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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.

New Book About Harvard Square

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.

New Book About Harvard Square, Cambridge Massachusetts

New Book About Harvard Square, Cambridge Massachusetts

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.

Inside Harvard Square: An Illustrated History Since 1950

Inside Harvard Square: An Illustrated History Since 1950

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.

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