Considered a suburb of Boston, this cosmopolitan Town is far from what many consider a suburb. Brookline is a diverse community, from its international population to its many different neighborhoods and the variety of housing stock, offering a wide selection of life styles. One way to catch Brookline’s flavor is to look at each of the neighborhoods and try to describe them. Better yet, we suggest you visit each one and decide for yourself. Here’s a tour we suggest you take:
COMING FROM BOSTON ON BEACON STREET...
Lower Beacon Street Neighborhood consists of COTTAGE FARM to the north of Beacon Street and LONGWOOD MALL to the south of Beacon Street once you enter the town limits by crossing over St. Mary’s Street, which is also the first T-stop in Brookline on the C-Line. Take time to walk up and down Beacon Street, a wide, two-sided street divided by the aboveground section of the C-Line and enjoy the flavor of the shops and restaurants. You will see the street lined with quality brownstone and brick buildings (all building facades along Beacon Street in Brookline are protected from change by the local Historic Preservation Commission) consisting of condominiums and apartment buildings, dating back over 100 years, many with significant architectural details.
These two desirable areas are part of the LAWRENCE SCHOOL DISTRICT:
COTTAGE FARM, a local historic district, is an exclusive section in the northeast corner of Brookline consisting predominantly of large, architecturally significant single family homes. Abutting the Amory Park and the Halls Pond Bird Sanctuary on the western borders and Boston University and its Boston neighborhoods on the eastern borders distinguishes this neighborhood. Easily accessible to both the Commonwealth Avenue and Beacon Street shopping and T-stop areas, this neighborhood offers quality homes in close proximity to all conveniences.
LONGWOOD MALL AND LONGWOOD NEIGHBORHOOD is influenced by its proximity to the Harvard University Medical area with its multitude of teaching hospitals on its eastern borders and its “Back Bay” style townhouses and buildings scattered around a neighborhood of large, quality homes. The Longwood Mall is a National Historic Registered Park consisting of the largest collection of antique Beech trees in the United States and offers one of the special green spaces in Brookline. This neighborhood’s conveniences include access to Beacon Street, the shops at the Longwood Medical Area, and the Longwood T-Stop on the D-Line.
COOLIDGE CORNER is another stop on the Beacon Street C-Line along with being one of the more prominent and well-known neighborhoods in the town. The actual “Corner” is where Beacon Street crosses Harvard Street. The housing here is mostly condominium and apartment buildings, however, there are also numerous single and multi family houses as well. The town has two hotels located here and is home to a few of the many Inns. In addition there is a senior center which satisfies the needs of a large number of Brookline residents who want to keep their home in this fabulous location. The surrounding neighborhood residents consider themselves living in Coolidge Corner since these commercial district influences them all. Almost anything and everything can be found in this corner, from international restaurants to McDonald’s, unique boutiques to name-brand stores and even a historic single-screen movie theatre. During the warmer months COOLIDGE CORNER hosts the Farmer’s Market and around the Holiday Season it along with other commercial district welcomes First Light Festival activities. The Boston Marathon, the Walk for Hunger (one of many fundraising walks) passes through this landmark intersection. Young families, local student population, professional singles and couples, plus a large senior population choose to call this neighborhood home. (It is also the home of the BROOKLINE OFFICE OF COLDWELL BANKER RESIDENTIAL BROKERAGE). Though officially named where the crossing of two streets lie, this neighborhood stretches for blocks beyond the intersection.
Some of its important sites include:
THE ROSE GARDEN, at the crossing of St. Paul, Browne, Still, and Freeman Streets, is a true neighborhood park and recreational area. Named for its large collection of Town maintained rose bushes, this park welcomes its neighbors to the playground, baseball field, and park benches. Surrounded by a number of larger apartment and condominium buildings, multi-family houses, plus a sprinkling of single family houses, the neighbors enjoy a green oasis in an urban setting.
THE DEVOTION SCHOOL is Coolidge Corner’s neighborhood school with its large playground area to its sprawling playing fields. It also shares the grounds with, A Historic Landmark, the original schoolhouse, which is still open to visitors. The school hosts many local events and is the Meeting place for a number of community groups.
COREY HILL PARK has some of the most spectacular views of Brookline and Boston. Nestled in a neighborhood of lovely homes and a few larger buildings, the park is a great place to view the 4th of July Boston Harbor fireworks display or enjoy a green spot with room to roam up away from the crowd. Take time for a visit and we are sure you will return.
TEMPLE OHABEI SHALOM, Massachusetts first synagogue, is both a local and national historic district building. Its significant architectural details along with its puddingstone construction, makes this a landmark building on Beacon Street.
JFK CROSSING, from Coolidge Corner, is North on Harvard Street less than a half a mile. Named for its proximity to the birthplace of President John F. Kennedy, this commercial district plus surrounding neighborhood, continues to be one of the most desirable areas in Brookline. The Kennedy Museum, the modest Colonial home located at 87 Beals Street, is now owned and operated by the National Park Service and welcomes visitors for a tour of the house, viewing of Kennedy memorabilia, and a video presentation of the life and times of John Kennedy.
In recent rimes, JFK CROSSING, has also been named LITTLE ISRAEL, due to its large collection of Kosher Restaurants and food stores, Jewish Bookstores and gift stores, and other ethnic influences. These commercial points of interest are blended into an area offering many other local conveniences servicing the diverse community. JFK CROSSING and COOLIDGE CORNER is also annual host to a birthday celebration for Israel.
WASHINGTON SQUARE is another stop on the C Greenline T service and is the intersection of Beacon and Washington Streets, located west of Coolidge Corner and is further identified by the four-sided clock in the intersection. The commercial area is experiencing a recent renaissance, with many new restaurants and local businesses joining landmark restaurants and businesses to offer everyone another great place to visit by car, by foot, or by T.
The neighborhood north of the square is influenced by the presence of the DRISCOLL SCHOOL, with its playing fields and community focus. The housing stock is a mixture of predominantly single and multi-family homes and abuts the Boston community of Brighton. Like the other Northern Brookline neighborhoods, it is very accessible to both Beacon Street and Commonwealth Avenue’s commercial areas and T-stops.
South of Beacon Street, the homes are scattered amongst a larger population of buildings and are influenced by WINTHROP HILL’S elevation offering some additional views of the surrounding beauty. At the top of the hill is Schick Park, with plenty of room for play and fun.
Southwest of Washington Square lies FISHER HILL, a neighborhood of larger single family and exclusive condominium residences serviced by the RUNKLE SCHOOL DISTRICT. Dean Park with its famous sledding hill, public tennis courts, and well-groomed grounds along with the campus of Newbury College add to the open green space of this fine neighborhood.
BROOKLINE VILLAGE has a feeling all its own! Compared to some of the New York neighborhoods like So Ho and the Village, this area has both the charm of a small town and the convenience of a city. It too is influenced by its proximity to the Longwood Medical Area and the D-Line of the T service, but has the added distinction of being the site of Town Hall, Police Headquarters, the main Fire Station, and the main branch of the Public Library. The PIERCE SCHOOL is another focus of this diverse community. It is also in close proximity to Brookline’s High School.
- To the west of Brookline Village is a neighborhood identified most by its proximity to Brookline High school, the only High School in town. Close to the High School you have a T-Stop on the D-Line of the Greenline, a very large town operated indoor swimming pool/ Recreation facility and a number of large open playing fields. The Town is very proud of the High School, which ranks academically in the top percentile in the State. In 1997, Brookline began a $53 million expansion and renovation of the High School and will be the envy of other communities for years to come. The housing stock surrounding the school consists of a number of quality single family homes, a few multi-family houses, and only a very small of larger buildings. The result is a very sought-after residential community in very close proximity to both Brookline Village and Coolidge Corner.
