Sites

5 things to know about living in the South End

News Boston South End
Come for the brunch, stay for the arts and culture in the South End.
Come for the brunch, stay for the arts and culture in the South End. Wiqan Ang / Globe Photo

Known for its epic brunch spots, large Victorian row houses, and arts and crafts scene, the South End has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1973. As with many of Boston’s neighborhoods, the South End was a planned neighborhood built on tidal mud flats in the mid-1800s. But there’s a lot happening here now.

1. You’ll live in…

Rooftop view at a condo in South End. —David L. Ryan / The Boston Globe

… some form of row house. According to the Boston Landmarks Commission the South End is know for two styles of row house: “a double basement, bow-fronted row house with a mansard roof or a low basement, flat-fronted row house faced with brick and often adorned with a projecting oriel window.’’

Stacen Goldman, the executive director of the South End Historical Society, told Boston.com back in March that “a row house is not a style; it’s a type of building… People come in and look at row houses and think they all look the same, but when you look closer, you see a lot of details.’’

The South End made it to the National Register of Historic Places because it is the largest urban Victorian neighborhood in the country with over 300 acres of land.

2. You’ll pay…

Brownstones on Shawmut Avenue in the South End. —The Boston Globe

…a lot, even by Boston standards. The Zillow Home Value Index puts the neighborhood’s median home price at $708,400, which has risen 12.7 percent over the past year. It’s expected to go up another 4.2 percent within the next year. The average one-bedroom renter in the South End this fall will spend about $2,600 per month.

For $700,000 to $800,000 you can generally get a two-bedroom condo under 1,000 square feet in the neighborhood.

3. You’ll hang out…

The South End Open Market. —Pat Greenhouse / Globe Staff

…by shopping at boutiques and eating brunch. SoWa, or South of Washington Street, is known for its South End Open Market, which takes place in the summer and fall months. You can eat at the 15-20 food trucks, shop at the farmers market or peruse the arts market, where local vendors come to display their craft.

But before doing your shopping, eating brunch in the South End is a must at places like Blunch, The Beehive, South End Buttery, Gaslight, Aquitaine, The Gallows, and more.

Half chicken from Gallows in the South End. —Wendy Maeda / Globe Staff

There are also a variety of bars, restaurants, and music halls in and near the South End that pay tribute to the neighborhood’s historic relationship with jazz music.

Other activities to keep you busy in the neighborhood include shopping at the many local boutiques for home décor, jewelry, art, vintage clothes, and more, walking through the art galleries that have open studios, and probably doing more eating and drinking.

A exterior of The Boston Center for the Arts on Tremont Street. —The Boston Globe

The Boston Center for the Arts is also in the South End, where it provides “a creative ‘home’ for artists, a welcoming arts destination for audiences, and an art connection for city youth and communities.’’

4. Your kids will…

Kasha Jurasic, left, 4, chomped on a cookie while her sister Lexi, 2, snoozed during a stroller ride around the SOWA market. —Dina Rudick/Boston Globe

…maybe go outside of the South End for school. There are only a few public schools in the neighborhood, which all rank below a 5 on the GreatSchools 1-10 ranking system. There is one high school in the neighborhood, Cathedral High School, which is private and takes students who are in grades 7-12.

Though kids will almost definitely love walking around SoWa in the summer, the South End has good public transportation access to get around the city and show your kids all it has to offer.

5. You’ll love…

The new “Soofa” bench (on the left) in the Titus Sparrow Park in the South End. —David L Ryan/Globe Staff Photo

…the many parks scattered throughout. The South End neighborhood is organized into a variety of neighborhood associations, which is unique even for Boston. Golden told Boston.com that many of these neighborhood associations popped up around the many parks, green spaces, and gardens — the city owns some and private residents own others.

These squares, according to the Landmarks Commission, are equivalent to “English Parks, and represent a 19th century pattern in Boston urban planning,’’ creating intimacy within the district.

Related: How to make your apartment look like an adult’s, according to Newton-based interior designer Heather Vaughan