Centers And Squares
Welcome to Centers and Squares
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.
Tip O’Neill’s Cambridge Church Last weekend I spent several days watching the coverage of Ted Kennedy – the nonstop coverage (thank you channel 5!) of the funeral and the various documentaries about the Kennedy family – and didn’t have time to read the newspapers. As I was going through the back issues this weekend it occurred to me that the Mission Hill church, Our Lady of Perpetual Help Basilica, will be known for years to come as the church where Teddy Kennedy’s funeral was held.
St. John the Evangelist church on Mass Ave in North Cambridge is similarly remembered to this day as the church where Tip O’Neill’s funeral was held. Some 1700 people attended the January 1994 funeral including Vice President Al Gore, and former Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter.
O’Neill grew up in this North Cambridge neighborhood and raised his family in the Orchard Street neighborhood. He was baptized and married at St. John the Evangelist. O’Neill represented Massachusetts for 34 years in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1953 to 1987 and served as Speaker of the House from 1977 to 1987.
It was great to see this banner in memory of Teddy Kennedy in Tip’s old neighborhood on Orchard Street in Porter Square.
Tip O’Neill’s church is the large yellow brick church at 2254 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge MA 02140.
It’s time to look back at Belmont home sales last month. Here’s the review of Belmont homes sold during August 2009.
On Market Snapshot:
103 homes were listed for sale in Belmont on August 31, 2009 priced between $209,000 and $2,295,000. Homes have been on the market an average of 158 days.
Belmont Homes Sold in August 2009:
36 residential properties sold in Belmont during the month of August. The average sales price was $542,006 and the median sales price was $510,850. Average days on market was 66. Properties sold for an average of 98% of list price.
22 Belmont single family homes sold in August for sale prices ranging from $357,000 to $1,195,000. The median sales price for a single family home was $612,500. Average days on market was 60. In August single family houses in Belmont sold for an average of 98% of asking price.
12 Belmont condos sold in August. Condominiums sold for prices between $219,500 and $463,000. The median condo sales price was $308,000. Condos were on the market an average of 77 days and sold for an average of 98% of asking price.
2 Belmont multi-family properties sold in August 2009 for $715,000 and 741,000. Average days on market was 74. The houses sold for an average of 97% of asking price.
Total residential sales volume for August was $19,512,200.
Check out last month’s Belmont real estate activity here:
Data about homes sold in Belmont MA from MLSpin.
Cornerstone Park, a Cambridge condo building at 2130 Mass Ave in Porter Square, was built in the early 1980s. On the corner of Cogswell Avenue, the building is midway between Porter and Davis Square.
Cambridge real estate buyers looking for modern conveniences, views, and easy access to the Red Line T will find lots to like at Cornerstone Park.
2130 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge MA – Building Features
- Professionally managed 8-story elevator building
- Live-in super
- Function room
- Garage parking and guest parking
- Beautiful large back yard and garden
Cornerstone Park Condos – Unit Features
There are a variety of floor plans in the building. There are two-bedrooms, two-bedrooms with study, and three-bedroom condos. Some are duplex units on two levels. The condos range in size from 1100 to 1300 sq.ft.
- Wood burning fireplace in many of the units
- Central air conditioning
- In-unit washer and dryer in many of the condos
- Many units have two full baths, some have 2.5 baths
- Oak parquet floors
Recent Real Estate Sales at Cornerstone Park
A 7th floor 2-bedroom, 2-bath condo, 1283 sq.ft. sold for $450,000 in 2008
A 7th floor, 2-bedroom, 2-bath condo, 1143 sq.ft. sold for $459,000 in 2009
If you would like more information about the condo market in Cambridge or would like some help with your search give Liz Bolton a call at 617-504-1737 or click here to email Liz .
Here’s our once a month look back at the Watertown real estate market - August 2009.
Watertown Homes on the Market
115 residential properties were listed for sale in Watertown on August 31, 2009. Asking prices ranged from $179,900 to $1,395,000. Average days on market was 126.
Watertown MA Real Estate Sales in August 2009
Total Watertown residential real estate sales volume closed in August was $$15,619,900
NECN had a segment the other morning on a new book about Harvard Square – Harvard Square: An Illustrated History Since 1950. As soon as the segment ended I called Porter Square Books and reserved two copies, one for myself and one for my parents.
My dad grew up in Cambridge and one story that’s regularly retold in my family is how he and his high school friends in the late 1940s would jump in their cars, drive to the Square, pull up and park, and go in for a bite to eat at the cafeteria, Albiani’s, on Mass Ave. The reason the story tickled our funny bones was how far fetched we would all find it – how could they have found three or four empty parking spots all in a row? Different time for sure.
My mother became a fan of the Square in the 70s when we would take the train in from the burbs to shop and take in the sights. The book, with its coverage through the decades, had something for all of us.
Harvard Square: An Illustrated History Since 1950 by Mo Lotman
Measuring 12″ by 10″ and 240 pages long this is a *big* and beautiful book jam packed with photographs. When I heard about it I thought it would simply be a collection of photographs – and if it were only that it would be fascinating. Lotman has dug deep for the photos in the book – in archives and in amateur photographers’ personal collections. It’s an amazing look at Harvard Square through the decades.
But the book isn’t just a photography book – it’s much more. It’s all about what makes this such a special place – the people, the politics, the shops, the restaurants, the buildings – it’s a rich tapestry and a wonderful record of the last 60 years Cambridge-style. Streetscapes, interior views, ephemera, news photos – you name it – it’s all here in chock-a-block full, endlessly fascinating pages.
