Originally part of neighboring Dorchester, Mattapan was annexed to Boston in 1870. Like other neighborhoods of the time, Mattapan developed, residentially and commercially, as the railroads and streetcars made downtown Boston increasingly more accessible. Predominately residential, Mattapan is a mix of public housing, small apartment buildings, single homes and two and three family houses. Blue Hill Avenue and Mattapan Square, where Blue Hill Avenue, River Street, and Cummins Highway meet, is the commercial heart of the neighborhood, home to banks, law offices, restaurants, and retail shops.
Mattapan also has a significant amount of open space, including Franklin Park, the Franklin Park Zoo, and the historic Forest Hills Cemetery.
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