Looking Back at 2023: Some of East Boston’s Top Stories This Year

By Michael Coughlin Jr.

 As the sun sets on 2023, let us take a look back — in no particular order — at some of the standout stories in East Boston over the last year.

Piers Park Sailing Center marked it’s 25th year sailing the Harbor out of East Boston during the sailing season this year with a community celebration and free sailing.

PLAN: East Boston Saga

Throughout 2023, the Boston Planning and Development Agency’s (BPDA) neighborhood planning initiative — PLAN: East Boston has been a hot topic. For months, the agency has gone back and forth with residents to formulate recommendations that would impact zoning, transportation, and more. After a year full of neighborhood activism and meetings, the story has still not come to an end, as the BPDA plans to release the final version of the plan on January 5th.

Sumner Tunnel Closure

This past summer, East Boston residents dealt with the impacts of the Sumner Tunnel closing from July 5th to August 31st. As part of the closure, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) worked on aspects of the tunnel, such as its ceiling and walls, before eventually reopening on September 1st.

East Boston High School Wins School On The Move Prize

Back in November, East Boston High School beat out two other schools to win the coveted School On The Move Prize from EdVestors, which netted the school $100,000. After years of hard work from staff and students, the school was honored with the award for its improvements.

Substation Protests

Activists have been hard at work this year protesting the construction of an Eversource Substation on Condor Street due to fears of flooding at the site. There have been several demonstrations at the site — some of which led to arrests — all in the name of stopping construction.

Haul Road

In what has been a polarizing subject over the last year, groups for and against the creation of a  potential bypass road stemming from MassDOT’s Route 1A Corridor Study have voiced their opinions on social media and even the East Boston Times Editorial section. Those for the bypass, in part, say it will take truck traffic off of 1A and residential streets. Meanwhile, those opposed theorize that it would bring more traffic and harm the environment.

Sacred Heart Parish Celebrates 150 Years 

Sacred Heart Parish had its 150-year celebration back in June with a Mass featuring a homily from Cardinal Seán O’Malley and later a luncheon at Spinelli’s in Lynnfield.

Eastie Farm’s New Greenhouse

In March, the non-profit unveiled a state-of-the-art greenhouse at 6 Chelsea Terrace. The greenhouse is not only geothermal but also produces zero emissions, the first of its kind in New England. The greenhouse now enables Eastie Farm to grow food within it year-round.

Piers Park II Completed 

In recent news, Piers Park II construction has been completed, making way for a brand new 4.5-acre park. This month, members of the community, the Massachusetts Port Authority, and the Piers Park Advisory Committee celebrated the park’s opening. Some features of the park include a play area, new trees, and much more.

 East Boston Branch Library 10th Anniversary

The East Boston Branch of the Boston Public Library celebrated 10 years at its current location on Bremen Street in November. As part of the celebration of the milestone, the branch held an event hosting community members and elected officials. Additionally, the branch was presented with a certificate of recognition by Manuela Villa Gomez, East Boston’s Neighborhood Liaison, and a citation from State Representative Adrian Madaro.

East Boston Gets New Police Station

Elected officials and members of the Boston Police Department celebrated the completion of the new District A-7 police station in January. The new station on East Eagle Street was the first complete new District police station in over a decade and is the culmination of an almost $30 million investment.

As is the case with most lists, some stories did not make the cut. However, this list truly only scratches the surface of how many newsworthy moments occurred in East Boston this year.

If you are in the mood to reminisce as we welcome 2024, you can always look back at the year that was in the East Boston Times archives at https://eastietimes.com/.

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