Affectionately called "JP" by the local population, Jamaica Plain has become one of Boston's most dynamic neighborhoods. One of the first streetcar suburbs in America, the neighborhood is home to a significant portion of Boston's Emerald Necklace of parks designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, popularly considered to be the father of American landscape architecture. By the turn of the 21st century, Jamaica Plain had attracted a large community of college-educated professionals, political activists and artists.
Legend has it that the name Jamaica Plain came from residents' fondness for Jamaica rum, which they preferred “plain.” The more likely story is that the neighborhood got its name from Kutchamaiken, chief of an Indian tribe at Jamaica Pond more than two centuries ago. In the 18th century, Jamaica Plain comprised the southern part of the Town of Roxbury. Farming was the chief employment of the town and the area's wooded hills, surrounding the deep and beautiful Pond, made Jamaica Plain a perfect site for the country estates of the well-to-do. Farming was the chief employment of the town, but the presence of a water supply fostered some small-scale industry. In 1795 the Jamaica Plain Aqueduct Company received a contract to supply Boston with water from Jamaica Pond, which it did until 1848.
Population increased rapidly during the 19th century. As breweries and factories located here, the fine estates, lush gardens and farms of the original well-to-do residents gave way to more modest and affordable houses. Jamaica Plain was included in West Roxbury when it became independent in 1851, and was annexed to Boston in 1873. Frederick Law Olmsted designed and built Boston's Emerald Necklace of parks, with much of the southern section of the connecting parkland in or bordering on Jamaica Plain, the Arnold Arboretum was developed, and the electric streetcar service took off. The neighborhood quickly grew into a community of college-educated professionals, political activists, and artists.
Jamaica Plain is a mosaic of grand 18th century country estates, mid-19th century suburban architecture (including Greek Revival and Italianate), and 19th and 20th century triple-decker homes. Today, these old homes coexist next to brand new construction condominium buildings.
A hot real estate market has driven dramatic increases in the value of older homes in the Parkside, Pondside and Sumner Hill areas, and conversion of some larger residential properties and older commercial buildings into condominiums. A number of formerly vacant structures have been or are being converted to residential use, among them the ABC Brewery, the Gormley Funeral Home, the Eblana Brewery, the Oliver Ditson Company, 319 Centre Street, Jackson Square, JP Cohousing, Blessed Sacrament, Our Lady of the Way, and 80 Bickford Street.
- Median Sale Price: $576,250
- Average Sale Price: $1,025,695
- Average Price Per Square Foot: $570
- Single-Family Homes Sold: 80
- Highest Single-Family Home Sale Price: $2,180,000
- Condominiums Sold: 429
- Highest Condominium Sale Price: $7,895,000
*For the most up-to-date real estate market analysis of the neighborhood, contact us directly.
View our weekly Sunday Open House guide and explore what's available on Jamaica Plain's real estate market.
Jamaica Plain Lifestyle
The mix of cultures is evident in the local businesses, shops, and restaurants. Surrounded by the Emerald Necklace, Arnold Arboretum, Franklin Park and Jamaica Pond, it is the perfect place to visit, shop, dine, and live all year round.
- On the Centre
- 40 South Street
- Papercuts JP
- Deep Thoughts JP
- JP Comics and Games
- EYE Q Optical
- Boing! JP's Toy Store
- JP Knit and Stitch
- Bikes Not Bombs
- Chilacates - Mexican
- Ten Tables - American
- The Haven - Scottish Gastropub
- Blue Nile Restaurant - Ethiopian
- Brassica Kitchen + Cafe - American, French
- The Old Havana - Cuban, Seafood
- Centre Street Café - Italian, Wine Bar
- Tres Gatos - Tapas
- JP Seafood Cafe - Japanese, Korean
- JP Licks - Ice Cream