As Boston’s oldest residential neighborhood, the North End remains a historic landmark for Boston. Housing residents since the 1630s, it first welcomed Irish and Eastern European Jewish immigrant communities in the 18th and 19th centuries and then became center for Italian immigrants in the 20th century, which is how most people recognize it today. During that time, the North End’s population sky rocketed from 23,000 to 40,000. Today, the neighborhood is considered the smallest in Boston, with only 10,000 residents, a mix of Italian Americans and young professionals. Median income is one of the highest in the city, at $70,000.
Some of the North End’s most striking characteristics lie in the architecture of its densely packed buildings and plethora of high-end specialty stores, boutiques, Italian restaurants and bakeries. With the conclusion of the “Big Dig” project which moved the highway underground (which had, for years, separated this neighborhood from downtown Boston by several tiers of Interstate 93), and the Rose Kennedy Greenway, a park, the North End is once again seamlessly connected to the rest of downtown Boston easily accessible to Bostonians and tourists eager to walk its historic, narrow streets. In addition to the draw of traditional Italian cuisine, many tourists attracted to the historic sites of the Old North Church which played a role in the American Revolution, the Paul Revere House and Copp’s Hill Burying Ground, one of America’s oldest cemeteries with graves from as early as the 17th century.