Cambridge Snow Hotline

unshoveled sidewalkWith snow in the forecast it’s time to remind everybody about one of my favorite Cambridge services – the Snow Hotline.

Cambridge homeowners are required to shovel the sidewalks in front of their properties.  Even if you weren’t liable for a $50 per day fine it’s simply the neighborly thing to do! 

Cambridge ordinances require that  property owners must remove snow from all sidewalks within 12 hours after snow stops falling in the daytime or by 1 pm when snow has fallen during the night.  Ice must be removed or melted within six hours of the time ice forms.

Nothing is more aggravating than navigating an icy, snowy stretch where a homeowner or business has left the sidewalk unshoveled. 

So turn ’em in!

The phone hotline and the online form are both anonymous.

The Cambridge snow hotline is 617-349-4903.  Or you can report an uncleared Cambridge sidewalk online.

 

Photo by TheeErin

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Homes In Cambridge Sold in November 2009

Welcome To The Homes Sales in Cambridge Report

Welcome To The Homes Sales in Cambridge Report

Here’s a look back at homes in Cambridge sold in November 2009.  The potential end of the first time homebuyer credit spurred sales and it was a busy month for Cambridge real estate sales.  The homebuyer credit didn’t end after all and has been extended and expanded.

Homes In Cambridge On the Market – Nov. 30, 2009

On November 30, 2009  there were  260 homes in Cambridge Mass. on the market, significantly fewer than one month before when there were 316 homes for sale. Asking prices ranged from $175,000 to $4,250,000.  The median asking price was $534,500.  Average days on market was 152. 

Homes In Cambridge Sold In November 2009

74 home sales closed in Cambridge during November, up from 53 in October, for sale prices between $220,000 and $4,220,000.   Homes were on the market an average of 64 days.

10 single family homes sold last month for prices ranging from $289,000 to $4,220,000.  These houses had been on the market for an average of 67 days and sold on average for 99% of asking price.  The median sales price was $665,250.

59 condos sold in Cambridge during November, an increase of more than 60% over October’s Cambridge condo sales, for prices from $220,000 to $900,000.  The median condo sales price was $420,000.  Condominiums sold for an average of 97% of the list price.  Average days on market was 64.

5 multi-families sold last month for prices between $485,000 and $880,000. These properties sold for an average of 95% of asking price and were on the market an average of 54 days. 

The total value of residential real estate sold in Cambridge during November 2009 was $40,604,800.

Information from MLSpin.

Last month’s numbers:

October 2009 Cambridge Home Sales

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Growing Up In North Cambridge

North Cambridge Victorian

North Cambridge Victorian

Have you seen the magazine Growing Up In North Cambridge?  The magazine is a “journal of stories of years gone by” filled with articles, vintage photographs and reminiscences of people who called North Cambridge home over the years.

The magazine is really a treasure and a great way to learn about the neighborhood.  I’ve only lived in North Cambridge as an adult but it’s easy to imagine how much fun reading about the places and people of your childhood must be to those who grew up here. The magazine encourages submissions – articles, letters, and comments are welcomed.

An earlier issue had a fascinating article about the estate that occupied the land where the Porter Square Shopping Center was built. In the Fall issue, the ninth to be published, I was interested to read the article about the distinctive Victorian at 2203 Mass Ave pictured above.  The Cambridge Historical Society toured the house earlier this year and presented a talk about the development of the neighborhood.

I picked up my copy of Growing Up In North Cambridge at an insurance office on Mass Ave.  Local stores sell issues – Pemberton Market, Porter Square Books – look for a notice in the window of stores along Mass Avenue.  Back issues can be purchased online at the magazine’s website.

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Boston Globe Features City Squares

Mullen Square in North Cambridge

Mullen Square in North Cambridge

Here at Centers and Squares we were delighted to see the Boston Globe article about city squares in today’s paper.

The Boston Globe article included many city squares you won’t find on any map.  These are the corners that are named to commemorate neighborhood residents. In Cambridge the signs are black and white like the one at right.

Mullen Square is named in honor of the family that lived in my house for over 80 years.  The father of the family was a doctor, one son worked for Tip O’Neill, his childhood friend, and a daughter worked as an elementary school teacher for many years.  She was the last member of the family to live in the house until I bought it a few years ago. 

Many of Cambridge’s squares were named to honor people or families like the Mullens – people who lived in the neighborhood for many years and made a contribution to the community.

But this is Cambridge after all and the Globe found some stories that might surprise you behind those ubiquitous black and white  signs. 

Reverend Larry Love Square honors

“… a Cambridge-born musician [and] roller skating street person… who would change clothes five times a day, and wore the most wild costumes – feather boas and boots laced up to his knees…”

Mark Sandman Square is named for the

“musician and songwriter best known as the bassist and lead singer of the indie rock band Morphine”.

I won’t look at the signs the same way after reading this article.  You won’t either after reading more of the Globe’s article about city squares.

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Cambridge Real Estate Report – Oct 2009 Sales

Welcome to the Cambridge Real Estate Sales Report

Welcome to the Cambridge Real Estate Sales Report

Here’s the last of the monthly real estate market reports – the Cambridge Real Estate Report – October 2009 Sales.

Cambridge Real Estate On the Market – Oct. 31, 2009

On October 31, 2009  there were  316 homes for sale in Cambridge Mass. priced between $199,000 and $4,275,000.  The median asking price was $542,450.  Average days on market was 136. 

Cambridge Real Estate Sold In October 2009

53 residential properties closed in Cambridge during October for sale prices between $172,500 and $4,850,000.   Average days on market was 85.

