Community Real Estate

Revisiting the Beginnings of North End Gentrification in the 1970’s

We revisit the ever present subject of North End gentrification with this 1979 article from American Preservation Magazine. The copy of the now-defunct magazine is courtesy of columnist Nick Dello Russo, with the article originally written by Dianne Dumanoski and photographs by Betsy Fuchs. Nick describes the backdrop, “Back in 1979, the North End was just starting to be gentrified and redeveloped. It was a time of enormous change for the neighborhood and there was certainly tension and class divisions.” In addition to Nick, the article includes interviews with resident Bill Ferullo and the new rep. at the time, Sal DiMasi. Cameo appearances in the photos by some native residents, including Lorraine and Alissa Passacantilli.

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14 Replies to “Revisiting the Beginnings of North End Gentrification in the 1970’s

  1. I loved the article on the N.E. gentrification. The photos were awesome! The quote from Mary Beninati says it all. “The Lord didn’t tell the Italians the North End is yours forever”.

  2. What a wonderful article, growing up in the N. E. Salem & Stillman St area, the pictures are awesome and it was a trip down memory lane. Thank you.

  3. Articles like this really mean a lot to an older North Ender !!! Thank You !!! I recognize Lorraine Langone and Rosario.

    1. Janet, that photo of the old otis elevator building really struck me. Fulton is such a beautiful street now. Did you live there back then?

      1. Janet and I have lived on Fulton St since 1972. At that time all the warehouses and packing companies on Fulton & Commercial Sts had been relocated by urban renewal. The city sold us the old warehouse buildings for $1,500.00 each with the proviso that we rehab and live in them. I didn’t have the cash and I had to “borrow” it from my father.
        The cast iron building in the illustration was the McLaughlin Elevator Company.

  4. I grew up on Salem Street, I had a family owned building with 12 family’s living in it and everyone of them spoke Italian. My mother used to hang the clothes on the line all the time, even in winter. I love the North End with most of my dear friends still living there.

  5. In May SUNY Press will publish “From Italy to the North End 1972-1982 – photographs – Anthony V. Riccio,” a visual journey from the small villages of southern Italy to the streets of the North End. These images of daily life the North End capture the neighborhood before was forever changed by the passing of its elders and upheavals in the housing market.

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