Powderhouse Park in Somerville – Camera Obscura

Note:  The camera obscura has been postponed due to the bad weather this weekend. Since tomorrow (Sunday the 30th) looks iffy too the camera obscura will be rescheduled for another weekend.  Details to follow when available.

This Saturday the Powderhouse at Nathan Tufts Park in Somerville will be turned into a camera obscura by artist Annie Smidt

Huh?  What the heck is a camera obscura?

Tour in Powderhouse Park Somerville Mass

Tour in Powderhouse Park Somerville Mass

Latin for “dark room”, the term is used to describe the phenomenon in which light coming through a very small hole into a dark box or room casts an upside down image on the opposite wall.

Knowledge of this phenomenon dates to the 5th Century BC.  Mentioned by Aristotle and by da Vinci, the camera obscura, a term first used by Kepler in the early 1600s, eventually led to the development of photography.

The event this Saturday is reminiscent of the cameras obscura that could be find in parks and resorts in the late 1800s and early 1900s to amuse and fascinate tourists.

On Saturday, Smidt will turn the Powderhouse into a giant camera and take photographs of visitors to the park. Visitors will also be allowed inside the powderhouse to see how the process works.

When: Saturday, August 29, 2009 from 1 to 4 pm

Where: Nathan Tufts Park at the Powderhouse Rotary in Somerville MA

Raindate: Sunday, August 30, 2009 from 1 to 4 pm

Categories: Area Events
Tags:
Comments: Please leave a comment. Your opinions welcomed.

Somerville Real Estate Market – July 2009

Welcome to the Somerville Real Estate Report

Welcome to the Somerville Real Estate Report

Here’s the last market report for July – The Somerville Real Estate Market – July 2009. 

Somerville Real Estate Market – Homes for Sale

257 residential properties were on the market in Somerville on July 31, 2009, 25 fewer than a month ago.  Properties were priced between $105,000 and $1,600,000.  The average days on market was 124. 

Somerville Real Estate Sales in July 2009

79 residential properties sold in Somerville during the month of July.  The average sales price was $404,843.  The median sales price was $366,800.  The average days on market was 60.

6 single family homes sold in July for prices between $267,500 and $1,100,000.  The median sales price was $404,000. Somerville single family homes sold in July for an average of 92% of list price.  Average days on market was 92. 

56 Somerville condos sold in July for sales prices between $88,200 and $667,000.  The median condo sales price was $364,500.  The average days on market was 57.  Condos sold in July for an average of 98% of list price.

17 multi-family properties sold in July for prices ranging from $224,900 to $673,500. The median sales price in July was $476,000. Multi-unit houses sold for an average of 98% of asking price.  Average days on market was 57.

Total Somerville closed residential sales volume in July was $31,982,625.

 See Also:

 June 2009 Somerville Real Estate Activity

 

somerville-ma-real-estate

 

Information about Somerville real estate market activity from MLSPIN

Categories: Real Estate Market Info
Tags:
Comments: Please leave a comment. Your opinions welcomed.

Barack Obama Lived Here – 365 Broadway Somerville

Barack Obama attended Harvard Law School in Cambridge from 1988 to 1991. While in school in Cambridge Obama rented an apartment – a “garden level” unit as real estate agents often call them – at 365 Broadway in Somerville on Winter Hill.

As soon as I heard that Barack Obama had rented on Broadway I figured it was this building. It’s a very distinctive brick rowhouse complex built in 1889 called Langmaid Terrace.

Barack Obama lived here at 365 Broadway, Somerville Massachusetts

Barack Obama lived here at 365 Broadway, Somerville Massachusetts

In Beyond the Neck: The Architecture and Development of Somerville, Massachusetts Langmaid Terrace is described as “one of the most architecturally significant” of the brick apartment buildings and rowhouses that were built in Somerville in the late 1800s.

The authors of Beyond the Neck describe 359 – 365 Broadway 

“Among the finest apartment row[s] in the city is this brick and terra cotta building, with a variety of roofs and crenellated parapets.”

