October 31, 2012

Boston’s West End: Moving Forward/Looking Back

Exhibit and Lecture: Boston’s West End: Moving Forward/Looking Back

*November 7 at 6:00 p.m.: Opening Reception with Jim Campano, museum founder, and Duane Lucia, executive director

*November 7 - November 26: Exhibit

Monday-Thursday: 7:00 a.m.-11:00 p.m.;
Friday: 7:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.;
Saturday: 8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.;
Sunday: 11:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m.

Wentworth Institute of Technology
Alumni Library, Beatty Hall, 2nd Floor

Boston’s West End: Moving Forward/Looking Back is an exhibit that details the changing topography of the West End over the past two hundred years; the pre-1800 economy that existed in the West End, highlighted by a ropewalk model and timeline; the West Ender newspaper’s role in keeping the neighborhood connected, which led to the formation of the West End Museum to help fill this important role; and an overview of what happened with urban renewal – what was torn down and replaced. In addition, reference materials will be made available to learn more about the section of the city.

The opening lecture will share perspectives on the old and new West End – its geographical footprint, infrastructure, ethnic composition, and the cultural transformations that have shaped the neighborhood. The exhibit and lecture seek to engage attendees in the question of how to move urban areas into the future without destroying the roots of a neighborhood and community and the connections that have developed between people and their environments. 

As part of the exhibit, a model of a ropewalk–a series of buildings where rope was made for Boston’s bustling maritime trade from the 1700s through the early 1900s–built by current architecture student James Cleveland will be included. He was able to construct a twenty-foot replica of a ropewalk complete with clapboards and hundreds of windows fashioned from scrap materials from student projects. 

This exhibit/lecture is connected to the Boston Voyages: By Book and By Foot course offered to architecture students and seeks to foster community by creating a dialogue about lessons from the past related to urban renewal.

The exhibit and speaker series is sponsored by Wentworth’s Department of Humanities and Social Science, Alumni Library, and Office of the Provost in conjunction with the West End Museum. The event and speaker series is open and free to the public. For more details on the tour, contact Professor Lois Ascher at 617-989-4374 or ascherl@wit.edu


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