It all started in the 1960s when the government decided to build a highway right through Boston’s Jamaica Plain. The highway was intended to cut right through the southwest corridor of the neighborhood but it was never built. However, the planning alone had a deep affect on the area causing many families to move away as well as hundreds of businesses.To say the least, Jamaica Plain was shaken to its core because of the idea that a highway would be built, running right through it. Before the plans were discussed, the neighborhood was home to many factory workers. When they moved out, many Dominican, Puerto Rican, and Cuban families relocated to the neighborhood. This influx of different cultures definitely gave this section of Boston a dynamic feel.
Despite all the culture, the neighborhood of Jamaica Plain suffered. Because the highway plans inspired many families and business to move out, the economy of the area suffered. With the poverty and abandoned factories came a serious state of neglect. All this would change however in the 1980s.
About 30 years ago, Jamaica Plain became a very attractive neighborhood to students, young families, artists, and the gay and lesbian community due to the cheap rents being offered. As the neighborhood became more vibrant, more and more businesses moved in and commercial spaces opened up. Today, the 4.5 square mile community is home to plenty of Boston’s most chic and elite.
– Lance Grooms