From the South End’s early years as an upper- and middle-class residential district to its time as an immigrant and rooming house neighborhood and then to its recent urban renewal, residents have shaped its legacy and its place within the city of Boston. Locals have worked in common to make the South End a safe and vibrant community for over two centuries. Notables such as architect Gridley J.F. Bryant, preservation advocate Arthur Howe, and pedestrian advocate Ann Hershfang contributed immensely to the built environment. Residents like settlement house leader Robert Woods, immigrant and author Mary Antin, politician and activist Mel King, urban gardener Betsy Johnson, and lawyer Harry Dow, to name a few, shaped minds and lives alike. Add to their ranks artists like Allan Rohan Crite and Kahlil Gibran, jazz club owner Joseph Walcott, longtime restaurateurs such as the Foley and Manjourides families, and bar owner and gay rights advocate Leo Motsis and a true picture of the South End’s history and diversity begins to emerge.
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