Boston Redevelopment Authority.

Dorchester (not including mattapan). Draft online

. (page 1 of 2)
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^ TABLE OP co::tents

Introduction

I. Community Assets

II. Fjcisting District Characteristics

III. Major Problems and Issues

IV. Community \'eed3

V. The Neighborhoods

VI. District Recommendations
$ VII. Implementation

Appendix



INTRODUCTION



DORCHESTER DISTRICT FLAMING FROGRAM

In order to establish a meaningful planning process for
improving Boston's neighborhoods. Mayor Kevin H. White
has requested the Boston Redevelopment Authority's
Planning Department to participate with the Office of
Public Service in undertaking a "District Planning
Program." Dorchester is the first in a series of
systematic planning efforts to be initiated under this
program in neighborhoods throughout the City. The major
focus of the District Planning Program in Dorchester will
be to ensure that new improvement programs reflect the
needs of the community as expressed by its residents in
mutual cooperation with the City's administration.

To this end and to develop a community consensus on a number
of planning issues, a Dorchester Advisory Committee will
be established by the Dorchester community with the assistance
of the Neighborhood Service Center (little city hall)
managers. The Dorchester Advisory Committee would bring
together people from all over Dorchester who represent a
cross -section of community interests and needs. In turn,
the Boston Redevelopment Authority Planning Department will
provide technical planning assistance to the Dorchester
Advisory Committee with the cooperation of the Neighborhood
Service Center Manager.

The main products of the Dorchester District Planning Program
will be:

1. A report on existing conditions, problems, assets and
opportunities in Dorchester.

2. The establishment of a process for:

(a) undertaking immediate actions to meet pressing needs

(b) developing longer range plans for programmed improve-
ment of public facilities, housing, recreation, business
and industry and other subjects of community interest.

In addition, the BRA staff will develop interim reports
on specific issues and on the entire program as required
by the Dorchester Advisory Committee.

LOCATION OF DORCHESTER PLANNING DISTRICT

The Dorchester Planning District consists of all of Dor-
chester, with the exception of that portion which lies within
the boundaries of the Model Cities area. The area covered
in this report is boxmded by the Southeast Expressway on the
north, the Neponset River on the south, Dorchester Bay on
the east and the Midland Division of the New York, New
Haven and Hartford Railroad, a portion of the American Legion
Highway, Harvard Street, Cummins Highway, Greenfield Street
and Mattakeeset Street on the west.



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LOCATION OF DORCHESTER
AND OTHER PLANNING
DISTRICTS IN BOSTON



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14




Legend



1.


East Boston


9.


Dorchester


2.


Charlestown


10.


Model Cities


.


South Boston




-Washington Park


4.


Central


11.


Jamaica Plain


5.


Back Bay




-Parker Hill




-Beacon Hill


12.


Roslindale


6.


South End


15.


West Roxbury


7.


Fenway - Kenmore


14.


Hyde Park


8.


Allston-Brighton







DISTRICT PLANNING PROGRAM

BOSTON REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY




f



MAP OF DORCHESTER \.
PLANNING DISTRICT



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DORCHESTER [f.

DISTRICT PLANNING PROGRAM ^ "-^

BOSTON REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY




I. COffi^IUNITY ASSETS



}



I. COm-IUNITY ASSETS



Historical Developme n t



In 1630, v;hen the town of Dorchester v;as founded, its bound-
aries stretched from the neck of the Boston Peninsula to the
Rhode Island Border. By 1 700, the tovm's holdings diminished
roughly to its present size.

The topography of Dorchester, consisting of gentle slopes and
few steep hills, provided suitable farmland for early settlers.
While its lengthly shoreline was thought to be useful for ship-
ping and trading in colonial times, neither prospered. The i:ep-
onset River, however, provided a valuable source of power which
permitted a small manufacturing area to develop along its bord-
ers .

