South End Square renamed in honor of long-time activist
Boston, MA (December 9, 2021) – Residents and staff members of Tent City Apartments joined Former Acting Mayor of Boston Kim Janey, U.S. Representative Ayanna Pressley, Massachusetts State Representative Joe Santiago, and members of the Back Bay Neighborhood Association, among others, during a recent ceremony when the South End Boston Square at the corner of Yarmouth Street and Columbus Avenue was designated in honor of activist, educator and lawmaker Melvin H. “Mel” King.
Tent City Apartments, located at 130 Dartmouth Street and managed by Peabody Properties, is so-named as an homage to its place in Boston history. On April 27, 1968, hundreds of demonstrators, led by King, occupied a parking lot in the South End in protest of houses that had recently been demolished on the site and the subsequent displacement of occupants. To protest the “urban renewal” project, neighborhood activists created a temporary “tent city.”
“This was a truly outstanding day not only for Mel King and his family, but for all those in attendance and in particular residents of Tent City Apartments who now have a greater understanding of the history behind their community and the leader of social justice whose fight for affordable housing made history,” said Nikki Fortes, Tent City Corporation Chairperson.