- To the south of the Village lie two important neighborhoods, PILL HILL and THE POINT. Pill Hill, a local Historic District neighborhood, has some of the finest collection of large Victorian-style homes in the area. Its name comes from the fact that the neighborhood is in very close proximity to the Longwood Medical Area, a Women’s Hospital (converted to The Park Condominiums), and at the foot of the hill was the old Brookline Hospital (now the site of an assisted living community). Over the years the area has attracted a large population of doctors and their families. THE POINT abuts PILL HILL and the Boston City Line community of Jamaica Plain. The housing stock consists of more modest homes including many two and three family houses. In recent years, the neighborhood’s multi-family housing stock has gone through the condo conversion process increasing the number of owner occupied homes in the neighborhood. PILL HILL and THE POINT residents are very proud of their LINCOLN SCHOOL a recently rebuilt primary school boasting a beautiful structure and a sought-after curriculum.
- SARGENT ESTATES is an exclusive, gated community to the west of THE POINT. It consists of large homes situated on very large parcels of land surrounded by mature trees and very well landscaped grounds. It has its own pond, Sargent Pond, which the homeowners maintain by collecting a common fee. The area has many unpaved connecting roads along with stone walls that create a very rural feeling when in reality you are only minutes, by car, to downtown Boston. Some of the highest sales prices of single family home in Metro Boston have been achieved in this area
CHESTNUT HILL is both a zip code (02467) and a part of Brookline. The zip code includes Brookline, Newton, and part of the Boston community of West Roxbury. Most locals will distinguish this area by the Neighborhoods, Olde Chestnut Hill and New Chestnut Hill.
- Olde Chestnut Hill, a local Historic District, has some of the most magnificent Estate Homes in Metro Boston along with other quality mid-sized homes. It is, by many, to be considered an exclusive neighborhood with many of the homes selling in excess of one million dollars. Its landmarks include part of the campus of Boston College, the Chestnut Hill Reservoir, the HEATH SCHOOL, The Longwood Cricket and Tennis Club, The Chestnut Hill School, Brimmer & May School, the Chestnut Hill Shopping Mall and movie theatres. Its boundaries are considered to be from Beacon Street to the north, Hammond Street and surrounding area to the West, Boylston Street (Route 9) to the south, and the Heath School area to the East.
- New Chestnut Hill is also called South Brookline by many of its residents. Though the zip code is the same, the neighborhoods are very different with the majority of the housing stock being moderate-size single family homes built after 1930. Its only commercial district is Putterham Square, a small strip of restaurant-retail-and small food stores. The area, due to its mainly residential component, gives the feel of being a true suburb, but it is only minutes by car to more urban sections. This area is greener than most sections of Brookline.
- The Hammond Pond Reservation lies to the Northwest of the area along with Putterham Golf Course, the Town's only public golf course, abutting its northern section. The eastern section abuts part of the Brookline Country Club and the Larz Anderson Park; the largest town owned park, which includes a skating rink and the Museum of Transportation. The southern part abuts the Boston Line neighboring community of West Roxbury. The BAKER SCHOOL, another fine primary school, services the South Brookline area.
THE COUNTRY CLUB neighborhood is distinguished by its large estate homes on very large lots. Private roads, stone walls, elaborate private landscaping, and exclusive addresses of some of MetroBoston’s wealthiest residents ads to the notoriety of this section. The very exclusive Brookline Country Club has a very lengthy waiting list for new members spanning a number of years. It has been host to the U.S. Open and hosted the Ryder Cup Golf Tournament in 1999. The Brookline Reservoir is on the Northeast corner of this area and offers spectacular views of downtown Boston along with a favorite spot for walkers and joggers.
ALLSTON AND BRIGHTON
Allston and Brighton are a part of Boston in Suffolk County. Different postal districts, 02134 for Allston and 02135 for Brighton separates them. Their boundaries entwine and are considered by many of its residents as one large community. Area residents describe Allston as the area closer to Cambridge abutting the Charles River and including the commercial area called Allston Village. Others describe Brighton as the section closer to Brookline and Newton Lines stretching from the Chestnut Hill Reservoir and including Brighton Center. Allston and Brighton are diverse with an international population and many different neighborhoods. They offer a variety of housing options and life styles. One way to capture the flavor of Brighton and Allston is to look at the neighborhoods and describe each one. We suggest you visit each of the neighborhoods and experience them for yourself. Here is a tour we suggest you take:
Starting in ALLSTON, begin your tour from the City of Cambridge crossing over the Charles River on the Larz Anderson Bridge from Harvard Square to North Harvard Street. Allston was once a part of the City of Cambridge. When you enter the area from this direction, the first landmark you see is the infamous Harvard University School of Business on one side of the street and the Harvard University Athletic Facilities plus Harvard Stadium on the other. This area is adjacent to the Charles River and Storrow Drive, one of the major arteries going in and out of the City of Boston. Storrow Drive East takes you into Downtown Boston. Storrow Dive West intersect with Soldier’s Field Road, a beautiful winding multilane road that runs adjacent to the Charles River and MDC Recreational facilities adjoining the Charles River. Please take the time to explore the bicycle paths, picnic grounds, kyak and canoe rental facility, and even an outdoor theater that is a part of the MDC Recreational facilities.
The first part of North Harvard Street is primarily Harvard University up to Western Avenue. Once you cross Western Avenue, you enter the primary neighborhood of Allston. Please note that Western Avenue, Allston, is the site of WGBH Studios and offices, home of some of PBS’s finest productions including “This Old House” and “Masterpiece Theatre”. This section of Allston is a very residential community consisting of single, two-family, and three-family houses, plus a minimal number of small apartment buildings, newer construction townhouses, and local businesses. A recent addition of an expanded Brighton Mills Shopping Plaza has given the neighborhood the convenience of larger stores and supermarket. The 66 Bus route connects this community from Cambridge to Brighton and Brookline. The southern end of this area abuts The Massachusetts Turnpike (Mass Pike- Route 90 East and West) linking Boston to the western suburbs and beyond. Many homebuyers chose this section of Allston for its commuter convenience along with its appeal for a less urban setting.
North Harvard Street ends on Cambridge Street, a well traveled street from East to West that goes from the Charles River across from River Street in Cambridge to Brighton Center. If we take Cambridge Street from North Harvard Street heading west, our first major intersection is Harvard Avenue (this is also the same route as Bus 66 if you want to take this tour by public transportation). This section of Cambridge Street is mainly a commercial district. Off of Cambridge Street immediately after the intersection of Harvard Avenue is Rugg Road, home of the Rugg Road Artists’ Studios. Some of the older warehouses and industrial sites in Metro Boston have been converted to Artists’ studio space. The Rugg Road Artists’ Studios offers an annual Open Studio Event that attracts many in the area.
Harvard Avenue is the main commercial thoroughfare of the Allston area. Harvard Avenue offers an array of international restaurants, local bars and entertainment spots, and other local businesses. This bustling commercial district is visited by many in the area along with local college students. We suggest you visit the Web Site of Allston Village, to find out more about this area at www.allstonvillage.com. The streets surrounding Harvard Avenue consist of turn of the century housing stock, primarily multi-family houses and apartment buildings with some of the apartment buildings converted into condominiums over the past twenty years. A few blocks east of Harvard Avenue is the beginning of the Boston University campus.
Harvard Avenue crosses two large streets, Brighton Avenue and Commonwealth Avenue and ends as Harvard Street once you cross into Brookline. At each of these intersections there are a large variety of businesses, restaurants, and entertainment spots. On Brighton Avenue, a few blocks west of Harvard Avenue, there is an intersection with Cambridge and North Beacon Streets. This area is known as Union Square. Union Square is home to the Jackson Mann Community Center, a busy meeting place for many of Allston and Brighton residents. Union Square is also home to popular local businesses including international restaurants. South of Union Square is Ringer playground and park, one of the area’s largest green spaces within a very urban setting. The housing stock is primarily multi-family homes and apartment and condominium buildings.
