On a sun-flooded morning, hundreds of families from Bromley Heath apartments sat in overflow chairs in a crowded tent to listen as Mayor Marty Walsh and Boston Housing Authority William McGonagle renamed the development Mildred C. Hailey Apartments. Joining them was Anna Mae Cole, a friend and comrade in arms for over 60 years and former chair of the Bromley Heath Tenant Management Corporation that Mrs. Hailey (and yes she was always Mrs. Hailey) directed for 40 years. Mrs. Hailey died of cancer at the age of 82 on Nov. 18, 2015 . Walsh remembered her memorial service: "At the end Billy [McGonagle] came up to me and said, "I've never asked you for anything but I'd like to ask you to name Bromley Heath after Mildred Hailey."
As the Boston Redevelopment Authority's "Plan JP/ROX: Preserve. Enhance. Grow" kicks off at an open house on Tuesday at Brookside Community Health Center, here's a primer on Washington Street. Whatever the name "Plan JP/ROX" means to the BRA public relations office, in reality this is the long advocated and awaited planning process for the Washington Street corridor from Forest Hills to Egleston Square. Privately built as a 35-mile toll road from Dudley Square to Providence in 1806, Washington Street became a free public way in 1857. The focus of the planning process is a 6,724 foot segment of this thoroughfare from the Casey Arborway to Egleston Square.
Automobiles line the Arborway in front of the Arnold Arboretum. Circa 1939. Courtesy of Boston Public Library, Jamaica Plain branch. At first glance it might seem these historical autos are caught in some demonic traffic time warp. But this 1939 photo isn't of a backup along the Arborway.
#CaseyArborway Then and Now @universalhub @02130News pic.twitter.com/12euE2tDIS— Clay Harper (@ArborwayMatters) July 2, 2015
For our Photo of the Day on Thursdays, we highlight an image of old JP. Resident Clay Harper Tweeted about the similarities between this week's scene of Casey Overpass destruction and one taken as the bridge was being built. The older image was taken in 1952 or 1953 by Ed Barrett. The Historical Society's photo archive, where you'll find Barrett's photo, is a neighborhood treasure. Please visit it! Each weekday we post an image from around the neighborhood.
As you've probably heard, the Supreme Court on Friday handed down the landmark decision that same-sex couples have the right to marry in all 50 states. And while you also probably know Massachusetts was the first state to legalize gay marriage, it's worth remembering JP's key role. Of the seven couples who made up the lawsuit that led to marriage equality in the Bay State, three lived in Jamaica Plain at the time, according to the Gazette:
Julie and Hillary Goodridge
David Wilson and Robert Compton
Michael Horgan and Edward Balmelli
It's 11 years after the first same-sex marriage licenses were given out at Cambridge City Hall. Let's remember JP's role in sparking this startlingly fast national change.