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Boston’s West End was a vibrant immigrant neighborhood during the late 19th and early 20th century, with over 20,000 working class residents packed into hundreds of tenement buildings. One block of Lowell Street (later renamed Lomasney Street) contained 30 nearly identical brownstone tenement, all constructed around 1870.
This four-story brownstone was the only tenement building in the entire West End to survive the urban renewal efforts of the late 1950s and sixties, as well as a later project to move the elevated railway underground.
It’s unclear why the building has been spared, while similar buildings all around it were demolished. The building’s residents seem to have had finally gotten fed up; seeing neighboring buildings being destroyed, they mounted a protest, and refused to vacate the building.
Today, the Last Tenement stands out as a relic amidst the bustling traffic and luxurious apartments that now populate the area. The building is still used as an apartment building, with apartments listed for $3,500 a month.