Dorchester is the largest, most populated, and most diverse neighborhood in Boston. It boasts a wide variety of landscapes including 9.46 miles of waterfront, residential neighborhoods, commercial corridors, and a university campus. Franklin Park, considered the “crown jewel” of Frederick Law Olmsted’s Emerald Necklace Park System, is located here. The Park features 527 acres of green space and walking paths, a zoo, and an 18-hole municipal golf course. Bordered by the Neponset River and Boston Harbor, Dorchester residents enjoy the riverfront amenities of Pope John Paul II Park as well as harbor beaches and boating opportunities. Numerous smaller communities form the greater neighborhood, including Jones Hill, Meeting House Hill, Savin Hill, and Upham’s Corner in the North and Pope’s Hill, Harbor Point, Lower Mills, Codman Square, and Port Norfolk in the South.
About the Community
Former residents of Dorchester have been known to wear T-shirts proclaiming “OFD” – “Originally From Dorchester”, exhibiting the neighborhood loyalty. Long-time locals mingle with newer immigrants from Ireland, Vietnam, and Cape Verde. The nation’s first Vietnamese Community Center is located in Fields Corner, the heart of the Vietnamese community in Boston. Dorchester Avenue is the spine of the neighborhood business district with a distinctive mix of ethnic restaurants, salons, electronics stores, and pharmacies.
The JFK/UMass, Savin Hill, Fields Corner, Shawmut, and Ashmont T stations serve Dorchester, as well as the entirety of the Ashmont-Mattapan High-Speed Line (a tramway that connects Ashmont station with other parts of the neighborhood). The Red Line splits into 2 branches south of the JFK/UMass station, so make sure you are on an Ashmount-bound train if you want to stop in Dorchester. The Upham’s Corner and Morton Street stations on the Fairmount Line of the MBTA commuter rail are located in Dorchester. Interstate 93 runs through the neighborhood: Exits 11, 13, 14, and 15 serve Dorchester.