Welcome to Fort Hill, a small residential neighborhood located in Boston, Massachusetts. Less than one square mile in total area, Fort Hill is a sub-neighborhood and historic district of the overarching Roxbury area. Named after a military fortification built upon a hill located at the center of this neighborhood used during the American Revolutionary War, Fort Hill is bounded by Nubian Square to the east, Washington Park to the south, Mission Hill to the west, and Lower Roxbury to the north. This historic site and significant geographic feature, known today as Highland Park, contains the 70-foot-tall Cochituate Standpipe, also referred to as Fort Hill Tower, built around the time the City of Boston annexed Roxbury in 1868. Before the American Revolutionary War, much of Fort Hill was farmland and pastures with country estates owned by wealthy Bostonians. Despite the destruction of almost all of Fort Hill’s colonial-era buildings during the war, this neighborhood is considered Roxbury’s most historic district, featuring a variety of Greek Revival and Italianate houses built in the 19th century. The extension of streetcar service from Boston spurred a developmental boom that would continue for years as transportation improved and encouraged upper and middle-class families to relocate to Fort Hill. Located approximately three miles southwest of Downtown, Fort Hill would experience waves of immigration beginning in the early 20th century as the neighborhood found a market for its eclectic single-family rowhouses and triple-decker. Immigrants from Germany and Ireland were the first to relocate here, followed by African Americans in the 1940s and 1950s during the Great Migration, which would lead to Roxbury being known today as the heart of black culture in Boston.
Fort Hill today is an ideally located and ethnically diverse area home to people with African, Dominican, German, Irish, and Puerto Rican roots. Its population mainly consists of families and single professionals. However, its proximity to several nearby educational institutions has made Fort Hill a popular neighborhood among artists and college students over the past decade. Fort Hill offers a decent selection of affordable homes for rent compared to the nearby Boston neighborhoods of South End and Back Bay. The housing stock primarily consists of iconic Boston triple-deckers and multi-family rowhouses in a variety of architectural styles. Some newer green developments have cropped up over the past few years, offering apartment living for those that are more environmentally conscious. Continued revitalization in the Roxbury neighborhood and its sub-neighborhoods has led to a new wave of people leaving Boston’s downtown core for places like Fort Hill, which offers plenty of public transportation options for those that plan to commute for work. Fort Hill is served by one MBTA rapid transit station in the northwest corner of this neighborhood. Fort Hill also offers easy access to major roads, such as Columbus Avenue and Malcolm X Boulevard, which make traversing through Roxbury a breeze for those that drive. The Pierre Lallement Bicycle Path connects several neighborhoods in this region and is an excellent option for cyclists.