Dorchester is a historic neighborhood comprising more than 6 square miles in Boston. Originally, it was a separate town founded by Puritans who emigrated in 1630 from Dorchester, England. The dissolved municipality, Boston’s largest neighborhood by far, is often divided by city planners in order to create two planning aera roughly equivalent in size and population to other Boston neighborhoods.
Dorchester Avenue is the major neighborhood spine, running in a south-north line through all of Dorchester from Lower Mills to Downtown Boston. The southern part of Dorchester is primarily a residential area, with established neighborhoods. The northern part is more urban, with a greater amount of apartment housing and industrial parks.