sits at about 9%.
In the spring of 1630, a sea-worn Captain by the name of Squib brought the ship called Mary and John into port with eight Puritan settlers aboard. Those English immigrants founded Dorchester, which, for the first chapter of its existence, was a Puritan citadel.
A neighborhood of firsts, it is home to the oldest surviving house in Boston, America’s premiere chocolate factory — not to mention the country’s first public elementary school and community health care center. Stunningly, over 30 locations in the neighborhood appear on the National Register of Historic Places. Political historians might also note that Joseph and Rose Kennedy — John and Bobby Kennedy’s parents — both hailed from Dot. And today, it’s the location of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.
By the time 1870 rolled around, Dot had been fully annexed by Boston.
During the Victorian Era, the pocket became a getaway for the upper crust and eventually transformed into a “streetcar suburb” and part of the city. But the neighborhood maintains its own identity — and to this day, residents still celebrate the founding with an annual parade and festivities.
Dorchester is a true ethnic melting pot and holds the distinction of being the first racially integrated neighborhood in the city. During the 20th century, Polish, Irish, Jewish, Caribbean, French and Canadian immigrants settled in the region. Those roots are still visible– and over the past 20 years, many Asian families have also moved in. Latinos and African Americans also represent a healthy percentage of the population.
Notably, Dot’s LGBTQ community is large, proud and growing. The neighborhood is home to the largest concentration of same-sex couples in the metropolitan region.
The current median income is around $45,000, but the number of homes making between $100,000 and $200,000 increases yearly.
Revitalization and 21st Century Community Building
Dot has a long and storied history of social activism and community growth. It’s where many of the suffragettes lived and gathered in the early 20th century — and where Martin Luther King, Jr. got his start in the civil rights movement while earning his Ph.D. at Boston University.
Looking for an up-and-coming neighborhood in Beantown? Then look at Dot. Restaurants are moving into town, as are cute new boutiques and community stores. Crime has been on a steady decline since the early 2000s — and the 2017 budget includes a 5-year capital improvement investment in Dot’s infrastructure, parks and six public libraries.
Neighborhoods and Transportation
Being a vast area, Dot is divided into several sections — each with a distinct flavor. Conveniently, five MBTA commuter lines service the area.
Popular residential districts include Savin Hill, Jones Hill, Popes Hill, Meeting House Hill and Neponset. More commercially focused pockets include Bowdoin, Fields Corner, Peabody Square, Adams Village and Lower Mills.
Residents also enjoy several bike trails, including the Lower Neponset River Trail and Neponset River Greenway.
Real estate options in this particular area of metro Massachusetts runs the gamut — in both style and price. But be sure, people are flocking to the area — in droves — and renovating older homes. In short, Dot is experiencing a revival, and you’ll often hear people exclaim, “I never knew this neighborhood existed. It’s so nice here.”
Dot is awash with all manners of real estate options, from classic, triple-decker apartments and Queen Anne Romanesque homes to modern lofts. As far as price goes, the range is large. You can still find a lot for $100,000 — or a multi-million-dollar penthouse. In the residential pockets, single family homes abound.
To learn more about real estate options in this part of Massachusetts, get in touch today.
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