Otis House


The West End grew quickly between 1820 and 1840. Streets were lined with small wooden buildings, and as time passed the area started to transition from middle class to working class made up of, among others, Irish, Polish, Russian, Ukrainian, Albanian, and Lithuanian immigrants. As West End houses began renting rooms to borders, single family homes were systematically demolished and replaced by more profitable four to five story tenements. By the late nineteenth century, housing more immigrants than any other part of the city, the West End was labeled by many Bostonians as a “cesspool” and a “slum.”

Image Credit:  Boston Public Library