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In 1958, BRA initiated a project to improve the historic West End neighborhood.Extensive demolition was met with strong public opposition.By the end of the 19th century, Boston's core neighborhoods had become enclaves of ethnically distinct immigrants.

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After the Great Boston Fire of 1872, workers used building rubble as landfill along the downtown waterfront.

During the mid- to-late 19th century, workers filled almost 600 acres (2.4 km) of brackish Charles River marshlands west of Boston Common with gravel brought by rail from the hills of Needham Heights.

The city annexed the adjacent towns of South Boston (1804), East Boston (1836), Roxbury (1868), Dorchester (including present day Mattapan and a portion of South Boston) (1870), Brighton (including present day Allston) (1874), West Roxbury (including present day Jamaica Plain and Roslindale) (1874), Charlestown (1874), and Hyde Park (1912).

Boston responded by initiating various urban renewal projects, under the direction of the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) established in 1957.

Irish immigrants dominated the first wave of newcomers during this period, especially following the Irish Potato Famine; by 1850, about 35,000 Irish lived in Boston.

French Canadians, and Russian and Polish Jews settling in the city.Irish and Italian immigrants brought with them Roman Catholicism.Currently, Catholics make up Boston's largest religious community, The largest reclamation efforts took place during the 19th century; beginning in 1807, the crown of Beacon Hill was used to fill in a 50-acre (20 ha) mill pond that later became the Haymarket Square area.Foreign trade returned after these hostilities, but Boston's merchants had found alternatives for their capital investments in the interim.Manufacturing became an important component of the city's economy, and the city's industrial manufacturing overtook international trade in economic importance by the mid-19th century.Its rich history attracts many tourists, with Faneuil Hall alone drawing more than 20 million visitors per year.

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