Waterfront Planning

East Boston

East Boston has long been oriented towards waterfront uses. The neighborhood was originally composed of five separate islands, with saltworks established as early as the 1700s. By 1800, the islands were linked to Boston by a ferry and became part of the City in 1822. From that point on, the islands became a prominent industrial and shipbuilding center. The Eastern Railroad company constructed a terminus near Maverick Square, further promoting trade through rail access to the shipyards. During the same period, East Boston rivaled Ellis Island as a point of entry for immigrants to the United States. East Boston's current shoreline was created in the early 1900s by the consolidation of East Boston's five separate islands by landfill. 

The 2002 East Boston Municipal Harbor Plan describes how new growth and economic development can occur within East Boston, while providing a framework for preserving the neighborhoods and their resources. The plan includes goals for six "planning elements" which include 

  • Open Space and Public Environment, 
  • Land Use, 
  • Historic Resources and Heritage, 
  • Transportation and Parking, 
  • Development Guidance, 
  • and Regulatory Environment. 

Five "focus areas" include recommendations for the East Boston Waterfront's

  • Neighborhoods, 
  • Commercial Centers, 
  • McClellan Highway-Upper Chelsea Creek Corridor, 
  • Airport Edge, 
  • and East Boston Waterfront. 

The 2008 amendment to the plan included project information for 6-26 New Street, Boston East, and 125 Sumner Street. 

For more information, please contact Richard McGuinness, Deputy Director for Waterfront Planning, by email or by telephone at 617.918.4323.

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  • One City Hall Square, Boston, MA 02201
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