Heading east from Harvard Avenue, Brighton Avenue merges with Commonwealth Avenue. Commonwealth Avenue (Comm Ave.) is one of Metro Boston’s most recognizable and well-traveled streets. Comm Ave. originates at Arlington Street, the site of the Public Garden in Back Bay, Boston. It continues through Kenmore Square into Allston, past Boston University Campus into Brighton. Comm Ave. continues beyond Brighton through the City of Newton ending at Route 128/95 beltway. The center medial area of Comm Ave. has the tracks for the MBTA Greenline T-stops for the B-Line from Kenmore Square/ B.U. Stop to the Boston College stop at the end of the line. This aboveground section of the B-Line subway attracts many commuting residents to reside in its adjacent housing stock. Commonwealth Avenue is the site of some of Metro Boston’s finest supply of turn of the century quality apartment buildings, many of which were converted to condominiums during the past twenty years. With Boston College on the western end of this stretch of Commonwealth Avenue and Boston University on the eastern end, the number of students living in the area runs into the thousands. This part of Allston and Brighton also attracts students from the other local colleges and universities due to its many conveniences and access to the T-Line.
Commonwealth Avenue has some notable points of reference besides those already mentioned. Close to the intersection of Gordon Street is Ringer Park, Brighton’s largest green space. A block away on Warren Street, you will find the Franciscan Children’s Hospital and Brighton’s only High School. Two blocks west after Warren Street is Vencor Hospital, which is in close proximity to Washington Street with access to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital.
Commonwealth Avenue heading west after Washington Street has two abutting neighborhoods, the Nottinghill Area to the north and the Aberdeen Area to the south. The Nottinghill Area offers residential surroundings of primarily single and multi-family houses set on a lovely sloping hill with tree-lined streets. The Aberdeen Area is primarily turn of the century brick apartment and condominium buildings with a small scattering of single and multi-family houses and abuts the Brookline Line, Beacon Street, and the area known as Cleveland Circle. The Nottinghill and Aberdeen Areas along with Cleveland Circle and the Reservoir Area are considered desirable because of the accessibility to many conveniences: 3 T-Lines of the MBTA (the B-Line on Commonwealth Avenue, the C-Line on Beacon Street, and the D-Line on Chestnut Hill Avenue), the Chestnut Hill Reservoir and parks, and all of the great shops, restaurants, and movie theatres. These areas are also close to the main campus of Boston College, which lies west of the Chestnut Hill Reservoir.
North of the Nottinghill Area is Brighton Center. This area is one of the largest commercial districts of Brighton, the site of Brighton’s only High School, St. Elizabeth Hospital, the Brighton branch of the Boston Public Library, the district courthouse, the police station, and the junction of four different bus lines. Close to Brighton Center is the Mansion District, named by the locals and recognized as a neighborhood of some of the finest turn-of-the-century Victorian and Colonial style homes in metro Boston. Washington Street runs through Brighton Center to Oak Square and beyond to the Newton Line.
Oak Square is a convergence of Washington, Faneuil, Tremont, Nonantum Streets, and Breck Avenue along with connecting the bus routes 57 and 64. The neighborhoods surrounding Oak Square are the Breck Hill area to the West, Presentation Hill to the North and Faneuil Area to the East. All of these neighborhoods boast lovely residential tree-lined streets with primarily single, two, and three-family homes. Many streets in these areas have wonderful views because of the significant hills. All three areas are very popular with commuters since there is easy access to the Newton Corner exit (#17) of the Massachusetts Turnpike (route 90) and Soldier’s Field Road. Both Breck Hill and Presentation Hill’s streets cross into the Newton City Line offering a more suburban setting than most of Brighton.
South of Breck Hill is an area that surrounds Chandler Pond and abuts the Commonwealth Golf Course in Newton. Chandler Pond, approximately ten acres big, was originally excavated in 1865 and continues to provide a beautiful haven for nature lovers. It has its own neighborhood organization, The Chandler Pond Preservation Society. This group has secured funds from the City of Boston to restore the Pond and keep it a thriving habitat for local wildlife. You can obtain further information about the Chandler Pond Preservation Society by contacting them at P.O. Box 35521, Brighton, MA 02135 or e-mail: OnChandler@aol.com. The homes surrounding Chandler Pond are primarily single family homes with a smaller number of two family homes. The condominiums known as Towne Estates border the western side of the Pond. This neighborhood is in walking distance to Commonwealth Avenue, the last stop of the B-line of the MBTA, and is in close proximity to Boston College and the Chestnut Hill Reservoir.
It is worth your time to visit each of these neighborhoods and discover why so many people love living in Brighton and Allston!
The South End, with its blocks of Victorian brick row houses, upscale restaurants, art galleries and unexpected little parks, is one of the most popular places to live in Boston. It is filled with a diverse mix of ethnic, social and professional and blue-collar residents. Many creative people contribute to its thriving artistic center. Restored townhouses, condominium conversions and painstaking renovations have all contributed to the neighborhood's turn-of-the century charm.
Just steps away from the hustle of Boston's downtown and the Faneuil Hall marketplace lies "little Italy," Boston's oldest residential neighborhood. The small, densely packed Italian community is one of Boston's most vital and friendly neighborhoods. It is home to grocery stores, bakeries, pizza shops and cappuccino cafes. The Freedom Trail winds through the streets, past the Paul Revere House, the only 17th century wooden home still standing in the United States. Nearby is the Old North Church, where the two lanterns hung in the steeple on April 18, 1775, starting Revere on his famous midnight ride.
The Back Bay is a man-made neighborhood, taking its name from the body of water that was filled to create one of the city's most active and well-known districts. With boundaries roughly defined as Massachusetts Avenue on the west, Arlington Street on the east, the Charles River to the north, and the Prudential Center and Copley Place developments on the south. The Back Bay, which lies behind the Public Garden, holds some of the most exclusive real estate in Boston.
In addition to shopping along trendy Newbury Street, visitors to the Back Bay area are attracted to the beauty of the Commonwealth Mall, which is a park that runs down the center of Commonwealth Avenue.
A stroll down Newbury Street takes you from high fashion to hip ice cream parlors, and a walk back up Commonwealth Ave. affords some of the most elegant townhouses in the city. It is an elegant and exciting place to live and work. Housing selections here are wide, with apartments and condos, many of them carved from what were once single-family homes belonging to the country's wealthiest residents. Other sights include the architectural landmarks in Copley Square, including the main branch of the Boston Public Library, and the serenity of the Esplanade along the Charles River.
The very name calls forth the essence of Boston: cobblestone streets and brick sidewalks lit by gas street lamps, historic homes and beautiful gardens enclosed by ivy-entwined fences. The wealthiest and most prominent members of Boston society settled Beacon Hill in the early 19th century, and it remains one of the most prestigious neighborhoods in the country. Among its founders was Charles Bullfinch, the renowned architect who designed the State House with a golden dome that continues to be Beacon Hill's most distinguished landmark. Boston Common and the Public Gardens are located at the foot of the hill.
South Boston is a portrait of neighborhood pride. Its residents are famous for their love of and loyalty to their neighborhood. And it's no wonder. Southie boasts miles of beaches and waterfront parks that culminate in Castle Island. This is a densely populated area, known for three deckers and row houses as well as single-family homes.
Charlestown Historic Time Line
- 1628: First settled.
- 1629: Mass. Bay Company obtains charter for Mass. Bay Colony to trade and colonize in New England.
- 1630: Mass. Bay Colony setted by approx. 1000 Puritan refugees from England under Governor John Winthrop.
- 1634: First Board of Selectmen organized in Charlestown (first recorded Town Meeting held in Dorchester in 1633).
- 1635: Government of Mass. Bay Colony establshed in the Great House at Market Square (now City Square). Nov. 2, 1637 John Harvard becomes a freeman of Charlestown, later serves as assistant pastor of the First Church of Charlestown - upon his death in 1638 Harvard leaves 1/2 his money along with his collection of classical and thoelogical literature to recently created school in neighboruing New Towne (now Cambridge) - founded in 1636, the school is renamed Harvard College in 1639
- 1678: First drydock in America built in Charlestown.
- 1684: Charter annuled and Royal Rule royal rule substituted.
