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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.

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.

Categories: Area Info

  1. elaine m. callahan

    You may have heard that Saint James Church on Mass Ave in Cambridge (while it has protection under some statutes to keep elements of commercialism at by) had decided to partner with a developer and as part of the project put a 4 story (insensitive design) on the area behind and too on the side of architectural masterpiece/church …where is the one few rare open spaces in the City of Cambridge — at Knight’s Park.

    In your research, would you by any chance have come across if Saint James Church is on the National Historic Register? (Wikipidia said it was and so, back in 1983…but other neighborhood people sources were unaware of that …and I tried to get to the web on that and got no where…)

    If you know could you pass that along to me. There is a hearin on the Historical Commission this thursday at 8:00 pm or so I have been told. A friend of mine lives on Blake Street and is opposed ..and a long time ago I was involved in some Historic Commission matters (in Boston) …and she asked me if I could see if there was an approach that might have some impact.

    I was looking to see if Knights Park or the Church was itself ‘protected’ and say your work (good job).

    Thanks for any information you can pass on.

    I am at [email protected]

    I remain respectfully,

    elaine m. callahan
    friend of Blake Street owner-resident

  2. Elizabeth Bolton

    Hi Elaine ~ I see where wikipedia has the church listed (one of just over 200 National Historic Places in Cambridge on the list!)but the database for the NPS isn’t working to check it. I am somewhat familiar with the plans for the project since I subscribe to the Porter Square Neighborhood Association’s listserv where it’s been the topic of much discussion. Here’s the link to that if you haven’t subscribed: http://lists.portersquare.net/listinfo.cgi/psna-portersquare.net


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