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Great Neighborhoods: Boston

The South End-Neighborhood

The South End

Marked by blocks of Victorian brick row houses, upscale restaurants, art galleries and an increasingly diverse populace, The South End is rapidly emerging as one of the most popular places to live in Boston.

Filled with vintage row houses which admiring residents began renovating in the 1960s, the neighborhood is now experiencing an artistic revival. Diverse mixes of families, young professionals and a gay and lesbian community have been drawn to the South End’s flourishing artistic center. Trendy restaurants stand side-by-side with mom’n’pop groceries. Galleries are cropping up as more artists move to the area. Luxury condos, bought by new urban professionals moving from the suburbs, sit beside lower income residences.

The fast-growing "SoWa" (south of Washington Street) area in the South End is recognized as a great area to shop artist lofts for unique art. But it's also becoming immensely popular with new media and technology professionals looking to buy new-construction lofts.

Neighborhood Details

Cost of Housing

Though the entire Boston region is showing a softening in the real estate market, the average home price in the South End is $400,000. Most Victorians are six levels—four above ground, one at street level and one at garden level. While a typical three-bedroom unit, with two baths and 1,500 square feet of space, will cost about $500,000, housing options run the gamut. A 400-square-foot studio can go for $175,000 while a 3,200-square-foot single-family home will fetch upward of $2.1 million.

"SoWa," an area of the South End centered near Washington Street, a major thoroughfare, is home to the neighborhood's rehabbed loft district, adding to the housing options. Lofts average 1,000 to 2,000 square feet, with one or two bedrooms, and one or two baths, and costs $300,000 to more than $1 million.

Apartments in the South End are usually condos in row houses that individual owners rent out to tenants. Most rentals are one and two-bedroom, one bath units of 700 to 1,200 square feet, ranging from $1,000 to $6,000 a month. Most cost around $2,200.

School System

The Boston Public School System administers five public schools in the South End—three elementary schools, one technical high school and one school devoted to serving the educational needs of severely disabled students. All of the neighborhood's schools are multicultural in nature, and one school—Joseph J.Hurley Elementary School—offers English-only as well as bilingual education.

There are no high schools in the South End, but Boston High School in the Back Bay is nearby.


Currently, Boston's restaurant resurgence springs from the South End, home to the city's trendiest eateries, including the chichi Hamersley's Bistro, the elegant Truc, and the hip 647 Tremont. New shopping corridors exist along Tremont and Washington streets.

The South End is within walking distance of the fashionably upscale boutiques of Newbury Street in the Back Bay, Copley Place Mall, , and the downtown shopping area.

The oldest public park in the country, Boston Common, is a short 15-minute walk from the South End which features its own Peters Park and the Southwest Corridor Park,. The South End is also convenient to Boston Harbor, the Charles River, the Museum of Fine Arts and Fenway Park, home of baseball's legendary Boston Red Sox.


For commuters traveling to outside the city, the South End is bordered on the south by Interstate 93, the city's main north-south artery. The South End also offers easy access to the Massachusetts Turnpike (I-90), heading west to the area's high-tech hub along Route 128.

For those working downtown, the South End is only a few subway stops and a 10-minute commute away. Walking the one mile to downtown takes 20 minutes.

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