When Tom Menino left office after twenty years he left Boston a changed city.
“The first thing he did was clean up all the parks across the city and made it livable for kids to play in every park that was a great thing,” Hassan Williams, a Boston resident said.
“He just brought people together as one. He built bridges and he great job,” Boston resident George Moore said.
Back in 1993, when Menino first took office, murders were at an all-time high with street gangs settling scores and unsettling large sections of the city.
Menino had police join up with community leaders to target the worst of the worst demanding peace or prison.
The plan cut the murder rate in half and earned the plan the nickname “The Boston Miracle” a miracle other cities around the country have tried to copy.
“I think he made a difference, he cleaned it up. The gang activities are still there, I think there’s always going to be gang activates, but I think more controlled,” a Boston resident said.
Part two of the mayor’s plan for the poorer sections of the city was economic development.
Mayor Menino’s imprint can been seen in the new buildings and businesses in Dudley Square.
One of his last touches to finally redevelop the long neglected Ferdinand Building moving the entire city school department there from its longtime offices downtown.
Perhaps no section of the city has seen more change in Mayor Menino’s later years than the Seaport which the mayor dubbed ‘The Innovation District’ companies encouraged to try out new technology and new ideas for Boston’s tomorrow.
“It’s bustling. You’ve got business down there, you’ve got museums, you’ve got fine restaurants you’ve got new hotels. All of that’s under his leadership,” Boston resident Leonard Lee said.
Even the shape of Boston’s skyline is different thanks to Tom Menino.
More than a few developers retopped their designs after Menino made it clear he hated flat rooftops.
The result is a collection of distinctive skyscrapers that are as one of a kind as the man who shaped the city he led.