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Winter Street: 1940

December 1940. "Winter Street, Quincy, Massachusetts. A Syrian neighborhood near the shipyards. Slum area where many shipyard workers live." Photo by Jack Delano.  View full size.

December 1940. "Winter Street, Quincy, Massachusetts. A Syrian neighborhood near the shipyards. Slum area where many shipyard workers live." Photo by Jack Delano. View full size.


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Now a museum

The shipyard is gone. Not sure where shipbuilding is still happening, but it's not in Massachusetts. I think the labor costs for one of the most expensive metro areas in the country got to be too much, and the shipyards were deemed "inefficient". That was in the 1980s. The Reagan Administration hit the off switch in 1981. By 1986, General Dynamics shut this spot down.

A sliver of silver lining. The yard has been repurposed for some local businesses, including dredging and chemical fertilizer depots. There is also a museum dedicated to the Quincy shipbuilding tradition. And yes, it is used as a car distribution lot for dealers - for American cars. The Google map view shows the vehicle awaiting a home are Chevrolets, Jeeps, and GMC trucks. Much smaller than ships, but still helping the US economy.

Big things happening beyond the end of Winter Street

When this photo was taken, the Fore River Shipyards in Quincy were ramping up their operations in case the United States entered World War II. Construction was underway on the battleship USS Massachusetts (BB-59) and light cruisers USS San Diego (CL-53) and San Juan (CL-54) - all three of which were still afloat and in action at the war's end.


What good is making a comment if it just gets tossed. Don't give me the so many comments talk, there were two or more comments submitted beyond mine and they were published.

I'll think twice before I support this site.

[No need to stop at twice. - Dave]

Anything hiding under there?

Inquisitive cat peeking up under the Ford's left front fender.

Cold winter noses

The curbside Ford's owner has provided its nose with a makeshift winter radiator grille cover to aid in faster winter engine warmups and better heat retention when underway. Happy owner now enjoys warm fingers and nose thanks to a comfortably temperate car interior.

Concerns though, about the cold-nosed Kitty, clambering onto the the left front tire. Is it contemplating a way to access that enticingly warm, under-hood location provided by the recently parked, still warm '37?

Be careful Kitty, countless tails and various other cat appendages have been mutilated or torn off in similar, deceivingly inviting, paw-thawing hideouts!

Old housing yes but no slums there.

The shipyard in the background is now long gone. The brick building was the headquarters of Bethlehem Ship Yard, owned by Bethlehem Steel. Later it was sold to General Dynamics. 7000, seven thousand men and women worked there in three shifts around the clock. They built Navy ships and in later years liquid natural gas tankers. It was the bread and butter for hard-working men and women.

As to Winter Street, it may look old and rickety but it was a clean neighborhood of families and shipyard workers. It still stands today but the Shipyard is now a stinking parking lot for an automobile distributor. A waste of valuable land and deep water docking.


That car just needs a pair of glasses and bushy eyebrows. Maybe a grease moustache. Don't see too many grille covers these days, even in the northeast US.

[The car: 1937 Ford. - Dave]

My how times have changed!

Personally, I think the slum shot shown above looks better than the slums today.

Watch me

Park right next to the No Parking sign.

Worth a Visit

I used to live in Quincy, and recommend a visit to The Old House at Peace Field, the home of Presidents John and J.Q. Adams and several later generations. Most Presidential homes feel like museums, but it's easy to imagine the Adams family puttering around Peace Field.

Quincy also claims to be the site of the first Howard Johnson's restaurant; the location is now occupied by the Wollaston T station.

"Home" is a four-letter word, too

The phrase "slum" seems to have been used quite loosely here -- as evidenced by the number of buildings that are still extant, 80+ years later -- perhaps an ominous foreshadowing of the coming decades when "blight" became a catchall phrase to get rid of ... well, almost anything that someone in power didn't like.

There is gentrification going on now

In the array of slums we have seen on Shorpy, this looks relatively livable. The house on the left is still there, recognizable below. If you move down the street, past the greenery on the right, whatever was there has been replaced by some nice, new apartments. If you go the the T-intersection and turn right onto E Howard Street, the old factory building disappears.

Lots still there!

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