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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.

Ribbon Driveways – Old Fashioned and Green

It's a ribbon driveway!

It's a ribbon driveway!

I’ve always loved this driveway style but never knew it had a name – it’s a ribbon driveway and it’s today’s installment in the House Parts We Love series. 

Popular in the 1920s to 1940s this is the obvious evolutionary first step in driveway paving – before driveways were paved you’d have packed down ruts in the dirt.  Ribbon driveways paved those ruts with concrete, leaving the grass in the center. 

You don’t see many of these old fashioned driveways around the city.  But I’m always happy when I come across one.  This one is in North Cambridge near Davis Square.  I always called these grass strip driveways.  Sometimes you’ll find them paved with cobblestones rather than cement.

The city tends to have way too much pavement so a ribbon driveway with its minimal paved footprint makes a lot of sense.  I hate to see the runoff in the rain when all the asphalt means the water ends up in the sewer system.  “Green driveways” with a plastic grid underlayment are the newest thing but the good old grass strip version works for me.

One municipality in California, Fullerton, even recommends the installation of historically appropriate ribbon driveways in their remarkably thorough preservation guidelines for a bungalow neighborhood.  How cool is that?

More House Parts We Love:

Cambridge Fences

Granite Steps, Posts and More

Porch Railings with Curved Spindles

Front Entry Benches

House Numbers

Shutters with Cutouts

Entry Brackets on Doors

Categories: Everything Else

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