Bromley-Heath history film re-released

JACKSON SQ.—A 1978 documentary named after Mission Hill, but with a large focus of the Bromley-Heath Housing development and Jackson Square neighborhood, was recently re-released on DVD by the Watertown-based non-profit Documentary Educational Resources.

The film “Mission Hill and the Miracle of Boston,” looks at changes in the area between the 1940s and the 1970s, including the impact of new public housing developments and a changing political landscape as the Irish-American political machine weakened and the era of urban renewal took hold.

The film discusses race relations at the Bromley-Heath housing development as Irish-American families moved out and African-American families moved in during the 1950s and 1960s. Much of the story is told by long-time Bromley-Heath activist Anna Mae Cole, who helped produce the film.

The movie also discusses the economic impacts of the closing of the Thomas J. Plant Shoe Factory in the 1950s, and of the arson fire that destroyed it in 1976. The Plant Shoe Factory used to stand where JP Plaza and a Stop & Shop supermarket are now, at the corner of Centre and Bickford streets, across from Bromley-Heath.

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