Lake, Concetta Coreth. “Chelsea Under Fire”, Boston College, 2011. http://hdl.handle.net/2345/1998.
Notorious for bursting into flames, twentieth century Chelsea was a “city under fire.” Cast into the crossfire of industrialization and demographic flux, Chelsea suffered as people, industry, and financial assistance migrated in and out of the small city. Chelsea’s unique spectrum of urban problems, however, only explains the trials and tribulations leading up to the Great Fires of 1908 and 1973 and not the events created by them. In Chelsea, escalating urban crisis occurred simultaneously with rapidly growing immigrant populations. In the years before the fire of 1908, Jewish immigration pushed Chelsea to the brink of demographic succession; likewise, in the handful of years before the fire of 1973, Latino migrations forced Chelsea to recognize the changing dynamic of a once-homogeneous city. As isolated events, the Great Fire of 1908 and the Great Fire of 1973 were urban disasters, but as decisive moments in the local history of Jewish and Latino immigrants, the fires were nodal points in the interplay between urban-industrial life, urban crisis and immigration.