In 1958, BRA initiated a project to improve the historic West End neighborhood.
After the Great Boston Fire of 1872, workers used building rubble as landfill along the downtown waterfront.
During the mid- to-late 19th century, workers filled almost 600 acres (2.4 km) of brackish Charles River marshlands west of Boston Common with gravel brought by rail from the hills of Needham Heights.
The present-day State House sits atop this lowered Beacon Hill.
Reclamation projects in the middle of the century created significant parts of the South End, the West End, the Financial District, and Chinatown.
Later, a dense network of railroads furthered the region's industry and commerce.
In the 1820s, Boston's population grew rapidly, and the city's ethnic composition changed dramatically with the first wave of European immigrants.Irish immigrants dominated the first wave of newcomers during this period, especially following the Irish Potato Famine; by 1850, about 35,000 Irish lived in Boston.French Canadians, and Russian and Polish Jews settling in the city.Foreign trade returned after these hostilities, but Boston's merchants had found alternatives for their capital investments in the interim.Manufacturing became an important component of the city's economy, and the city's industrial manufacturing overtook international trade in economic importance by the mid-19th century.By the 1970s, the city's economy had recovered after 30 years of economic downturn.