Today Broadway is a major thoroughfare that cuts across Somerville from Charlestown to Arlington.  A bus stop sits right out front. The door to Obama’s basement apartment can just barely be seen behind the tree in the lower left corner of the picture above.  There is no sign or plaque to indicate that the future President of the United States once called this home. 

On April 18, 1775 Paul Revere’s ride took him up Broadway and there is a plaque to commemorate Revere just a couple of blocks from the President’s old digs (not to mention Paul Revere Beverages, a package store).

Today the 89 Bus will take you by Barack Obama’s old apartment at 365 Broadway in Somerville.

Categories: Area Info
Tags:
Comments: 2 Comments »

Somerville Real Estate Market Activity – June 2009

Welcome to the Somerville Real Estate Market Report

Welcome to the Somerville Real Estate Market Report

Before the month gets away from me let’s take a look back at the Somerville real estate market in June 2009.

Somerville Real Estate Market – Homes for Sale

282 residential properties were on the market in Somerville on June 30, 2009 ranging in price from $1 to $1,600,000.  The average days on market was 107. 

And yes – that low price is $1.  It appears to be a marketing technique – a condo that was on the market for about six weeks, originally priced at $329,000 and reduced in incremental drops to $307,000 was repriced at $1 a couple of weeks ago.  The listing suggests that buyers can “put a true value” on the condo but also notes that if you “come in with a strong offer this condo could be yours”.  Clearly despite the teaser price the seller is still looking for a reasonable price however he or she defines that.  And incidentally, the lowest “real” asking price for a home in Somerville is $115,000.

Somerville Real Estate Sales in June 2009

64 Somerville houses sold during the month of June.  This was an increase of over 50% from May when 40 residential properties sold.  The average sales price was $408,145.  The median sales price was $381,500.  The average days on market was 79.

7 single family homes sold in June.  The least expensive house sold for $132,500 and the most expensive home sold for $802,000.  The median sales price was $340,000.  In June Somerville single family homes sold for an average of 96% of list price.  Average days on market was 117. 

42 Somerville condos sold in June. The least expensive condominium sold for $177,000.  The most expensive condo sale price  in June was $657,000.  The median condo sales price was $381,500.  The average days on market was 78.  Somerville condos sold in June for an average of 98% of list price.

15 multi-family properties sold in June for prices ranging from $215,000 to $859,000. The median sales price in June was $417,500. Multi-unit houses sold for an average of 95% of asking price.  Average days on market was 64.

Total Somerville closed residential sales volume in June was $26,121,300.

 See Also:

 May 2009 Somerville Real Estate Activity

 

somerville-ma-real-estate

 

Information about Somerville real estate market activity from MLSPIN

Categories: Real Estate Market Info
Tags:
Comments: Please leave a comment. Your opinions welcomed.

Union Square Somerville – Ethnic Food Markets Tour

Shop in Union Square - Ethnic Markets Tour

Shop in Union Square - Ethnic Markets Tour

Union Square in Somerville MA  is a hotbed of ethnic markets that feature food and ingredients from around the world.

The ArtsUnion Project of the Somerville Arts Council is sponsoring two more of their popular tours of ethnic markets in Union Square.  So if you’re bewildered by the offerings or want more ideas to spice up your cooking – take advantage of this inside look at Union Square stores including:

  • Capone’s Foods, 14 Bow Street
  • Casa de Carnes, 38 Bow Street
  • Halal Market, 380 Somerville Avenue
  • La Internacional Market, 318 Somerville Avenue
  • Little India, 77A Bow Street
  • New Bombay Market, 359 Somerville Avenue
  • Pao de Acucar & Brazilian Buffet, 57 Union Square
  • Reliable Market, 45 Union Square

Each tour will visit three markets.  Tour participants will get to explore the markets, have a chance to meet the store owners if they’re available, and be briefed on the other markets in Union Square that you pass by.

The tours are popular and attendance is limited.  Reserve your spot before the tour sells out fills up.  Call 617-625-6600 ext. 2985 or email stephanie.scherpf@gmail.com to reserve your space in a tour.  If you leave info in your message about how many people will attend on which day you’ll be notified about where to meet.

