The Polish Triangle straddles two neighborhoods. Most of it is with Dorchester, but a sliver extends into South Boston's Andrew Square. Of course, it's worth remembering that South Boston was once largely part of Dorchester – which is why a section of South Boston is still called Dorchester Heights. So, it was all in Dorchester, at one point. (If you thought's Boston's streets were confusing ...!).
Strong cultural identity. For decades, the neighborhood has been a stronghold of Polish heritage, food, language, and customs. There are still a few traditional Polish restaurants and social clubs, where one can hear the Polish language and polka music, and find traditional foods from pierogies and potato pancakes, to sausages, stews, and pastries.
Positioned for rising property values. The compact, 51-acre neighborhood is at the edge of some of the rapidly changing sections of Dorchester – including Upham's Corner, Savin Hill, and South Bay – and has convenient transit with the Red Line station at Andrew Square. That said, adjacent Andrew Square has not yet seen the same level of revival that other neighborhoods in Boston have seen. While the Polish Triangle is a fairly quiet neighborhood with limited dining and nightlife options, it has proximity to both South Boston and the South End.
Played a role in the 'Spotlight' movie. Residents of the Polish Triangle assisted in the production of the award-winning film Spotlight, about the Boston Globe’s investigation into the archdiocese’s pattern of shielding child-abusing priests, according to DotNews.
Architecturally, the housing stock of the Polish Triangle is consistent with that of the neighboring areas of Upham's Corner and South Boston's Andrew Square.
One of several neighborhoods popular among students. Within Dorchester, undergraduate and graduate students are largely concentrated within Columbia Point, the Polish Triangle, and Savin Hill, according to Dorchester News.
While there are no subway stops with in the neighborhood itself, the northern section of the neighborhood is very close to the Andrew Square T stop on the Red Line, while the southern part of the neighborhood is close to the JFK/UMass station for both the Red Line and the Commuter Rail. From Andrew Square, it is three stops or about 10 minutes to South Station.
Polish Triangle is in northern Dorchester, and it pokes into the Andrew Square section of South Boston. To the west is South Bay, to the south is Upham's Corner, and to the east are Savin Hill and South Boston.
The neighborhood is loosely bounded by Boston Street to the west, Columbia Road to the south, and Dorchester Avenue to the east. Route 93 bisects the neighborhood; everything south of the highway is in Dorchester, while the northern half is in South Boston.
Polish expats were among the earliest European emigrants to America. In 1609, Polish craftsmen were among the expedition of Captain John Smith to settle the Jamestown colony in Virginia. Over the centuries, Polish expats and those of Polish descent have had a significant [force] in American history, business, and culture. Tadeusz Kosciuszko (1746-1817) and Kazimierz Pulaski (1745-1779) were heroes of the American Revolution.
Shortly after arriving in Philadelphia in 1776, Kosciuszko read the Declaration of Independence and was moved to tears because he discovered in this single, concise document everything in which he truly believed. When he discovered that Thomas Jefferson was responsible for drafting the Declaration, he felt compelled to meet him. They became close friends, and Kosciuszko named Jefferson the executor of his will. That document specified that his American assets to be used for the education and freedom of American slaves – starting with those of Jefferson. However, those funds were never used as intended
Pulaski originally fought for Polish independence, then at the urging of Benjamin Franklin, joined the American revolution. He is regarded as the 'father of the American cavalry,' and saved the life of George Washington at the Battle of Brandywine in 1777. For this, he was rewarded with the rank of brigadier general.
A century later, Polish emigration to New England came in two major waves. The first was 1870-1914, when perhaps 1.5 million fled starvation and economic devastation in Germany, Russia, and Galicia (a historic region between Poland and the Ukraine). A large number were Jewish, escaping persecution. They came to New England to work in the factories, primarily textile mills – and indeed retained that revolutionary and idealistic spirit of Kosciuszko. In 1912, Polish women working at the mills in Lawrence were among the organizers of the Bread and Roses strike, considered one of the most significant labor struggles in American history.
Our Lady of Czestochowa (655 Dorchester Ave.) was founded in 1893, and reflects the growing population of Polish emigrants in New England at the time. It is named for one of the most prominent Catholic icons, the Black Madonna housed at a monastery in Czestochowa, Poland. It possibly dates to the sixth century, and has been repainted, however, it is notable for its depiction of what appears to be an African Madonna and child.
The second wave of emigration happened after World War II.