Jamaica Plain is a historic neighborhood of 4.4 square kilometers in Boston, Massachusetts. Founded by Boston Puritans seeking farm land in the south, which was originally part of the town of Roxbury. The community seceded from Roxbury as part of the new town of West Roxbury in 1851 and became part of Boston, West Roxbury, when it was annexed to Boston in 1874. In the 19th century, Jamaica Plain became one of the first streetcar suburbs in America and home to a large part of Boston's Emerald Necklace of parks designed by Frederick Law Olmsted.
In the 1980s low rents brought many students to the area, especially those who attended Northeastern University. In addition to college students, the district also developed a community of lesbians and gays. The presence of artists in the neighborhood led to the opening of local galleries and bookstores, and art centers such as converted firehouse. Many first time homebuyers could afford the house and prices of condominiums in Jamaica Plain during this time.
Revitalization projects continued into the 1990s. Nonprofit housing groups bought dilapidated houses and vacant lots to create rental units for low income. During the same years, the former Plant Shoe Factory site was redeveloped as JP Plaza, a mall, and then a supermarket.
At the turn of the century, the neighborhood had attracted a large community of university education professionals and political activists participating artists and the artists collective Whitehaus of the family register.
Hyde, Jackson and Egleston Squares have significant Spanish-speaking population of Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. Since 2000, the ethnic composition of Jamaica Plain was 50% non-Hispanic whites, 23% Hispanic or Latino, 17% Black or African American, 7% from Asia and America, 3% other.
Jamaica Plain still maintains a strong Jewish presence, with the reform of binding together various synagogues conservative Jewish community of Jamaica Plain.
A hot housing market has led to the conversion of housing and older commercial buildings into condos. A large number of former vacant sites are being converted for residential use, including the ABC Brewery, the Gormley Funeral Home, Eblana Brewery, the Oliver Ditson Company, 319 Center Street, Jackson Square, JP Cohousing, Blessed Sacrament, Our Lady del Camino, and 80 Bickford Street
The Green Line "E" train service tram ends at Heath Street and South Huntington Avenue. Bus service continues along South Huntington Avenue, Center Street and South Street to its end in the Forest Hills station. The Online Orange Line rapid transit train runs below street level through the center of Jamaica Plain, with stops in Jackson Square, Stony Brook, Green Street and Forest Hills. Buses connect Jamaica Plain to West Roxbury, Hyde Park, Dedham and Walpole in the south suburbs, and the rest of Boston street routes. Forest Hills Station is a major transportation center and is within walking distance of the Arnold Arboretum and Forest Hills Cemetery.