By Chris Lovett
A new constellation of political figures came together March 30 at Dorchester’s Columbia Point, invoking the mechanics of government and the alchemy of place, as they dedicated the Edward M. Kennedy Institute of the US Senate.
Like the adjacent John F. Kennedy Library, the institute was built on land between Morrissey Boulevard and Dorchester Bay. Used by 17th century settlers as a calf pasture, the peninsula was a water-logged buffer zone, set apart from the bulk of the town’s population centers. By the mid-20th century, the peninsula would be used for a dump, a sewage control facility, and a place for lodging prisoners of war.
After World War II, Columbia Point was used to lodge something that, despite being prized as an asset, many preferred to keep at arm’s length: public housing. If the high-rise structures hinted at the potential of waterfront property, they…
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