The book is organized by decades and pictures are both dated and annotated to direct you to other views or info about the same scene. Thankfully there’s an index – you’ll be tempted to take a quick look to see if the places you remember are included here. I checked to see if one of my favorite teenage haunts – Dazzle - was in the book – yes – and was delighted to find four references to one of my regular stops, Reading International. And for my Dad, Albiani’s is in one of the full page photographs that open the book. There’s so much here that will bring back your favorite Harvard Square memories.
Harvard Square: An Illustrated History Since 1950 is the ideal coffee table book since everyone who spots it will be tempted to pore through its pages. It’s the perfect gift for anyone who’s ever lived in or spent time in Cambridge.
Author Mo Lotman will be at the Harvard Coop on September 12, 2009 to discuss the book and sign copies as part of the “Bookish Ball”. The book’s official launch will be held at Club Passim, 47 Palmer Street in Cambridge on September 15, 2009 from 7 pm to midnight.
Once a month we look back at the real estate market activity in Somerville. Here’s how it shaped up in August 2009.
Somerville Real Estate Market – Properties for Sale
217 residential properties were on the market in Somerville on August 31, 2009, 40 fewer than were for sale just one month ago. Properties were priced between $144,900 and $1,600,000. The average days on market was 122.
Somerville Real Estate Sales in August 2009
90 residential properties sold in Somerville during August 2009. The average sales price was $372,189. The median sales price was $349,450. Properties were on the market an average of 80 days.
9 single family homes sold in August for prices that ranged from $162,000 to $426,500. The median sales price was $335,000. Somerville single family homes sold in August for an average of 98% of list price. Average days on market was 56.
60 Somerville condos sold in August for sale prices between $145,000 and $700,000. The median condo sales price was $327,450. The average days on market was 75. In August condos sold for an average of 98% of the asking price.
21 multi-family properties sold in August for prices ranging from $220,000 to $685,000. The median sales price in August was $425,000. Multi-unit houses sold for an average of 98% of asking price. Average days on market was 102.
Total Somerville closed residential sales volume in August was $33,497,051.
Information about Somerville real estate market activity from MLSPIN
If you’d like help with your Somerville real estate search please give me a call at 617-504-1737 or contact me by email.
Irving Street Cambridge – Real Estate, Architecture and History. Irving Street is close to Harvard Square in Cambridge in what real estate agents often refer to as the Divinity School neighborhood. Much of the street is part of what once was the Shady Hill estate. Lined with large, handsome houses and rich in history, Irving Street is one of my favorite streets in Cambridge.
Irving Street History
Irving Street was named for author Washington Irving, best known today for his stories “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and “Rip Van Winkle”. While parts of the street were laid out earlier in the 1800s, the street was part of the subdivision designed by landscape architect Charles Eliot in 1886 when the 34 acre Shady Hill estate was subdivided.
Well known residents of Irving Street included:
- Julia and Paul Child at 103 Irving Street
- Poet e.e. cummings grew up across the street at no. 104
- Psychologist and philospher William James, brother of Henry James, built no. 95 in 1889 and lived there until his death in 1910
On a lighter note, I found at least one reference to a house on Irving appearing in the movie Love Story as the house where the couple played by Ryan O’Neil and Ali McGraw lived. Anybody know which house this is?
Irving Street Architecture
Twenty year deed restrictions were put in place when the Shady Hill estate was divided. Only single family houses could be built and there were minimum cost requirements. There is a uniformity to the streetscape as a result – all of the houses are large and are separated from their neighbors on generous lots.
The street is almost entirely residential with the exceptions of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences at one end and the Irving House Bed and Breakfast at the other. There is also Harvard housing at no. 28, Haskins Hall, a 1926 brick apartment building.
Most of the houses on the street are Colonial Revivals or late examples of the Queen Anne style. No. 114 is a Craftsman style house. There is a large Mansard at no. 23 and a more recent addition of a group of Bell and Fandetti townhouses at no. 36.
Here’s a tour of the houses on Irving Street, starting at the end of the street near Francis Avenue and walking back, cross Kirkland Street to the opposite end at Cambridge Street. By clicking on the photos you can get a larger view.
Irving Street Cambridge Real Estate
Recent sales on the street have included:
- An unrenovated two-family sold for $1,075,000 in 2009
- Julia Child’s former home sold for $3,700,000 earlier this year
- One of the Bell and Fandetti 1970s townhouses sold for $601,050 in 2007
- A fully renovated two-family house sold in 2007 for $2,215,000
Who knew a month could fly by so fast – here’s a look back at homes sold in Medford in August 2009.
On Market Snapshot
On August 31, 2009 136 residential properties were on the market in Medford Massachusetts, down from 147 one month ago. Asking prices ranged from $174,900 to $929,000. Average days on market was 129. The median price of homes for sale in Medford was $358,938.
Homes Sold in Medford in August 2009
51 properties sold in Medford in August with an average sales price of $352,838. The median sales price was $340,000. Homes that sold in August were on the market an average of 69 days. Homes sold for an average of 97% of asking price.
23 Medford single family homes sold in August for sale prices from $252,000 to $753,800. The median sales price for a single family home was $332,500. The Medford single family market remains very strong – average days on market was just 36 and single family houses sold for an average of 99% of asking price.
23 condos sold in Medford in August for sales prices between $172,000 and $592,500. The median condo sales price was $319,500. Condominiums sold for an average of 96% of the asking price and were on the market an average of 95 days.
5 multi-family properties sold in August in Medford MA priced between $340,000 and $470,000. Multi-families sold for an average of 98% of list price. Average days on market was 101. The median sales price was $418,000.
Total Medford residential real estate sales volume closed in August was $17,994,752.
Information about homes sold in Medford MA in August 2009 was based on data from MLSpin