- 1691: New charter granted in 1691, merging Plymouth Colony and Maine into the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
- June 17, 1775: Battle of Bunker Hill fought on Breed's Hill - British troops burn much of Charlestown to the ground (population around 2000).
- 1791: Samuel F.B. Morse born in Charlestown. Later invents the electric telegraph and the Morse Code.
- 1826: Construction of Bunker Hill Monument begins.
- 1842: Bunker Hill Monument completed.
- 1847: Charlestown becomes a city.
- 1874: Charlestown annexed to Boston.
- 1800: Charlestown Navy Yard opens.
- 1803: Middlesex Canal opens, with Charlestown as its southern terminus, linking the Merrimack Valley with Boston Harbor.
- 1830 to 1870: Population triples to more than 28,000.
- World War II: Charlestown Navy Yard employs 47,000 workers.
The North End
Among the oldest residential neighborhoods in the city, the North End has been a haven for immigrants since its settling. In the early part of the 19th century, the area was dominated by a large number of Irish residents who built mansions and cottages along the narrow streets and alleys of the neighborhood. Italian immigrants began moving into the North End in the 1890's, and since that time this smaller corner of the city has become known as the Italian section.
Occupying the area along the water's edge westward to where the Central Artery separates it from the Financial District and the West End, the North End is a popular tourist destination. Some visitors are drawninto the neighborhood by the Freedom Trail, which includes several North End sites, but many are content to walk along the narrow streets, enjoying the breeze along the water, or shop for pastries along Hanover Street.
The Waterfront, which includes the residences and businesses along Commercial Street, also encompasses areas south of the traditional boundaries of the North End - Harbor Towers on India Wharf, the Residences at Rowes Wharf, and the New England Aquarium on Central Wharf.
Although parking is very limited in the area, the Waterfront is easily accessible via the MBTA's Blue Line stop at the Aquarium. Close to the North End is the MBTA station at Haymarket Square, providing access to the Green and Orange Lines.
The Ladder District – situated between Boston Common, Avery St, Summer Street and Kingston St.
The Leather District - situated between Atlantic Ave, Kneeland St, Essex St and Route 93.
Bordered by North End, Waterfront, Beacon Hill, and Chinatown, the Downtown/Financial District is a bustling neighborhood of tourists and business oriented professionals.
The Downtown area, a mixture of skyscrapers and brick buildings can be seen everywhere as tourists flock to many popular attractions such as the ever famous Faneuil Hall Marketplace. Also called Quincy Market, Faneuil Hall comprises of a cluster of restored market buildings with many attractions such as restaurants, bars, and food courts. Other attractions include the New England Aquarium, the John Hancock Observatory, and the Boston Harbor Cruises.
The Financial District area is the banking, insurance, and legal center of the city. It gets busy around lunch time as many business men and women can be seen walking about the area.
Parking in the Downtown/Financial District is difficult to come by, but the neighborhood is easily accessible to the MBTA's Green and Blue Lines as well as the MBTA buses.
Seaport: Otherwise known as the Innovation district
The Seaport is Boston’s hottest neighborhood — where modern architecture, new restaurants, active nightlife, urban waterfront parks, and vibrant cultural institutions come together with an energy and vitality unlike anywhere else in the city.
In a city famous for its tangled, colonial streets, the Seaport was designed and built for today — with wide sidewalks, bike lanes, public transit, highways, waterways and direct access to Logan International Airport. It’s an unmatched transit hub that’s only a short walk (or ride) to downtown Boston.
In the Seaport District, there are more waterfront restaurants, bars and nightlife than any other part of Boston.
Once a few more buildings are completed, the area will feel more residential than it currently does, and within a few more years there will be a marina, supermarket, mall with theatre etc.
FENWAY AREA- home of the Red Sox
Fenway has world-class public transportation and about 25 bus, 3 rail, 1 subway and 1 light rail lines passing through it.
The Fenway–Kenmore area was formed by land annexed from neighboring Brookline in the 1870s as part of the Brookline-Boston annexation debate of 1873 as well as from land filled in conjunction with the creation of landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted parks in the 1890s When planned, it was thought that the buildings built upon the Fenway parkway would house high-wealth residents and that the whole area would be a high-class neighborhood. As property values rose, however, it was educational institutions that sprung up along the Fenway's route. By 1907, there were twenty-two educationally focused organizations, including nine college and universities which had made their homes on the Fenway. Residential buildings that were built needed their frontages to be approved by the Park Board so that a "poor looking building [did not] depreciate the value of the whole neighborhood".
In the last few years, development in Fenway has picked up, particularly from developer Samuels and Associates. Recent developments include the renovation of the Landmark Center; the 2003 addition of Hotel Commonwealth on the site of the Rathskeller bar; and the 576-unit, 17-floor Trilogy apartment building on Brookline Avenue and Boylston Street. 1330 Boylston, a second high-rise apartment building, was completed in 2008 and contains 210 apartments, 85,000 square feet of office space contained within 10 floors and the new home of Fenway Health.
Planned developments include a 24-story mixed use development at the confluence of Boylston Street and Brookline Avenue, likely including retail, dining, and luxury hotel/apartments. Other plans include the renovation of the Howard Johnson motel on Boylston Street, to be rehabbed as an upscale hotel. Additionally, developer John Rosenthal is planning to build a complex named One Kenmore over the Mass Pike alongside the Beacon Street Bridge, comprising 525 units in one 17 floor tower and one 20 floor tower. Concerning infrastructure, in 2007 the MBTA renovated the Fenway Green Line stop, and is planning to renovate the nearby Yawkey Way Commuter Rail Station. Finally, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston recently completed a $425 million expansion, and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum completed construction of a second building.
There are about 297 restaurants, bars and coffee shops in Fenway, making it a hot destination for night life even when the Red Sox aren’t in town! People in Fenway can walk to an average of 16 restaurants, bars and coffee shops in 5 minutes.
East Fenway has a large student population due to its proximity to area colleges and universities, while West Fenway, formerly known as a student haven, has seen rising interest from young professionals, doctors, Longwood Medical Area employee’s and families. The Kenmore Square area is mainly commercial with many residential units now owned by Boston University and used as on-campus housing for students.
It is the home of Fenway Park, the famous Citgo sign, Kenmore Square, The Art Institute of Boston, The Forsyth Institute, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Northeastern University, the New England Conservatory, portions of Boston University (including the Myles Standish Residence Hall), portions of the Harvard Medical School, Berklee College of Music, The Boston Conservatory, Massachusetts College of Art, Wentworth Institute of Technology, Simmons College, Wheelock College, Emmanuel College, New England School of Photography, Holy Trinity Orthodox Cathedral, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
The neighborhood is ringed by the MBTA Orange Line Ruggles subway station and the following MBTA Green Line trolley stops:
Yawkey Station on the Framingham/Worcester Line of the MBTA Commuter Rail is located near Fenway Park and Kenmore Square and provides limited inbound and outbound stops for commuters during rush hour. Fenway–Kenmore is also served by a number of MBTA buses connecting it to the city proper and the surrounding neighborhoods and communities.
As for roadways, Fenway and Park Drive circulate around the Fens. Boylston Street is a major east-west route, as are Beacon Street (MA 2) and Commonwealth Avenue (U.S. 20), which intersect at Kenmore Square. Brookline Avenue begins in Kenmore Square at this intersection and proceeds southwest. Huntington Avenue (MA 9) is on the southern border, while Massachusetts Avenue forms the eastern border, and is a major north-south route. Although the Massachusetts Turnpike cuts through the neighborhood, there are no access points to it except westbound only at Massachusetts Avenue and Newbury Street.
The town of Framingham, with a population of 70,000, is located mid-way between Boston and Worcester and is the hub of the Metrowest region.
The historic strengths of the town have been its location and its people. From its founding in 1700, Framingham has supported a variety of industries. The mills and factories that flourished in Framingham encouraged the growth of the Saxonville area of the town and the downtown. Currently, the major town employers are primarily non-manufacturing, including medical, retail, educational, office and bio-technical activities.