The development of manufacturing at this location accomplished
to things: first, it closed off and completed Dorchester's
southern boundary, thus giving the tovm definition; and second,
it formed a gatevmy to Boston from the south via what is now
Dorchester Avenue.

The rural character of Dorchester was to change dramatically in
the last quarter of the nineteenth century with the development
of the first horsedrawn street railroad line, which established
service from the South End to Roxbury Crossing. The beginnings
of this development coincided with the annexation of the town
by the City of Boston in I87O.

As Dorchester grew, the original rural community centers were
joined by others, such as Codman Square, Uphams Corner, Ileeting
House Hill, Everett Square, Peabody Square and Fields Corner.
In addition, greater accessibility to Boston transformed Dor-
chester from farmland to a "streetcar suburb" of an expanding
major city.

In the 1870's, great numbers of middle income families moved to
Dorchester. The former farms offered large tracts of land which
were rapidly subdivided. The appearance of cross-tovm streetcar
lines, connecting Dorchester to Roxbury and points further v;est,
provided the impetus for additional residential development.
This new housing took the form of three decker and other multi-
ple unit structures built on available vacant land, often dis-
tant from the original streetcar lines. This building boom con-
tinued into the very early 20th century and exhausted itself
when most of the developable land had been utilized.

Today, Dorchester is composed primarily of older, residential
neighborhoods. There is, however, relatively little industry in
the area, and, as in the past, the old centers, along with the
many chiu?che3, are the focal points of community activity.







i

i 1



HISTORICAL MAP OF DORCHESTbR

DISTRICT PLANNING PROGRAM ^,^^_^^ ^,

BOSTON REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY [ IIV ^



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I. COMIOTKITY ASSETS cont.



B. Present Physical Assets

1 . Topography and natural areas
2, Man-made elements

C. Other Valuable Attributes

D. Opportunities for Future Enhancement



(Section I is intended to be a general overview, with emphasis
on the existing positive aspects and future potentials of the
District. )



II. EXISTING DISTRICT CHARACTERISTICS



i



II. EXISTING DISTRICT CHARACTERISTICS



(This section is an inventory of existing conditions
throughout the district. )



A. Demographic Data (population)

B. Visual Analysis

C. Zoning and Land Use

D. Housing

E. Historical Structures and Preservation Areas

F. Community Facilities and Institutions

G. Commercial
H. Industrial

I. Open Space/Recreation
J. Streets and Utilities
K. Transportation (Circulation)
1 . Public

2. Private

3. Parking
k' Other

L. Pollution
1 . Air

2. V/ater

3. Noise

M. Support Facilities







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J. Streeto and Utilit:



K. Transportation (Circulation)



1 . Public

2, Private

3. Parking
l\.. Other



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EXISTING TRANSPQRTATIOiNl
SYSTEM IN DORCH ESTER ^^V^-'^



Legend

SmiZ^ Expressway-
Major arterials
"^ Collectors



lEIEillSinilSSi MBTA rapid transit line
^ttt- Railroad




DISTRICT PLANNING PROGRAM
BOSTON REDEVELOPMENT AUTHiORITY



o o o



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L. Pcllution
1 . Air
2. V/ater
3« Xoise



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K. our»port Facilities



III. MAJOR PROBLEMS AID I3SUZ3



III. I-IAJCR ?R03L-,M3 A':D I3SUL3

(This Section v/ill identify and appraise tnc various problem
areas, based on the preceeding inventory of existinr conditions
In addition, it vrill analyze and evaluate both the positive
and negative internal and external forces in order to deterraine
hov: they have influenced and continue to perpetuate thos e
s pecific conditio ns. Finally, it v;ill attempt to project future
trends on toe basis of allowing the nef^ative forces to remain
unchecked, while, at the same time, failing to capitalize on
and strenf^then the positive attributes within the coxnriunity. )

