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Rediscovering Bromley Park: Jamaica Plain’s Working Class Garden Square and the Natural City
December 4, 2017 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pmFree
While green design and urban open space initiatives enjoy great popularity today, nearly 150 years ago a residential development that integrated dense, working-class housing with ample green space arose in Jamaica Plain. In 1871, the wealthy industrialist John Amory Lowell subdivided his familial estate Bromley Vale into a residential garden square that he rechristened Bromley Park. Similar to Boston’s South End squares, Bromley Park consisted of an extensive central garden area surrounded by brick rowhouses. However, Bromley Park was much larger and densely-populated than both American and European architectural precedents. Over its nearly 80 year existence, the site became home to thousands of both local and immigrant working-class families. Though Bromley Park was demolished in the mid-20th century to make way for the Bromley/Heath public housing development (now the Mildred C. Hailey Apartments), its design and history reveal a striking vision of how nature and housing could be interwoven into an increasingly dense urban fabric.
Our speaker is Aaron Ahlstrom. Hailing from Somerville, MA, Aaron is a doctoral student in Boston University’s American and New England Studies Program whose research examines the intersection of environmental conservation and historic preservation in Massachusetts’ State Forests. His work on Bromley Park emerged from a BU Preservation Studies Program semester-long research workshop that delved deeply into Jamaica Plain’s architectural and social history.
We hope you will attend this event, sponsored by the Jamaica Plain Historical Society, to learn about this fascinating aspect of JP history. This event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served
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