Tours  are scheduled for:

Thursday, July 9, 2009 from 6:00 to 7:30 pm

Thursday, July 23, 2009 from 6:00 to 7:30 pm

There’s no charge for the tour but bring your wallet – there’s lots of tasty food to buy!

 Take the Union Square Somerville ethnic food market tour in July – take a look at Union Square Somerville real estate right now!

SEARCH FOR UNION SQUARE SOMERVILLE REAL ESTATE

Categories: Area Events
Tags:
Comments: 2 Comments »

Westwood Road Somerville – Real Estate, Architecture, History

 

Home on Westwood Road

Home on Westwood Road

Westwood Road is one of Somerville’s jewels and a favorite with real estate buyers who appreciate the architecture of its beautiful turn of the century houses.  Just one block long, Westwood Road runs from Benton Road to Central Street.  The Somerville Museum sits at the Central Street end of the block.

History of Westwood Road in Somerville MA

The lots on Westwood Road were divided in 1874 when the estate of James M. Shute and the adjoining Benton farm were subdivided.  Houses were not built on the street until 1894 when real estate developer and hardware dealer Charles Bradshaw built the first eight houses on Westwood Road. 

Bradshaw built the finest of homes and then proceeded in 1895 to move a number of large trees, elms and maples some 50 to 60 years old, onto the front of the lots lining the street.  It was said to be the first time such an undertaking was attempted in Massachusetts.  Just one year after the road was built, Westwood Road was lined with fine homes and mature trees.

The granite posts at the Central Street end of Westwood Road were part of the original gates of the Shute estate.

Westwood Road Architecture

The houses that make up this densely built street are some of Somerville’s best examples of Shingle Style, Queen Anne, and Colonial Revival architectural styles.  The houses sit close to the street and are separated by just feet, making a rich and handsome streetscape.

Several of the houses on Westwood Road have been listed for sale in the last few years and I’ve had a chance to go inside.  The interior details – stained glass, woodwork, built-ins – even such typically mundane things as thermostats and heating grates – are some of the finest you’re likely to encounter.

Westwood Road is a National Register of Historic Places Historic District.  The district, consisting roughly of the area bounded by Summer Street, Benton Road, Westwood Road and Central Street was added to the Register in 1989.

Westwood Road Somerville Real Estate

In recent years several Westwood Road houses have sold to lucky buyers:

  • An 11 room, 7 bedrooom shingle style house sold in 2002 for $700,000
  • A 15 room, 7 bedroom Colonial Revival house sold in 2003 for $830,000
  • A 12 room, 7 bedroom Shingle Style house sold in 2007 for $688,500
  • A 7 room, 4 bedroom Victorian house sold in 2007 for $792,500

Here are photographs of some of the homes on Westwood Road in Somerville Massachusetts:

 

Use the following link to check for homes for  sale on Westwood Road in Somerville.  You can then continue to search for homes for sale in Somerville or in other Massachusetts towns.

CHECK FOR HOUSES FOR SALE ON WESTWOOD RD SOMERVILLE MA 02143

 

Categories: Area Info
Tags:
Comments: 2 Comments »

Somerville Neighborhoods – Teele Square Somerville

Teele Square  Somerville is a city of neighborhoods – or more precisely a city with many squares.  Teele Square is one of the most popular – a walkable neighborhood, with stores, cafes, and a variety of housing options and the Red Line T less than 10 minutes away by foot in Davis Square.

Broadway and Curtis Street in Teele Square Somerville MA. Tufts is just up the hill.

Broadway and Curtis Street in Teele Square Somerville MA. Tufts is just up the hill.

History of Teele Square

In the late 1800s Somerville experienced a period of rapid growth and development.  Improvements in transportation helped speed development. West Somerville, largely undeveloped farm land in the mid-1800s, was opened up for development in 1871 when a horse-drawn street car line was extended to the area and the rail line opened in Davis Square.  In 1889 electric streetcars began serving West Somerville. 

A building boom was underway as more than half of Somerville’s houses were constructed in the twenty years between 1890 and 1910.  The fields and orchards that once filled the western section of Somerville are hard for us to envision now, accustomed as we are to the densely built neighborhoods that were established some 100 years ago.

