Originally part of Roxbury, Roslindale was the area’s farming center well into the 19th Century. It was annexed by the City of Boston as part of West Roxbury in 1873. Long considered a “garden suburb” of Boston, Roslindale experienced significant residential development booms in the 1890’s, and then later in the 1920’s and 1930’s.
Construction of the Providence Railroad in 1834 opened the area further for residential development. Subsequently, the farms were sold and divided for single family and multi-family housing. Washington Street, built in 1804, became the main thoroughfare of the community, connecting the area to Boston and Rhode Island.
Roslindale Square was an important commercial center for the entire southwest Boston area, until construction of suburban shopping centers siphoned customers away. Since the 1980’s, Roslindale has experienced steady revitalization and recently received a “Main Street” award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. This award acknowledges the neighborhoods efforts for historic and aesthetic preservation in conjunction with local economic revitalization.