West Roxbury, MA
West Roxbury is a neighborhood in Boston bordered by Roslindale to the north, the Town of Dedham to the east and south, the Town of Brookline and the City of Newton to the west. Many people mistakenly confuse West Roxbury with Roxbury, but the two are not connected. West Roxbury is separated from Roxbury by Jamaica Plain and Roslindale. It is often referred to as a suburb within the city. Founded in 1630 (contemporaneously with West Roxbury, Massachusetts was originally part of the town of Roxbury and was mainly used as farmland. In the 19th century, Roxbury, Jamaica Plain, Roslindale and West Roxbury were all called Roxbury. They were later divided up into different neighborhoods, so modern day West Roxbury is at the western edge of what used to be Roxbury in the 19th century.
West Roxbury's main thoroughfare is Centre Street, lined with local restaurants and commercial establishments. Today, the neighborhood's tree-lined streets and mostly single family homes give it a suburban feel in an urban setting. Life in the neighborhood centers on political and civic activism as well as local parishes and youth athletic leagues. West Roxbury is home to many of Boston's civil servants. The community boasts a significant proportion of persons of Irish descent as well as a smaller number of more recent Irish immigrants. The Roxbury Latin School, founded in 1645 is located on Saint Theresa Avenue in West Roxbury since 1927. The school's endowment is estimated at $143.8 million, the largest of any boys' school in the United States. West Roxbury is home to District E-5 of the Boston Police Department and two Boston fire stations, Ladder 25 & Engine 30 on Centre Street and Engine 55 on Washington Street. The Needham Branch of the MBTA Commuter Rail network has three stations in West Roxbury (Bellevue, Highland and West Roxbury). Several MBTA bus lines run through and/or terminate in West Roxbury. A large Veterans Affairs hospital is located opposite the Charles River on the VFW Parkway near the Dedham line. This hospital has undergone several expansions over the last twenty years. West Roxbury is home to several houses of worship, including three Catholic parishes, several churches of various Protestant denominations and a Jewish temple.
The neighborhood was home to an experimental transcendentalist Utopia community called Brook Farm, which attracted notable figures like Margaret Fuller and Nathaniel Hawthorne whose 1852 novel A Blithedale Romance, is based on his stay there. .