A. Major Problem Areas (effects)
1 , Hcusinr, Deterioration

2, Conmercial Deterioration

3. Adequacy of Open Space/Recreational Facilities
J4.. Coiidition of Streets and Utilities

5. Transportation

6, Other

3. External Forces (causes)

1 . Kegioral Context

2. University of Ilassachusetts

3. 1:0 del Cities /3RURG

l\.. Political and Economic Issues

a. Reluctance of banks to issue mor trapes and home
improvement loans

b. Other ■
5. Social Issues (where relevant)

a. Racial Imbalance Law

b. Other

C. Internal Forces

■"i . Level of coranunity concern and Involvement
2. Other

D. Projection of ^''uture Trends



EXTERNAL INFLUENCES
J ON DOF^CH ESTER



Proposed SXN. E
MBTA ~ "




•4-d^jSputhshore
■ ;,VCD Extension



Suburban Growth



r /'^



DISTRICT PLANNING PROGRAM



ooo:




CURRENT PLANS
AND PROGRAMS
AFFECTING DORCH



Legend



liinntfi



G

T

A



Proposed Expressways

META South Shore Extension ^^

Model Cities Area

Codes Enforcement Area

Field's Cornel- Libi-ar-y

MBTA Stations to bo Modernized

New Schools

Urban Beautiflcation Project







DISTRICT PLANNING PROGRAM pO^



);



BOSTON REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY



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DUNA I'vyiEMBER
SERVICE AREAS



Let



1.
2.

6.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.
10.
11.



Dorchester Dudley Council

Dorchester-Roxbury Line Association

Columbia Civic Association

Meeting House Hill Irnproveraent Association

Field's Corner Neighborhood Associsition

Mt. Bowdoin Codman Action Association

Keponset Civic Association

Popes Hill Neighborhood Association

Ashmont Neighborhood Association

V.'ard 14 Betterment Association -s.*"^ -

Cedar Grove Civic Association .^ y'y'i^'^iiit.




DISTRICT PLANNING PROGRAM
BOSTON REDPiVELOPMENT AUTHORITY



IV. COXI-TUNITY K'-;5D3



(The previous section defines specific problem areas and
anal^rzes, v;here relevant, their respective causes. This
section will evaluate needs on a coinmunity-v/ide basis.
The recoimnendations in Section '"^I vrill be formulated, for
the most part, frora the information contained herein.)



V . THa XEIGHBOHHOODS



IV. th:-; KEiG}iy30R-iOOD3



The material pz-'ssented in Sections II and III v;ill be broken
do^vn on a neir^hborhood by neighborhood basis. The information
and recommendations contained in this section will relate

only to snecific, individiial neirhborhood problems . From this
data it v;ill then be possible to formulate a district-wide
policy which not only includes those larger elements that
transcend neighborhood boundaries, but those smaller issues
in which all of the neighborhoods share a common interest.
Those neighborhood issues upon which there is little or no
consensus on a district-wide basis can then be dealt v;ith in
a more localized, ad-hoc manner.

Each neighborhood will be evaluated in terms of the follov;ing:

1 . General problems extrapolated from Section II;

2. Specific ncir hborhood problems (to be determined in greater
detail at a later date);

3. Pressures and forces (from Section III );
l\.. Needs (in part from Section p;_ );

5. V/hat has already been accomplished during the past five
years by the BRA and other governmental agencies;

6. Specific local recommendations

a. Short-term, im:nediate action, and DELIVi:;HA3LS

b. Three year Action Program

c. Ten Year action Program

7. General methods of Implementation

8. Roles of various city agencies

9. Role of citizen participation defined in both planning and
implementation processeses

10. Other



LOCATION OF •
NEIGHBORHOODS
IN DORCHESTER



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DISTRICT PLANNING PROGRAM
BOSTON REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY



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VTj. £d;;ard zvsrstt 3:hich transcend neighborhood boundaries;

2. Suniroary of ccr.iraon nei£:hborhood programs and policies;

3. Specific recor-imondations that villi either ninimize or redirect
ne


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Online LibraryBoston Redevelopment AuthorityDorchester (not including mattapan). Draft → online text (page 1 of 2)