Jamaica Plain is a part of Boston in Suffolk County with the zip code 02130 and is known by the locals as J.P. It borders the town of Brookline to the north, the Boston communities of West Roxbury and Roslindale to the west and south, and the Boston communities of Roxbury and The Fenway to the east. Its notable feature is the area’s mixture of an urban environment with beautiful open green space. The famous landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmstead, designed the renowned Emerald Necklace stretching from Back Bay to Franklin Park running the length of Jamaica Plain. Most of the parks that create the Emerald Necklace are in Jamaica Plain. Olmstead Park consists of 58.81 acres of walking and bicycle paths, a small pond, and lush mature greenery. Jamaica Pond consists of 109.35 acres of mainly the scenic pond surrounded by a popular walking path and grassy beaches. Many find this area to be an urban oasis and frequent it often.
A few blocks beyond the Jamaica Pond lies the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, also a part of the Emerald Necklace. The 265 acre gated grounds are open to the public for walking and biking, but it is a research and educational institution. Within the grounds are fabulous plant collections labeled for easy identification. Large greenhouses offer a protected environment for specialty plants and research facilities. Many enjoy the educational opportunities from adult lectures and courses to guided tours of the grounds to a variety of programs for children. The entire City of Boston celebrates Lilac Sunday in June at the Arboretum along with other scheduled special events. Dogs are welcomed as long as they remain on a leash. It is a wonderful place to meet people, have a picnic, or just lie in the grass! For more information, you can contact the Arboretum directly at (617) 524-1718 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Each of these areas is accessible by car or foot. The main thoroughfare that runs parallel to the parks is called The Jamaicaway, which connects to The Arborway. These multi-lane roads are lined with mature trees and handsome, large turn of the century homes. The Jamaicaway and Arborway are considered some of the more scenic roads in Boston. The neighborhoods surrounding these parks are very desirable and consist of beautiful homes. They also share their names for easy identification.
The Pondside neighborhood is the area from the Jamaicaway to Centre Street surrounding the Jamaica Pond. This neighborhood offers not only easy access to the Pond and surrounding parks, but is also in close proximity to the commercial district on Centre Street. Many of the tree-lined streets have stunning Victorian houses on ample lots with lovely gardens. Some of these larger homes have been converted into multi-family houses and then into condominiums. The former Children’s Museum and its grounds were developed into condominiums with breathtaking views of the Pond. Pondside is one of the most sought-after areas in Metro Boston.
The Arboretum neighborhood is the area from the Arborway next to the Arboretum to South Street and from Centre Street to the Forest Hills MBTA stop. Having the Arnold Arboretum within a short walk to your home makes this neighborhood in high demand. Add to this feature are the conveniences of being close to the MBTA stop and the commercial districts surrounding Centre Street and South Street. The homes consist of a higher number of older multi-family houses, both triple-deckers and 2-family houses, and a small scattering of single family homes. The lot sizes are small and many of the streets are narrow and one-way. This feature gives the neighborhood a quaint, village atmosphere. Many of the multi-family houses have been converted into condominiums increasing the number of owner occupied residences, but the neighborhood still offers quality apartments for rent.
The Woodbourne Area was recently added to the National Register of Historic Places. The area street boundaries are Walk Hill and Goodway and Wachusett Streets. There is a variety of housing styles including colonial revival, considered by many to be originally designed as affordable for the working class. Single family and multi-family houses are the predominant housing types. Within the Woodbourne Area, is the Bourne Section consisting of the streets Northbourne, Bournedale, Southbourne and Bourne Streets. The Bourne Section has the feeling of a village with small tree-lined street and mostly smaller and charming single family houses. The Woodbourne Area is conveniently located near the Forrest Hills T-Stop and bus stops and The Arnold Arboretum.
Moss Hill is nestled between the Arboretum and the Jamaica Pond and abuts the Brookline town line. The Jamaicaway physically separates it from the rest of Jamaica Plain. It is also removed from any of the commercial districts and consists of primarily single family homes giving the neighborhood a very suburban atmosphere. The hill’s eastern slope offers homeowners a spectacular view of downtown Boston. The southwestern slope offers a tree top view with the Blue Hills in the background. Add to the views and the surroundings are quality homes in all sizes and the result is a very popular area.
Sumner Hill is south of the Arboretum neighborhood off Centre and South Streets. It is a cluster of small side streets offering some of the most magnificent collection of Victorian homes in the Metro Boston Area. Take your time and walk the neighborhood so you can get a good look at the array of “painted ladies” with beautiful detailing, stain glass windows, and classic styling. Added to the beauty of the homes is the charm of the small, winding streets and some architecturally significant municipal buildings and churches.
Some of the Jamaica Plain neighborhood names come from the MBTA stop in the area. The Forrest Hills neighborhood has the Arboretum on one side and Franklin Park on the other. In between is the MBTA stop offering access to not only the orange line of the subway system, but many connecting bus routes. It is also the site of the convergence of many major roadways. This bustling area has a small commercial district surrounded by a variety of housing types including apartment buildings. It is a very convenient commuting location for access both in and out of Boston.
The Stonybrook neighborhood is named for the MBTA stop. It is also close to Eggleston Square; a large commercial district shared by JP and Roxbury residents. It offers a wide variety of housing and attracts both owners and tenants as residents.
Mid-JP is the neighborhood from Centre Street to Washington Street and from the Forrest Hills neighborhood to Stonybrook. There are a wide variety of homes and apartment buildings with some of them over 150 years old. Each of the streets in the area has its own personality based on the housing and density. Some of the streets may have primarily small single family houses while its abutting street has larger multi-unit buildings. Center Street is the primary business district, but there are also small local businesses scattered throughout the area along with one notable business, Samuel Adams Brewery. The MBTA orange line runs underground along this area and the space above it remains open park and walking/bicycle paths. The MBTA stop servicing this neighborhood is Green Street on the orange line.