Teele Square became a commercial center in the early 1900s.  Commercial buildings were built in the square as well as churches and a school at the Broadway and Holland Street intersection.

Teele Square Today

Today shops, cafes and restaurants line Broadway from the Foodmaster supermarket at the Somerville line at Route 16 to the intersection with Holland Street in the  heart of Teele Square.  There’s also a good assortment of establishments that serve basic needs as opposed to trendy giftshops – a bank, a laundromat, a barbershop, an auto repair shop, a used furniture and junktique shop, a package store, etc. Tufts University is nearby – just a straight shot up Curtis Street from Broadway. Each morning a steady stream of pedestrians heads down Broadway and Holland Street to jump on the Red Line subway in Davis Square.  Neighborhood favorites include:

  • Teele Square Cafe at 1153 Broadway
  • Amelia’s Kitchen at 1137 Broadway
  • Sabur Restaurant at 212 Holland Street
  • Holland Street Cafe at 237 Holland Street
  • PJ Ryan’s at 239 Holland Stree
  • Rudy’s Cafe 248 Holland Street

Teele Square Real Estate

Somerville real estate buyers have a wide variety of housing options in Teele Square.  There are more multi-unit buildings than single family homes in the neighborhood.  Many of the turn-of-the-century two-families and triple-deckers have been converted to condos.  There are also several recently built condominium developments – at 55 Endicott Street, on Weston Avenue, at 1188 Broadway, and another at Waterhouse and Broadway.

In the last couple of years the handful of single family homes that have sold in Teele Square sold for prices between $460,000 and $793,000.  More than 60 condos sold in the same period for prices from $234,500  to $865,000.  The average sale price for Teele Square condominiums was $409,325 with an average per square foot price of $358.  Eight multi-familes sold – six two-families and three triple deckers.  Teele Square multi-unit properties sold for an average sale price of $625,400.

teele-square-real-estate

somerville-ma-real-estate

Check out some Teele Square photographs of local businesses and homes:

Have questions about Teele Square or other Somerville neighborhoods?  Contact me – I can help!

Categories: Area Info
Tags: ,
Comments: Please leave a comment. Your opinions welcomed.

Somerville Real Estate Market in May 2009

Somerville Massachusetts Real EstateHere’s the monthly review of Somerville Real Estate Market Activity – the May 2009 numbers are in. 

Somerville Real Estate Market – Homes for Sale

265 residential properties were on the market in Somerville on May 31, 2009, a slight uptick from one month ago when there were 260 homes for sale in Somerville.  The least expensive home for sale was priced at $115,000, the most expensive had an asking price of $1,600,000.  The average days on market was 110.

May 2009 Somerville Real Estate Sales

40 Somerville houses sold during the month of May with an average sales price of $409,319.  The median sales price was $383,000.  The average days on market for homes sold in Somerville in May was 89.

Five single family homes sold in May for prices ranging from $310,000 to $555,000.  The average sales price was $427,480.  Somerville single family home sold in May for an average of 101% of asking price.  Average days on market was 14. 

26 condominiums sold in May. The least expensive condominium sold for $217,000.  The most expensive condo sold in May for $605,000.  The median condo sales price was $367,038.  The average days on market was 111.  Somerville condos sold in May for an average of 98% of list price.

Nine multi-family property sales closed in May for prices ranging from $350,000 to $650,000. The median sales price in May was $430,000. Multi-families sold for an average of 98% of list price.  Average days on market was 68.

Total Somerville closed residential sales volume in May was $16,372,766.

 See Also:

Somerville  Real Estate Market  – January 2009
Somerville Real Estate Market  – February 2009
Somerville Real Estate Market – March 2009
Somerville Real Estate Market – April

 Somerville Real Estate Market Data for May 2009 comes from MLSpin.

Categories: Real Estate Market Info
Tags:
Comments: Please leave a comment. Your opinions welcomed.

Copyright © 2008 - 2009 Centers And Squares     Agent Login     Design by Real Estate Tomato     Powered by Tomato Real Estate Blogs

Real Estate Tomato