The residents of Framingham value public participation, and the town is the largest municipality with a town meeting form of government. Framingham offers recreational activities of all sorts for its residents from the many organized team sports leagues to the nationally renowned Garden in the Woods. Framingham unites for numerous municipal celebrations throughout the year, with a major focus on Flag Day activities in June.
Jamaica Plain is a part of Boston in Suffolk County with the zip code 02130 and is known by the locals as J.P. It borders the town of Brookline to the north, the Boston communities of West Roxbury and Roslindale to the west and south, and the Boston communities of Roxbury and The Fenway to the east. Its notable feature is the area’s mixture of an urban environment with beautiful open green space. The famous landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmstead, designed the renowned Emerald Necklace stretching from Back Bay to Franklin Park running the length of Jamaica Plain. Most of the parks that create the Emerald Necklace are in Jamaica Plain. Olmstead Park consists of 58.81 acres of walking and bicycle paths, a small pond, and lush mature greenery. Jamaica Pond consists of 109.35 acres of mainly the scenic pond surrounded by a popular walking path and grassy beaches. Many find this area to be an urban oasis and frequent it often.
A few blocks beyond the Jamaica Pond lies the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, also a part of the Emerald Necklace. The 265 acre gated grounds are open to the public for walking and biking, but it is a research and educational institution. Within the grounds are fabulous plant collections labeled for easy identification. Large greenhouses offer a protected environment for specialty plants and research facilities. Many enjoy the educational opportunities from adult lectures and courses to guided tours of the grounds to a variety of programs for children. The entire City of Boston celebrates Lilac Sunday in June at the Arboretum along with other scheduled special events. Dogs are welcomed as long as they remain on a leash. It is a wonderful place to meet people, have a picnic, or just lie in the grass! For more information, you can contact the Arboretum directly at (617) 524-1718 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Each of these areas is accessible by car or foot. The main thoroughfare that runs parallel to the parks is called The Jamaicaway, which connects to The Arborway. These multi-lane roads are lined with mature trees and handsome, large turn of the century homes. The Jamaicaway and Arborway are considered some of the more scenic roads in Boston. The neighborhoods surrounding these parks are very desirable and consist of beautiful homes. They also share their names for easy identification.
The Pondside neighborhood is the area from the Jamaicaway to Centre Street surrounding the Jamaica Pond. This neighborhood offers not only easy access to the Pond and surrounding parks, but is also in close proximity to the commercial district on Centre Street. Many of the tree-lined streets have stunning Victorian houses on ample lots with lovely gardens. Some of these larger homes have been converted into multi-family houses and then into condominiums. The former Children’s Museum and its grounds were developed into condominiums with breathtaking views of the Pond. Pondside is one of the most sought-after areas in Metro Boston.
The Arboretum neighborhood is the area from the Arborway next to the Arboretum to South Street and from Centre Street to the Forest Hills MBTA stop. Having the Arnold Arboretum within a short walk to your home makes this neighborhood in high demand. Add to this feature are the conveniences of being close to the MBTA stop and the commercial districts surrounding Centre Street and South Street. The homes consist of a higher number of older multi-family houses, both triple-deckers and 2-family houses, and a small scattering of single family homes. The lot sizes are small and many of the streets are narrow and one-way. This feature gives the neighborhood a quaint, village atmosphere. Many of the multi-family houses have been converted into condominiums increasing the number of owner occupied residences, but the neighborhood still offers quality apartments for rent.
The Woodbourne Area was recently added to the National Register of Historic Places. The area street boundaries are Walk Hill and Goodway and Wachusett Streets. There is a variety of housing styles including colonial revival, considered by many to be originally designed as affordable for the working class. Single family and multi-family houses are the predominant housing types. Within the Woodbourne Area, is the Bourne Section consisting of the streets Northbourne, Bournedale, Southbourne and Bourne Streets. The Bourne Section has the feeling of a village with small tree-lined street and mostly smaller and charming single family houses. The Woodbourne Area is conveniently located near the Forrest Hills T-Stop and bus stops and The Arnold Arboretum.
Moss Hill is nestled between the Arboretum and the Jamaica Pond and abuts the Brookline town line. The Jamaicaway physically separates it from the rest of Jamaica Plain. It is also removed from any of the commercial districts and consists of primarily single family homes giving the neighborhood a very suburban atmosphere. The hill’s eastern slope offers homeowners a spectacular view of downtown Boston. The southwestern slope offers a tree top view with the Blue Hills in the background. Add to the views and the surroundings are quality homes in all sizes and the result is a very popular area.
Sumner Hill is south of the Arboretum neighborhood off Centre and South Streets. It is a cluster of small side streets offering some of the most magnificent collection of Victorian homes in the Metro Boston Area. Take your time and walk the neighborhood so you can get a good look at the array of “painted ladies” with beautiful detailing, stain glass windows, and classic styling. Added to the beauty of the homes is the charm of the small, winding streets and some architecturally significant municipal buildings and churches.
Some of the Jamaica Plain neighborhood names come from the MBTA stop in the area. The Forrest Hills neighborhood has the Arboretum on one side and Franklin Park on the other. In between is the MBTA stop offering access to not only the orange line of the subway system, but many connecting bus routes. It is also the site of the convergence of many major roadways. This bustling area has a small commercial district surrounded by a variety of housing types including apartment buildings. It is a very convenient commuting location for access both in and out of Boston.
The Stonybrook neighborhood is named for the MBTA stop. It is also close to Eggleston Square; a large commercial district shared by JP and Roxbury residents. It offers a wide variety of housing and attracts both owners and tenants as residents.
Mid-JP is the neighborhood from Centre Street to Washington Street and from the Forrest Hills neighborhood to Stonybrook. There are a wide variety of homes and apartment buildings with some of them over 150 years old. Each of the streets in the area has its own personality based on the housing and density. Some of the streets may have primarily small single family houses while its abutting street has larger multi-unit buildings. Center Street is the primary business district, but there are also small local businesses scattered throughout the area along with one notable business, Samuel Adams Brewery. The MBTA orange line runs underground along this area and the space above it remains open park and walking/bicycle paths. The MBTA stop servicing this neighborhood is Green Street on the orange line.
The Town of Needham is located just west of Route 128 and the City of Newton, and south of Route 9 and Wellesley. This location provides an ideal metrowest commuting location for anyone working in downtown Boston or on the 128 corridor that rings the city.
Needham was not always a convenient suburban town. In years past, it was principally recognized as the country getaway for well-to-do Bostonians living on Beacon Hill or Back Bay. Many large houses first built in the 1800s as country homes for the rich still survive. Because of its multi century past, historical sites are sprinkled throughout Needham. The picture to the left shows a monument honoring war veterans in Needham Cemetery Some of the headstones in this cemetery date back to the 1700s!
Needham is located on rocky uplands within a loop of the Charles River. Though the area was used for some grazing for livestock of neighboring towns and some land grants were made, the river served as an effective barrier and the town was slow to develop. Early settlers relied primarily on agriculture and grazing plus some winter lumbering with orchards and tanneries as supplements. Saw mills and grist mills were opened by a number of settlers along the Charles through the 18th century. Extension of the railroad and land speculation encouraged settlement, and the town saw the growth of industrial employment and production at the same time during the mid-19th century. Needham manufacturers made knit goods, underwear, hats, shoes and silk, although attempts to cultivate silk worms were short-lived.
Land speculation, housing development and knitted underwear continued to be the foundation of Needham's economy into the 20th century, with the famous William Carter Corporation prominent in the children's knitwear industry.
The construction of Route 128 in 1931 opened portions of the town to development as part of the hi-tech highway in the post-World War II electronic industrial boom. Modern Needham remains a pleasant heavily suburban community with good access to Boston for commuters and a significant number of local job slots.
Needham's development began in the 1640's when the area was first explored by people from Dedham who believed that they had discovered gold. Settlers began bringing cattle to graze here in the 1680's, and in 1681 the land of present day Needham and Wellesley was purchased from tribal leader William Nehoiden for 10 pounds in money, 50 acres of land, and 40 shillings in corn.
