By Guild Nichols – originally published at

The Italian masses that flowed into the North End on the heels of the departing Irish and at the apex of the Jewish settlement found a neighborhood in dire physical condition; a rundown, overcrowded slum of deteriorating tenement buildings.

Like their predecessors, these newly-arrived Italian immigrants also had to contend with Bostonians’ disdain for foreigners. As historian Samuel Adams Drake opined (in 1871) about living conditions in North Square:

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