An official neighborhood in Boston, South End is bordered by Dorchester on the south, Roxbury to the southwest, Back Bay to the north, Bay Village to the north east and South Boston to the southeast. The land first became available when the marshland was filled and structured for land development in the early to mid-1800s. South End was completed with residential housing before Back Bay, which was finished after the Civil War. Most of the housing is in the form of five-story row houses with Greek, Italian, and Egyptian Revival and other architectural styles. By the mid-1900s, both Roxbury and South End were known art districts and a major jazz center. South End soon became home to people of many international cultures.
Today, throughout the South End, the historic row houses are renovated, and they are used for housing and businesses. These structures are on the list of the National Register of Historical Places. South End is also part of the country's largest Victorian residential districts. Both Washington and Tremont Streets are the main through streets of South End. In the 1990s, South End along these thoroughfares received extensive restoration. Part of Boston's rapid transit, the Silver Line follows Washington Street. The third busiest area of South End is Columbus Avenue. Many restaurants and educational institutions are situated on the avenue and the rapid transit, Orange line passes along it.
Of the many places to visit in South End, here are a few examples:
Boston Opera House - An opera house from the old vaudeville era, this impressive building was built in 1928 for the Boston Opera Company. In 2004, the Opera House a fifty-million dollar restoration. Now, the ornate building is host to live entertainment.
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum - This international art museum was founded by the philanthropist and art collector for which the museum is named. Opened in 1917, the museum has a lovely courtyard garden with surrounding galleries. People can tour the art of the world and admire the work of local, contemporary artists.
Swan Boats - The boats with the beautiful large swans attached have been a part of Boston for one-hundred and thirty years. Located in the Public Garden, the country's oldest botanical garden, people can enjoy the ride and some history from the park's boat ride, a small museum and a gift shop.