Our colonial history is that of a poor farming community, off the main roads, distrustful of both the morals and government of Boston, and afraid of the French and Indian raiders (over 40 percent of our men served in the wars).
By 1711 more than 50 families had located here, enough to require a church, school, and local government. On November 5th of that year the Town of Needham was incorporated (another reason to celebrate Guy Fawkes Day!). The Royal governor selected the name Needham because a town of that name was close to Dedham in England.
The Revolution came to Needham very dramatically as 185 men from our three companies of militia responded to the battle of April 19, 1775, resulting in five militia men dead, and leaving four widows and 28 children. Subsequently, many other Needhamites served in the Revolutionary War under General George Washington, including the distinguished officer, political leader, and town father, Col. William McIntosh.
Until the arrival of the railroads in the 1800's the center of town was along the current Central Avenue at Nehoiden Street. The gradual movement of the old town center to the Great Plain Village from the 1850's on was necessitated by the fact that the Charles River Railroad did not come to the old center. In the 1870's, when the First Parish Church was moved to its current location in what is now Needham Center only the Old Burial Ground and the 1720 parsonage were left as the reminder of the original settlement.
The people of the town made a modest living as farmers, although eventually horticulture and dairying became prominent. Highlandville, (now Needham Heights, took on a completely different character with the migration of English knitters such as William Carter, Mark Lee, etc.,in the 1850's. What started as cottage industries developed into large knitting factories that produced world famous knit goods. The presence of a cricket field reminds us of their legacy.
Within 10 days of the attack on Fort Sumter in April of 1861, posters appeared all over town, stating "Needham to the Rescue!", which summoned our citizens to enlist. During the rebellion over 40 of our men were credited with service.
Almost from its beginning the western part of the town was dissatisfied with the location of town government. This culminated in the separation of Wellesley in 1881, which approximately divided the town in half. It was not until the turn of the new century when a new high school building and a beautiful town hall were created, combined with the effect of seven different trolley lines, that Needham began to gain the momentum that made us a successful dairy and suburban community.
A significant event that should not be overlooked is the "Back Bay Fill", when a considerable amount of Needham's land was removed by train (day and night, from 1859 to the late 1870's) to fill in most of Boston's Back Bay. Needham was chosen as the removal site of the fill because of the abundance of gravel and reasonable rail access to Boston. Most of the land removed lay between the Charles River and the present Route 128. When the gravel was exhausted a devastated desert was left which was not developed until the post World War II construction of a large industrial center.
In the late 1800's William Emerson Baker achieved extraordinary results when he built his Ridge Hill Farms with its magnificent hotel, elaborate gardens, two man made lakes, and over 1900 acres of scenic views, wild animals, and mysterious caves. When Swiss-American botanist Denys Zirngiebel lived in Needham he established a very successful commercial horticultural business where he first introduced the giant Swiss pansy to America. The pansy is now the official town flower. Zirngiebel was also the grandfather of one of America's greatest artists - Newell Convers (N.C.) Wyeth, who attended Needham schools, and used many Needham people and locations for his paintings and illustrations when he lived here in the 1920's.
One of the current attractions of the town is the significant collection of Wyeth works displayed in the public library and the Needham Historical Society Museum. Gradually both dairy farming and the knitting industries declined. In 1955 the well known Walker-Gordon Dairy closed, and in the 1990's even the world famous Carter Company relocated. However, the creation of one of the nation's first industrial parks in 1950, the later addition of high technology firms, the improvement of access to Route 128 and Boston, frequent railroad passenger service to Boston, and the excellent quality of Needham schools have contributed to the town's emergence as one of the more desirable suburbs of Boston. Retention of the representative Town Meeting form of government and an abundance of trees and open spaces add to the feeling of a typical New England village.
Information graciously provided by Polly Attridge
NEWTON has a will earned reputation as “the garden city. But physical beauty is only a small part of it’s allure. Rich is historic ethnic, and cultural makeup, Newton’s heterogeneous population blend gives the city a marvelous character and dynamic personality.
Settled in 1630, Newton was originally incorporated as a town in 1688. Later, in 1873, Newton became a city.
Newton is a wonderful place for those who love diversity. This is a city of villages. Each of the thirteen villages has its own unique character, culture, and style. Consistently posting one of the highest bond ratings in the state, Newton residents are proud of their city’s reputation of stability. With excellent city services and an extensive Recreation department, people her enjoy convenient and comfortable living. Newton’s perfect location, close to Boston and all of the surrounding major roads and highways makes shopping and commuting a breeze.
It is no surprise that Newton’s schools are consistently ranked among the best in the nation. Education is a high priority in this community largely made up of well-educated adults. Subsequently, many Newton high school graduates continue their education at some of the nation’s most prestigious colleges and institutions.
With over 650 acres of parklands, a broad variety of recreational facilities and numerous historic and cultural activities there’s always something interesting to do. Try hiking at Nahanton Park., swimming at Crystal Lake and YMCA, and boating and canoeing on the Charles River. Or enjoy a visit to the home of Mary Baker Eddy, the Newton Symphony Orchestra, and the Jackson Homestead for a bit of Old New England culture and history. Newton is especially proud of the Homestead, an1809 Federal-style home that was ones a stop on the Underground Railroad. Today it houses manuscripts, antiques, and various city memorabilia presented at four major annual exhibits.
Newton is a place people love to call home. Before long, you’re sure to concur with the many long-time residents who will readily tell you that they could not imagine living anywhere else.
Recreation comes in many forms here in Newton.
- Nahanton Park’s 55 natural acres alongside the Charles River offer a retreat for passive recreation, education and tranquility. Walking, jogging, canoeing and fishing are among the most popular activities. The nature Center offers nature conservation and ecology information and the outdoor Adventure Program of children in grades 2-6.
- Newton North Indoor Recreational Complex offers indoor sports and recreation, swimming and lessons, and more.
- Gath Pool and Crystal Lake offer swimming and lessons.
- Newton Commonwealth Golf Course is an 18 hole course open year around.
- The Parks and Recreation Department offers a myriad of programs for all ages, from tots to senior citizens. Contact them at 552-7120.
- Numerous other activities are available at the 71 tennis courts, 3 ice skating ponds and 2 summer camps. There are also preschool summer programs, 6 neighborhood centers and special needs and ‘Over 55’ programs.
- Fully 10% of Newton’s open space is conservation land, much of which is available for passive recreational enjoyment.
- The Farmers Market, open July thru October, is one of the best in the state. Among the many cultural programs and experiences in Newton are the following.
- Art In The Park, sponsored by the Parks and Recreation Department in cooperation with the Newton Pride Committee and the Mayor’s Office for Cultural Affairs, offers programs year round. There are Children’s Enrichment Programs, School Vacation Programs, Friday Afternoon at the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Concert Trips, craft courses and Festivals, as well as Band Concerts, Fireworks and an Open Air Market.
- The Newton Pride committee sponsors holiday and seasonal celebrations and beautification programs.
- The Newton Cultural Arts Council, using Megabucks money, awards grants to individuals and groups for projects that benefit the community.
- All Newton Music School promotes quality musical education for all.
- Newton Symphony Orchestra offers a concert series with pre-concert lectures and other special events.
- The New Art Center provides exhibitions program and a broad selection of courses in the visual and performing arts.
- The New Repertory Theatre presents five or more plays a season and offers classes and workshops.
The village of Lower Falls developed early in Newton’s history due primarily to the late 1600’s major roads that passed through here- and to the powerful Charles River. The fist gristmill operated before 1700 and many more mills appeared along the river over the next 100 years. One, the paper mill building at the Lower Falls, remains popular and busy place today.
In 1816 Newton’s first Post Office opened here to service the inns, stores, mills and growing population. There was a daily stage coach to Boston, and beginning in 1840, a new railroad spur.
Today the Lower Falls boasts a broad selection of restaurants, shops and commercial businesses.
