Columbia Point Walking Tour

This walking tour is intended for Boston Public Schools ethnic studies teachers using the Columbia Point case study and involved a self-guided tour of local sites related to that case study.

Columbia Point Walking Tour

Boston, Massachusetts 02115, United States

Created By: University of Massachusetts Boston

Tour Information

This walking tour is intended for Boston Public Schools ethnic studies teachers using the Columbia Point case study. The case study describes the experiences of Black people in the Columbia Point community of Dorchester. We focus our story on the Columbia Point public housing community, built and maintained by the Boston Housing Authority between the 1950s through the 1990s, and replaced by Harbor Point at the Bay, a mixed-income privately managed community that exists through the present day. This case study also addresses two components of the community that were essential to the health and well-being of Columbia Point’s residents: the Dever and McCormack public schools and the Geiger-Gibson Community Health Center. The central theme of the case study is the resilience of Black families as they worked to secure safe and secure housing and access to education, health services, transportation and shopping in the face of segregation, environmental racism and financial neglect.

Tour Map

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What You'll See on the Tour

At this site, you will listen to audio and view images about the JFK/UMass Station, which was previously called Columbia Station from 1927-1982. The Columbia Point peninsula had many uses over the centuries, including as a cow pasture, a pu... Read more
At this site, you should make observations of Mt. Vernon Street. This is currently the site of the Double Tree Hotel and the Bayside Center, which now houses UMass Boston office, Commonwealth of Massachusetts offices, and some private busin... Read more
At this site, in 1965, the first community health center was established in four former apartments in the Columbia Point Housing Project. In March 1989, groundbreaking began for new health center to be re-named Geiger Gibson Community Healt... Read more
Most children in the Columbia Point attended the Russell, which was a far walk from the Housing Development. In 1957, the Paul A. Dever was built. In 1965, the John W. McCormack Middle School was built. Both schools were located across the ... Read more
The Calf Pasture Pumping Station is what remains of the first comprehensive sewerage project in the city of Boston. During the 19th century Dorchester residents used this land for grazing cattle, which gave the building its name. Completed... Read more
At this site, you will listen to former UMass Boston student Christian Walkes discuss his experiences at the Clark Athletic Center and its former pool (which has been demolished to make way for a new student outdoor "quad").
The Columbia Point project was constructed between 1951 and 1954 and consisted of a many high-rise apartment buildings. The site for formerly a cow pasture and later a city dump (which was still in use when the housing development opened).... Read more
The location of Ms. Theora Jones' apartment in the Columbia Point Housing Development at 6 South Point Drive. In the 1960s, “The Mothers Club," as they called themselves, formed as a natural support group. Mothers would get together for c... Read more
In 2010, UMass Boston purchased the 20-acre Bayside Expo Center for $18.7 million. For the next decade, it was primarily used as a student and employee parking lot for the University. In 2020, UMass Boston signed a 99-year lease with Accord... Read more


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