The Boston Globe Magazine continues its exploration of Boston’s neighborhoods with a great article about Dorchester. The article covers everything, from its origins, through its history (including the nasty 1970s and 1980s) up through today. I can’t say enough positive about Dorchester. It’s a great place to live.
Emily Sweeney, The Boston Globe
Scott Amaral and his husband, Franz Limoges, scoffed when a realtor friend suggested they buy a house in Dorchester. "We didn’t know anything about the area or the houses and had this idea that it was a dangerous place," Amaral says.
But they realized they could not afford a home in their neighborhood in Arlington. They decided to check out a house on Jones Hill in Dorchester, where clusters of Victorian-era homes overlook Pleasant Street. The couple was impressed with the stately Queen Anne Victorian. The 1894 building was intact: the parson’s bench at the foot of the staircase, the basket-weave pattern ceiling medallion, the dining room’s built-in oak china cabinet and velvet-lined silverware drawer, the living room’s built-in bookcase and gumwood fireplace, the hardwood floors. They purchased the house for $439,000 and settled in.
Four years later, Amaral now serves as president of the Jones Hill Association. These days, while he repairs his house or works in his garden, he notices prospective buyers strolling through the neighborhood. A physician recently moved in next door.
"Dorchester has made a crucial turn in its history," says Daniel Monti, a sociology professor at Boston University. Today, he says, concerns focus on the pace and effects of that comeback, "when 10 to 20 years ago we worried about how much future Dorchester had.
"A greater variety of people live there. People appear to be getting along better," says Monti. "We’re in the happy position now of having to debate just how strong of a comeback Dorchester is going to have, instead of whether it’s going to come back at all."