In 1834 Auburndale, like Newtonville, was only a flagging stop on the new Boston and Worchester Railroad, and then only at the persuasive urging of Reverend Charles deMaresque Pigeon. Despite being just two miles from the station stop at West Newton, this flagging stop inspired dramatic real estate activity and residential growth. The area often lightheartedly referred to as ’Saint Rest’, due to many clergyman who lived here, but Reverend Pigeon’s original “Auburn Dale” name prevailed. Many years later, of course, Auburndale became renowned for Riverside and Norumbega Park along the banks of the Charles.
The famous Fig Newton was named after the city, was first baked in 1891 by Cambridge Kennedy Biscuit Works, whose manager named new products after local cities and towns. Of all his community creations- only the Fig Newton remains.
The North street bridge, built in 1761, joined Newton and Waltham. This bridge along with a riverside road joining main roads to other communities met at the center of a new village called West Newton Square. A meeting house, church and tavern soon were followed by more and larger facilities to accommodate the burgeoning business brought by the busy stagecoach, and then by the railroad. Naturally this area in the north side of town grew rapidly to the point that, in 1849, it justified the relocation of the Town House form Newton Centre to busy West Newton village.
Shortly after 1633 when the land area that is now Newton was transferred from Watertown to Cambridge, families’ moves to this area and a small community began to form. This was to be Newton’s first village settlement. In the early 1700’s the hamlet was referred to as “Angier’s corner”, named after Oakes Angier Tavern, a long standing and popular landmark.
Later the stagecoach passed through, and beginning in 1834, the Boston and Worchester Railroad stopped here. In 144, when commuter service began, the local station was named ‘Newton Corner’, which later became the name given to the village.
*Newton Corner, Newton’s first village boasts the most and oldest collection of 19th and 20th century homes.
*In 1634 any one caught using tobacco in public was held “under pain of eleven shillings.”
Before the Boston and Worcester Railroad openend in 1834 there were only two buildings here, the old Hull mansion and John Bullough’s grist mill store-house. But that changed rapidly. Despite the fact athat trains stopped at “hull’s Crossing” as it became known) only when ‘flagged’. Development began in earnest.
By 1847 Newtonville,. Newton’s first ‘railroad village’, was a thriving residential community.
David Bemis’ paper mill opened in 1778. Soon other factories were built in the area and by the mid- 1800”s several other industries had sprung up. Residents adopted the name ‘Nonantum’ an Indian name meaning ‘place of rejoicing’) fore one of these businesses, the Nonantum Worsted Company.
Thus the village of Nonantum that we know now, replaces an earlier village by the same name near Newton Center.
The Newton Centre area was already home to many families by the time the town of Newton was established in 1688. by 1721, to meet the needs of residents in the area, a new meeting house was built at the corner of Centre and Homer Streets, followed by a school, training field, pound etc. With the establishment of the Town House the village became known as the “Centre”.
Less than 30 years later though, partially due to the physical obstacles that isolated it from the area’s other developing population, the Town House, amid bitter debates, was moved to West Newton. Despite this movement and despite not being geographically located in the center of town, Newton Center has proudly retained its name.
*The grass median strip on Commonwealth Avenue had trolley tracks for the electronic trolley’s that at that time went as far west as Norumbega Park.
*One of New England’s most famous hills is Heartbreak Hill of Boston marathon fame.
Surprisingly in 1852 the Oak Hill railroad station was built (at the site of out present Newton Highlands T stop) despite a sparse population and seemingly small need. Passenger service was erratic for years. The tracks were used primarily to haul gravel to fill in Boston’s Back Bay, until the railroad was upgraded in 1870.
Gradually development began and the name ‘Newton Highlands’ was chosen for the emerging village. ‘Four Corners’, sometimes thought to be a village of its own, is locating at the corner of Beacon Street and Walnut Street, where Newton Highlands borders Newton Centre.
Once in the miod-1800’s Waban consisted of just four large farms. However, when upgraded commuter rail lines were extended community began in earnest. Today Waban’s fine homes and neighborhoods reflect the beauty and style of this development growth that began more than 100 years ago. One of Newton’s most attractive and desirable villages, Waban is quality residential living at its best.
Newton’s first use of the Charles River as a source of power took place here in 1688 with the construction of a saw mill. After the revolutionary War textile mills, iron works and machine works and machine works flourished along the river. By 1820 Upper Falls was emerging as a typical self-sufficient New England mill village where worker’s quarters abutted the mills and the more the affluent residents lived on the hillside above.
Today the beautiful meandering Charles River, forming the long southern border of Upper Falls, brings scenic pleasure and recreational enjoyment to village residents.
In 1821 the Hammond family sold 165 acres, located partly in Newton and partly in Brookline, to an un-married retired sea-caption named Joseph Lee. Upon his death he left this “farmland” to his nieces and nephews whose interests were in Boston and who paid little attention to this remote and inaccessible property. And so it sat-until the 1850’s- when construction of Beacon Street and the Charles River Railroad made the land both accessible and attractive. They built their own home on the land and began development of a new community “Chestnut Hill”.
Oak Hill was slow to development as a community. Despite its accessible location, wetlands kept farms scattered and widespread, discouraging the development of a community village. As a result neither stagecoach nor railroad were routed there and roads slight. It wasn’t until the introduction of automobile early this century that soil was drained and Oak Hill began to blossom as a thriving village unto its own.
Roslindale is a part of Boston in Suffolk County with the zip code 02131 and is known by the locals as Rozzie. It borders the Boston communities of Jamaica Plain, West Roxbury and Hyde Park. Many consider Roslindale Boston’s best kept secret since it is a great place to live, convenient to all of Metro Boston and still remains affordable. It has all you need right in the area along with having easy access to a public golf course and a 500-acre forest called Stoney Brook Reservation. Yes, you are in the city, but you can find open green space!
Stoney Brook Reservation is one of the best spots in Boston. It is owned and managed by the MDC (Metropolitan District Commission) and is open to the public until dusk. The reservation includes a skating rink, fishing at Turtle Pond, ten to twelve miles of hiking and bicycle paths, soccer and baseball fields, tennis courts, picnic areas, tot lot, and a pool. It also is the site for the John F. Thompson Center; New England’s first recreational facility specifically designed to accommodate handicapped visitors. For more information about the Center, call (617) 361-6161. You can even get there by public transportation!
Metropolitan Hill is not only the 2nd highest point in Boston, it is also a very special neighborhood. It has spectacular views of both downtown Boston on one side and the Blue Hills on the other. Lovely homes, primarily single-family houses, line the streets and the hill creates privacy for its residence.
Peter’s Hill is located on the southwest side of the Arnold Arboretum and abuts the MBTA Conservation land. This is a lovely neighborhood tucked away off the main streets. Here you will find a wonderful variety of single and multi-family houses all in close proximity to the beauty of the Arboretum and the conveniences of Jamaica Plain.
The main commercial district is called Roslindale Village, where the local shopper can find just about anything they need. There is a tremendous variety of locally owned and operated businesses from the coffee shop to the hardware store. The local supermarket is fondling referred to as the village market. Roslindale village surrounds a city park known as Roslindale’s Commons which ads to the feeling of a typical New England town. It also has its own train stop!
Between Roslindale Square and the West Roxbury Line is a neighborhood known as the Parkway Area. Here you will find larger, older homes, many with original details. The Parkway is the West Roxbury Parkway, a beautifully green scenic road with a lush median strip separating two sides of this tree-lined thoroughfare. At one end of the Parkway is the Stoney Brook Reservation land. The other end of the parkway travels through West Roxbury and into the town of Brookline.
The entire area is very well connected by public transportation. Buses run throughout the area connecting to both the Orange Line of the MBTA and the commuter rail that goes into South Station in Boston.
Today Watertown is rich in ethnic diversity and culture, boasts a high level of citizen involvement and many amenities such as shopping malls, high-end restaurants, swimming pools, country and tennis clubs, skating rinks, eleven fine parks and public transportation providing easy access to Boston and surrounding communities.
Watertown was founded in 1630 and was the first inland settlement in Massachusetts and initially encompassed the present communities of Weston, Waltham and large sections of Lincoln, Belmont, and Cambridge- thus becoming one of the largest American settlements of its time.
