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40-Year-Old Images Show East Boston Grappling With an Expanding Logan Airport

The photographer, while visiting the site again in 2010 said, "none of this is familiar."
relates to 40-Year-Old Images Show East Boston Grappling With an Expanding Logan Airport
National Archives

Back in 1973, as part of the Environment Protection Agency's famed "Documerica" project that sent professional photographers all over the country to capture places of environmental concern, Michael Philip Manheim was assigned to photograph how noise pollution was affecting East Boston. The blue-collar neighborhood was in the midst of adapting to the growing presence of Logan International Airport.

Manheim captured East Boston, particularly around Constitution Beach and Neptune Road, at a moment of massive expansion of transportation infrastructure, including Interstate 90 (which terminates in East Boston) and an above-ground portion of the city's rail system (both projects completed in the 1950s). But more than any other piece of infrastructure, Logan Airport was the source of the biggest and potentially most harmful changes.