Boston’s South End was not always the trendy, and diverse setting for the SoWa Open Market as seen today. However, its rich history can still be seen woven into the Victorian style streets and industrial chic area.
In the 1800s, Boston’s South end would be unrecognizable. It began as a small strip of land surrounded by marshes, but as the city became crowded the area was expanded. Dirt from nearby Needham, Massachusetts was used to form the landscape we are familiar with today. The area was developed by architect Charles Bulfinch, who laid the groundwork of the Victorian era houses, gardens, and tree-lined streets.
After a financial crisis, many families fled, replaced by heavy manufacturing and industrialization. The industrial Central Power Station is still a remnant of the time when transportation was key to Boston’s industrial transformation. Today it is used to host events, including a beer barn for the SoWa Open Market.
The manufacturing boom also attracted migrants into the city’s south end. To accommodate them, large lodging facilities were built. African American’s from the south established a prominent jazz movement and establishing the top African American musician’s union. The union was later merged with a nonracial union. In addition, many homosexuals fled to the area to live unnoticed in the same sex lodging settlements. The area is now very accepting of all sexualities as many of the homosexuals became activists for gay rights. The diverse inflow of many ethnicities, religions, and ethnicities contributes to the city’s rich ethnic representation and acceptance today.
Furthermore, history found in items at SoWa Open Market’s vendors allow visitors a glimpse into the past but remember to appreciate the historic character intertwined into modern architecture and design, preserving Boston’s roots, into the setting of SoWa Open Market.