Settled by Englishmen who had set sail on the Arbella, and were led by Sir Richard Saltonstall, Watertown quickly grew to be an important center for trade, commerce, and industry.
Over the years this community has played an important role in Massachusetts history, once serving as the temporary seat of government during the Revolutionary war.
It was here that Paul Revere, who once resided in Watertown, printed the first paper money for the Province of Massachusetts. At the Old Bemis Mills located here canvas sails were woven for the U.S.S. Constitution. Manufacturing industries included that of the renowned Stanley Steamers as well as the old black Crawford Stoves. And just around the bend of Mt.Auburn Street outside Watertown Square the Mugar family opened what was to be the first of many stores in the famous Star Market chain.
Watertown is within 20 minutes travel of all major highways in Eastern Massachusetts, including the Massachusetts Turnpike, Routes 128, 95, 93, 2, 16, 20. In addition, it is service by rail lines and commuter bus lines, and has easy direct access to Logan International Airport in Boston via Storrow drive or the Mass Pike.
The town of Watertown is situated in Eastern Massachusetts, bordered by Belmont and Cambridge to the North, Boston and Newton to the south, and Waltham to the west. It is 6 miles northeast of Boston on the Charles River, 22 miles south of Lowell, 36 miles east of Worcester and 215 miles from Manhattan. Watertown is 4.16 sq. miles in size.
Transportation and Access:
Watertown is situated in the Greater Boston Area, which has excellent rail, air, and highway facilities. State Route 128 and Interstate Route 495 divide the region into inner and outer zones, which are connected by numerous “spokes” providing direct access to the airport, port, and intermodal facilities of Boston.
Principal highways are Route 20 and State Route 16, Massachusetts Turnpike and Storrow drive.
Commuter rail service to North Station, Boston, is available on the Gardner line from Waverly Station. Travel time: 17 min: no parking available. The MBTA Red Line is accessible from the Springfield Terminal Railway.
Watertown is a member of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation authority (MBTA). The MBTA provided fixed route service to neighboring communities and to Harvard and Central Stations on the Red Line. The MBTA also provides THE RIDE, a Para transit service for the elderly and disabled.
From the Galen Street terminal:
502- express bus to Copley via Newton Corner and the Mass Pike to Copley Square (St. James Street).
504- Express bus Downtown via Newton Corner and the Mass Pike to Federal St.
57- local service via Brighton center and Allston to Kenmore.
From Watertown Sq:
Local service to Harvard Sq via Mt. Auburn St.
Local service to Central Sq via Arsenal St.
Logan International Airport via the Mass Pike to the Airport exit (11mins).
This area of Boston is known for its quality homes and neighborhoods. It abuts both Brookline and Newton. The areas of Brookline and Newton that border West Roxbury shares the same zip code, Chestnut Hill’s 02467. The rest of West Roxbury has the zip code 02132. All of the neighborhoods of West Roxbury have many important features. Here is a brief tour of some of the neighborhoods.
The Chestnut Hill section of West Roxbury appears to be a part of Brookline. It has similar housing stock of single family homes and even has the same streets since the city line crosses a number of them in the South Brookline neighborhood. This West Roxbury neighborhood lies along the VFW (Veteran of Foreign Wars) Parkway, a multi-lane tree-lined roadway that is also known as Route 1. One of the area’s largest apartment complexes, Hancock Village, borders this area along with a very popular shopping plaza on VFW Parkway. The western border of this neighborhood is the West Roxbury Parkway that originates in South Brookline and continues into West Roxbury and crosses over the VFW Parkway.
South of the VFW Parkway, the neighborhood that runs along the West Roxbury Parkway is also known as Peak’s Hill area. This part of West Roxbury Parkway is a beautifully green scenic road with a lush median strip separating two sides of this tree-lined thoroughfare. Classic center entrance Colonials and stately Tudor homes line West Roxbury Parkway and are the predominant housing stock on the tree-lined side streets. There are also smaller Colonial and Cape style homes. This area of West Roxbury is abutting Roslindale and shares the Roslindale zip code. One needs to verify the property’s deed to determine whether the house is in West Roxbury or Roslindale since many of the streets cross over each of the areas’ boundaries.
One of the best features of West Roxbury is the three commuter train stops. The Bellevue train stop is in an area known as Bellevue Hill. Some of the largest and most beautiful turn of the century homes in all of West Roxbury is located here. The sales prices for the houses in this neighborhood are usually the highest in West Roxbury. Bellevue Hill’s reputation is not just for the beautiful homes, but also their larger well-landscaped lots and charming tree lined streets. The neighborhood borders the West Roxbury Parkway to the east. It southern section is in close proximity to the Stony Brook Reservation land and its northern area borders the commercial district on Centre Street which includes a second train stop, the Highland stop.
The main commercial district of West Roxbury lines Centre Street and is serviced by both the Highland train stop and the West Roxbury Train stop. Between the 2 train stops and close to Centre Street is Billings Field, one of the largest green spaces in West Roxbury and home of many local little league baseball teams. You can find almost anything you need along the West Roxbury commercial district including West Roxbury’s branch of the Boston Library. Many thriving local small businesses along with larger chain stores, including a super market, ad variety to the area. Family-style restaurants and coffee shops line Center Street plus local pubs and bars offer a full menu. The local residents, Bellevue Hill and the Highland neighborhoods, are very fortunate to be able to walk from home and buy all of their necessities!
Northwest of Center Street and the commercial district is an area called theHighlands Neighborhood. This area has beautifully maintained homes of all sizes and styles on lovely streets. There are a small number of condominiums in this area and most have been built during the past fifteen years. Though the majority of the housing stock is single family houses, there are some two family homes available and many house extended families that have resided in West Roxbury for many generations. Many Boston commuters seek out this neighborhood to live in because of the easy access to the commuter train and connecting buses. All you need to do is drive through this area to understand why it is so popular!
North of the Highland’s Neighborhood on the other side of the VFW Parkway is theNewton Line/Brook Farm Area of West Roxbury. This is a small section consisting of less than twenty small side streets where the majority of the homes were built since WWII. During the past twenty years, large townhouse condominium complexes have been added to this neighborhood. The Brook Farm area is both the residential neighborhood and undeveloped land consisting of four large cemeteries, Mount Benedict, St. Joseph, Mount Lebanon, and Gethemane. The cemeteries abut the Newton Line where there are large tracts of undeveloped land that is both privately owned and owned by the City of Newton. The combination of the cemetery land along with the undeveloped land creates a rural atmosphere and is very unusual for a Boston address. On the southwestern side of the St. Joseph Cemetery and with a VFW Parkway address is Boston owned land being used as a municipal service area and the site of West Roxbury High School. The addition of a large Home Depot has opened the doors for some more commercial development in the area.
Further along the VFW Parkway heading south you will find the area’s major landmark, the V.A. Hospital. The Dedham Town Line bound the neighborhood surrounding the V.A. Hospital and the end of Center Street with a large street called Spring Street cutting through the center. This area has a diversity of housing stock from single and multi-family houses to larger apartment and condominium complexes. Spring Street has a scattering of commercial buildings and local businesses. This part of the VFW Parkway is primarily a large commercial district offering many different retail businesses. The access to Route 128 (the Route 95 Beltway) makes this area very desirable for those who need to commute using this major highway. Dual income households looking for easy access in and out of Boston find this area to be well suited for their commuter needs
Washington Street, a large, mostly commercial city street is bounded by the Dedham Line and continues northeast through West Roxbury into Roslindale. At varying distances to Washington Street is the Stoney Brook Reservation, one of Boston’s finest open green spaces. The neighborhoods surrounding Washington Street have many shopping conveniences along with easy access to this wonderful reservation land. There is a wide range of housing stock including some of Boston’s finest collection of triple-deckers. This area has a higher percentage of tenant population due to the large number of rental units. This neighborhood is well connected with bus lines connecting to the commuter rail and into downtown Boston.