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As a Cambridge real estate agent, the city squares of Cambridge, Somerville and Medford and the town centers of Arlington, Watertown and Belmont, Massachusetts are my home turf. And as a lifelong New Englander who’s lived within twenty miles of Boston most of my life, I can introduce you to other nearby towns as we search for your new home. If you’re planning to sell your home in Cambridge, MA or nearby you’ll find plenty of info about the home selling process here too. Questions? Send me an email or call me at 617-504-1737.

Julia Child Lived Here – 103 Irving Street Cambridge

As I watched yet another ad for the new movie Julie and Julia  I figured it was time to write a quick post about Julia Child, or more specifically about Julia Child’s house at 103 Irving Street in Cambridge.

Julia Child and her husband Paul moved into this large Cambridge Victorian in 1961.  Irving Street is lined with substantial turn-of-the-century houses and is just blocks from Harvard Square.  It is a neighborhood long popular with Harvard professors among them Child’s friend and neighbor, economist John Kenneth Galbraith, who lived one block over on Francis Avenue, Cambridge’s “Professor’s Row”. 

Julia Child's House in Cambridge Massachusetts

Julia Child's House in Cambridge Massachusetts

If people knew anything about Julia Child’s house it was the kitchen that was most familiar.  That well used kitchen, known to so many from the cooking shows that were taped there, was described by Julia as “the most loved and most used room in the house.”  Child retired to California for the last few years of her life and the house was sold.  First however, the kitchen in its entirety was removed from the house and sent to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in 2001.

The Childs’ home was like many wonderful old houses we see in Cambridge – little changed in decades.  And like so many others it was purchased by a developer and transformed.  A sleek and stylish kitchen was designed, six new bathrooms installed, central air conditioning, central vac – all the bells and whistles that are popular with buyers today in the price range.  The newly renovated house was sold in 2004 for $3,755,000.  It has since changed hands again for $3,700,000. 

But as a woman commented, riding by on her bike as I snapped a photo of 103 Irving Street, “It will always be Julia Child’s house”.

For more about Julia’s neighborhood, take a virtual walk down the street with a slide show and info about the history, architecture and real estate on Irving Street in Cambridge.

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  1. Leanne

    Just a quick thanks for the post. My husband and I lived in student housing just a short walk from 103 Irving (at Kirkland and Beacon)in the mid-80′s when he was in graduate school. We loved living in the neighbourhood and always appreciated the charm and beauty of the homes and properties. Without feeling “stuffy”, the area had an undeniable gravitas and special “patina” due in part to its history and the ecclectic collection of interesting residents that have lived there. Your post brought back many fond memories of our daily walks through the neighbourhood – we found walking through it in the fall to be especially lovely. Thanks again! Leanne

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  3. cheryl jeanes

    Years ago I went to a market in Cambridge that Julia Child loved. It was small and has her handprints in the sidewalk outside the door. Can you help me with the name and location? It had a really good meat market. thanks, cheryl

  4. Elizabeth Bolton

    Hi Leanne ~ You’ve described the neighborhood perfectly! So glad you stumbled upon the post.

    Liz

  5. Elizabeth Bolton

    Hi Cheryl,

    I imagine that must have been Savenor’s Market. The Cambridge location was closed for many years but reopened a few years ago at the same location on Kirkland Street not far from where Julia and Paul Child lived.

    Liz

  6. Steve Harvey

    We used to live over Julia’s back fence, at 18 Francis Ave. She was lovely, bringing us a bottle of champagne on one memorable occasion. No dinner invites, though! And as kids we were always disappointed to find the house dark on Hallowe’en. Neighborhood kids imagined cakes and cookies piled a mile high- but Julia and Paul probably had the sense to get out of Dodge.

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  9. Larry Pelland

    She was the Queen of the Culinary World, a delight to see her on set with Jacques Pepin. Miss her something terrible.

  10. Doug

    Note that the house wasn’t simply sold when Julia moved out. Julia donated the house to her Alma Mater, Smith College, which went on to sell it.

  11. Elizabeth Bolton

    Thanks for pointing that out Doug. Always good to see an alum donating to a Seven Sisters school! It’s my plan if I’m the last one standing in my family.

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