Members of the Krakowiak Polish dance group performed at last Saturday's dedication of the "Polish Triangle" near Andrew Square. Photo courtesy White Eagle Media LLC
For as long as most folks can remember, the neighborhood bounded by Dorchester Avenue, Boston Street, and Columbia Road has been known as the Polish Triangle, but just to be sure no one forgets, Mayor Thomas Menino popped by Andrew Square this Saturday to officially name it so.
"It's definitely been used a lot, but it's never been officially recognized," said Gosia Tomaszewska of the local paper White Eagle News.
Polish immigrants first began settling in the area, which straddles the South Boston/Dorchester line, over a century ago. Our lady of Czestochowa on Dot Ave., host to Boston's only Catholic Mass spoken in Polish, is over 100 years old. Successive waves of new arrivals in World War II and after martial law was declared in 1981--a response to the Solidarity movement brought that number to over 320,000 in the state, according to the 2000 Census.
Dorchester's Polish Triangle has become something of a "virtual Poland" in recent times however, with many families leaving the triangle for larger homes in the suburbs.
"Now there's a little bit less Polish people there than in the 80s and 90s, but people come back to go to the stores and stuff," said Tomaszewska. "Still, when you look at the census data, it's the most Polish concentrated area in Boston."