JP A to Z: U is for Ukraine Way #AtoZChallenge #JamaicaPlain

U is for Ukraine Way

Today’s JP A to Z is a bit of a mystery.  Ukraine Way is possibly the shortest through street in the city of Boston connecting Hyde Park Avenue to Washington Street just southwest of Forest Hills Station.  No one has a Ukraine Way address, because there are no buildings on Ukraine Way where people can live or work.  In fact most of the street is elevated over the railroad tracks.

Ukraine Way on a gloomy morning.

The mystery begins with a neighborhood map in the Forest Hills Station that indicates that Ukraine Way is an extension of Walk Hill Street (which would be confusing since it doesn’t actually connect with Walk Hill Street).  That map probably dates to 1987 when the new Forest Hills Station opened.  Sometime after 1987 the street was renamed after the European nation. I searched a database of Boston newspapers and the earliest reference to Ukraine Way is 1997, but no mention of when or why it got that name.

The map that says “Wall Hill St” where it should be “Ukraine Way.”

Of course, the most likely explanation is that the St. Andrew Ukrainian Orthodox Church sits on a hill overlooking Forest Hills Station.  The street was probably renamed to honor the local Ukrainian-American community, as well eliminate any confusion over Walk Hill Street.


St. Andrew’s towers are a spiffy addition to the Forest Hills skyline.

A couple of years ago, during the height of the Crimean Crisis, I noticed that someone had decorated the street sign on Ukraine Way with two flags: one for Ukraine and one for the European Union.  In this way the little street in Jamaica Plain made a big geopolitical statement.  The flags are gone now, but I took a blurry photo from my phone.


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