Our History

Our History

The South End Historical Society was founded in 1966 by interested citizens who recognized the significant architectural quality of the South End. Through the efforts of the Society, the South End has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the largest Victorian brick rowhouse district in the United States.

During its first fifty years, SEHS has worked continuously to retain the Victorian integrity of the South End. The historical society holds a major fundraiser every year—the South End House Tour and presents lectures and walking tours about the South End’s rich social and architectural history. SEHS also encourages research, conservation, and education to promote interest in our historic neighborhood. Some of our projects include:

  • Photographically documenting the South End as it was in 1970–71 and supporting the application for its inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places
  • Creation of the Cast Iron Project, a program to reproduce historically accurate cast iron fences and rails
  • Creating a photo inventory of South End cast iron, the largest collection of cast iron in the United States
  • Funding the installation of markers on major street signs designating the area as an historic district
  • Analyzing the architectural condition of the historic Allen House, which led to its stabilization by the City of Boston and its subsequent adaptive reuse
  • Curating the Down Washington Street exhibit in conjunction with The Bostonian Society which focused on and energized the renovation of Washington Street

The South End Historical Society is one of the primary contributors to the preservation of the South End’s architectural fabric. Please join us as we continue to preserve this beautiful landmark district and help us to promote its rich history.

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