First settled in 1629 on the banks of Boston Harbor and the Mystic River, Charlestown is Boston's oldest neighborhood. It's home to important landmarks like the U.S.S. Constitution (the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world), the Bunker Hill Monument, and the Charlestown Navy Yard. Today, it's a busy, modern residential neighborhood composed of brick and wood row houses, and waterfront condominiums and apartments.
Originally called Mishawum by the Massachusett Native American tribe, Charlestown was laid out in 1629 by engineer Thomas Graves, one of its early settlers, in the reign of Charles I of England. It was initially a separate town and the first capital of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Although it is now a one square-mile neighborhood within the city of Boston, Charlestown was once its own municipality and included what is now Melrose, Malden, Stoneham, Somerville, Medford, Everett, Woburn, Burlington, and parts of Arlington and Cambridge.
On June 17, 1775, the Charlestown Peninsula was the site of the Battle of Bunker Hill, named for a hill at the northwest end of the peninsula near Charlestown Neck. New England soldiers faced the British army for the first time in a pitched battle and, while the battle was a tactical victory for the British, it was a sobering experience involving many more British casualties than American. The famous order "Don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes" was popularized in stories about the battle of Bunker Hill, the colonial military leadership regularly reminding their troops to hold their fire until the moment when it would have the greatest effect, especially in situations where their ammunition would be limited. The Bunker Hill Monument, built between 1827 and 1843, is one of the neighborhood's many historical landmarks.
The 1860s saw an influx of Irish immigrants and the area long remained an Irish and Catholic stronghold to the extent that the informal demonym "Townie" continues to imply the working-class Irish, as opposed to newer immigrants. Charlestown was infamous for its Irish Mob presence throughout the 1960s until the mid-1990s, and the Irish Mob Wars between the McLaughlin Brothers and the neighboring Somerville's Winter Hill Gang in 1960s. Today, Charlestown is an attractive residential neighborhood. Charlestown Navy Yard, responsible for constructing some of the most famous vessels of the Civil War, is now a popular national park, and major local tenants include Bunker Hill Community College, Spauling Rehabilitation Hospital, and a branch of Massachusetts General Hospital.
One of Boston's most densely populated neighborhoods, Charlestown's historic, gaslit ambiance draws a combination of young professionals and families who have lived in the area for generations. The streets are lined with Victorian townhouses and workers' cottages, side by side with modern-day condominiums that are either newly constructed or converted from historic buildings. The Navy Yard and the adjacent harbor are home to a number of condominiums and offices, and numerous businesses including Massachusetts General Hospital and the Urban National Park. And Downtown Boston is only a Harbor Ferry, bus, or T-stop away.
Median Sale Price: $776,000
Average Sale Price: $861,325
Average Price Per Square Foot: $696
Single-Family Homes Sold: 70
Highest Single-Family Home Sale Price: $2,013,750
Condominiums Sold: 319
Highest Condominium Sale Price: $2,349,000
*For the most up-to-date real estate market analysis of the neighborhood, contact us directly.
Once the traditional home of employees at the now-decommissioned Navy Yard, Charlestown has undergone a drastic shift in population and industry. An influx of new restaurants and boutiques blend in with the historic taverns and antique shops that line the neighborhood's streets.
- The Warren Tavern - American Traditional
- Tangierino - French, Moroccan
- Todd English's Figs - Italian
- Navy Yard Bistro and Wine Bar - French, American, Wine Bar
- Tavern at the End of the World - American Pub
- The Brewer's Fork - Gastropub, Wine Bar
- Legal Oysteria - Italian, Seafood
- Pier 6 Boston Waterfront - American Bar