13 single family houses sold last month for prices ranging from $260,000 to $4,850,000.  These houses had been on the market for an average of 112 days and sold for an average of 96% of asking price.  The median sales price was $695,000.

36 condos sold in Cambridge during October for prices from $172,500 to $1,531,300.  The median condo sales price was $440,750.  Condominiums sold for an average of 98% of the list price.  Average days on market was 78.

4 multi-families sold last month priced between $585,000 and $895,000. These properties sold for an average of 94% of asking price and were on the market an average of 61 days. 

The total value of residential real estate sold in Cambridge during October 2009 was $35,596,100.

Information from MLSpin.

Last month’s numbers:

September 2009 Cambridge Home Sales

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Homes Sold in Cambridge MA – Sept. 2009

Welcome To The Homes Sold in Cambridge Report

Welcome To The Homes Sold in Cambridge Report

Time for another look back – here’s the scoop on homes sold in Cambridge MA during September 2009.

Homes On the Market in Cambridge on Sept. 30, 2009

On September 30, 2009  there were  331 homes for sale in Cambridge MA priced between $199,000 and $6,600,000. Average days on market was 131.

Residential Real Estate Sold In Cambridge In September 2009

79 home sales closed in Cambridge during September for prices between $245,000 and $3,910,000.  The average sales price was $584,720.  The median sales price was $445,000.  Average days on market was 73.

There were 8 single family homes sold last month for prices ranging from $375,000 to $3,910,000.  Houses had been on the market for an average of 86 days and sold for an average of 98% of asking price.  The median sales price was $883,000.

69 condos sold in Cambridge in September.  Sales prices ranged from $245,000 to $1,639,000.  The median condo sales price was $440,000.  Condominiums sold for an average of 97% of the asking price.  Average days on market was 73.

There were 2 multi-family houses sold last month – one for $525,0oo and one for $780,500.  Both sold for over asking price within days of coming on the market.

The total value of residential real estate sold in Cambridge during September 2009 was $46,192,850.

Information from MLSpin.

Last month’s numbers:

August 2009 Cambridge Home Sales

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National Historic Landmarks in Cambridge

In honor of Ken Burns’ magnificent series on our National Parks this week I thought I’d take a look at the National Parks Service’s 18 National Historic Landmarks in Cambridge MA.  Who knew there so many?  Not me.

Theodore W. Richard House - National Historic Landmark - Richards was the first American scientist to win the Nobel Prize for chemistry

Theodore W. Richard House - National Historic Landmark - Richards was the first American scientist to win the Nobel Prize for chemistry

What is a National Historic Landmark?

According to the NPS’ website an NHL is:

“National Historic Landmarks are buildings, sites, districts, structures, and objects that have been determined by the Secretary of the Interior to be nationally significant in American history and culture.”

In Cambridge 12 of the landmarks are houses, four are buildings at Harvard, one is a church, and another an office building.  The NPS considers Mount Auburn Cemetery to be in Watertown but we can claim it as our 19th Cambridge landmark.

National Historic Landmarks in Cambridge

Many of the sites are private homes to this day.  Others are now used for public purposes or are university owned.  In many cases there’s no plaque announcing the property’s status so a number of these were really a surprise for me.

  • Maria Baldwin House, 196 Prospect Street
  • George D. Birkhoff House, 22 Craigie Street
  • Percy W. Bridgman House, 10 Buckingham Place
  • Reginald A. Daly House, 23 Hawthorn Street
  • William M. Davis House, 17 Francis Street
  • Elmwood, 33 Elmwood Avenue
  • Margaret Fuller House, 71 Cherry Street
  • Asa Gray House, 88 Garden Street – this one’s for sale
  • Oliver Hastings House, 101 Brattle Street
  • Longfellow House, 105 Brattle Street
  • Theodore W. Richards House, 15 Follen Street
  • Mary Fisk Stoughton House, 90 Brattle Street
  • Christ Church, 0 Garden Street
  • Arthur D. Little Inc Building, 30 Memorial Drive
  • Massachusetts Hall, Memorial Hall, Sever Hall, and University Hall at Harvard University

The next time you take a walk around town take a second look at some of these local treasures.

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New Cambridge Youth Center on Huron Ave

New Youth Center on Huron Avenue

New Youth Center on Huron Avenue

New Cambridge Youth Center  When my coworker and I drove by 680 Huron Ave – the VFW post across from Fresh Pond – we marveled at the dramatic renovation.  Sure seemed like an expensive redo for the VFW.

Turns out it’s the new Mayor Sheila Doyle Russell Youth and Community Center.  It was completed this June and programs began at the youth center in July.  Features of the new facility include:

  • Full size gym with an NCAA sized basketball court
  • Fitness room
  • Teaching kitchen
  • 20 station computer learning and homework center
  • Performance room with stage
  • Arts and crafts room
  • Community meeting room
  • Open lounge areas
The center is named for Sheila Doyle Russell, former Cambridge mayor and advocate for youth.

The center is named for Sheila Doyle Russell, former Cambridge mayor and advocate for youth.

Sure doesn’t resemble the youth center of my teens!  That building, now condos actually, was old, dark and unrenovated.  Its biggest claim to fame were the foosball tables.  And the lack of lights.

There’s a Dedication Ceremony for the new West Cambridge youth center scheduled for Friday, September 25, 2009 from 6 to 8 pm.  At the ceremony you’ll get a chance to view the permanent art installation by Michael Oatman, The Cantabridgians.  Oatman created video portraits of 23 West Cambridge residents that can be viewed on three large monitors on the second floor.  I remember seeing a flyer in Armando’s seeking subjects for the videos so it will be fun to see how it turned out.

The new West Cambridge Youth Center is located at 680 Huron Avenue, Cambridge MA 02138.

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