The Boston Little Syria Project is a public history initiative aimed at drawing attention to the history of Boston’s Little Syria neighborhood (also known as Syriantown), which thrived between the 1880s and 1950s in today’s Chinatown and South End. In addition to offering free public walking tours from time to time, we have written about the neighborhood, curated several exhibitions around Boston, and developed a digital map with support from the Leventhal Map and Education Center at the Boston Public Library.

The project began with walking tours, which stretch from the Chinatown Gate to Peters Park. They cover the reasons that motivated immigration from Ottoman and post-Ottoman Greater Syria to Boston, and the lives of the people who made the trip once they arrived there. They focus on Syrian residences, shops, restaurants, newspapers, churches, social clubs, and boarding houses, as well as individual stories. We examine how Syrians lived in a diverse neighborhood that included other new migrant groups, including Chinese Americans, and how this neighborhood fought to preserve its existence in the face of urban development in the 1950s and beyond.

The project is run by Lydia Harrington (PhD, Boston University), senior curator of The Syrian Museum, and Chloe Bordewich (PhD, Harvard University), a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Toronto. It has benefited from the contributions of several collaborators, volunteers, and student workers, including Sophie Cutter, Yasmin Daikh, and Sofia Farah.

Upcoming tours and events are posted on this website when new dates are scheduled. Please check back regularly for more information.