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Pemberton Street In North Cambridge – Cambridge Real Estate and Architecture

Pemberton Street in North Cambridge – Cambridge Real Estate and Architecture   Pemberton Street is one of my favorite streets in Cambridge.  For a not-so-long street there’s a lot going on.

Spring on Pemberton Street Cambridge MA 02140

Spring on Pemberton Street Cambridge MA 02140

Pemberton Street is an L-shaped street that begins at the intersection of  Rindge Avenue and Mass Ave and runs to Sherman Street.  Pemberton Street is in the Cambridge MA 02140 zipcode.  It’s a very pleasant, walkable street with a wonderful variety of house styles and an assortment of public amenities. 

At the Mass Ave end of the street Pemberton Market anchored the street from the 1930s but moved across Mass Ave to the former White Hen Panty at the corner of Day Street last year.  The corner storefronts were remodeled and new tenants are starting to move in.

Architectural Styles on Pemberton Street

Pemberton Street has a mix of house styles – single family homes, two-families, triple-deckers, a vintage brick multi-unit condo building, and a townhouse development of more recent vintage. 

Most of the houses were built from about 1870 to 1910 with a  few earlier examples at the Sherman Street end that date from the 1850s.

Architectural styles found on Pemberton Street include Queen Anne Victorians, mansard Victorians, and Colonial Revival houses.

Public Amenities on Pemberton Street

  • Bergin Park has a playground with a water feature
  • Public tennis courts
  • Rindge Field behind the Peabody School has a baseball diamond
  • Basketball courts
  • Yerxa Street underpass to Richdale Avenue with artwork by Randal Thurston
  • Cambridge mural along the edge of Rindge Field
  • McMath Park  and Community Garden

Pemberton Street, Cambridge Real Estate

The MLS shows only three single family home sales on Pemberton Street in the last ten years.  Single family houses sold for prices from $645,000 to $1,080,000.

Many more condominiums have sold recently on Pemberton Street.  A dozen condos have sold over the last five years. 

  • Condos at the vintage brick building at 35 Pemberton Street have sold since 2005 for prices between $427,000 and $440,000. 
  •  Townhouses in the development at 177 Pemberton Street that was built in 1999 have sold most recently for $640,000 to $650,000.
  • Two to three-bedroom condos in triple-deckers on Pemberton Street have sold recently for prices between $485,000 and $531,000

Four two-families have sold on Pemberton Street in North Cambridge in the last five years for prices ranging from $550,000 to $1,025,000.

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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.



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!

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Follen Street – Cambridge Real Estate, History and Architecture

Follen Street – Cambridge Real Estate, History and Architecture. Follen Street is one of the most charming streets in Cambridge Massachusetts. Tucked behind the Cambridge Common, close to Harvard Square, this one-block street is lined with trees and interesting and attractive homes.  Follen Street is anchored at one end by the Longy School of Music in the former Edwin Abbot mansion built in 1889 and at the other end by the Christian Science Church and the condominiums at 50 Follen Street, the former Puritan Arms Apartments. Follen Street is otherwise a street of single family houses.

Follen Street was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1986.

Bainbridge Bunting and Robert Nylander in their volume Old Cambridge in the Survey of Architectural History in Cambridge series describe Follen Street this way:

“… no quieter, more peaceful corner of Cambridge exists; it enjoys a splendid isolation, unity, and sense of neighborhood recalling the 19th century” and point out that  Follen Street was the last Cambridge street to give up its gas streetlamps just before World War II.

History of Follen Street, Cambridge

Part of Follen Street was laid out by Charles Follen in 1836.  Follen was dividing a parcel of land that he owned that had once been part of the Lower Common. The Lower Common encompassed some 63 acres that stretched from Mass Ave to Garden Street and from the Cambridge Common to what is now Linneaen Street.  Follen Street was extended to its present day end at Garden Street in 1848.

Architectural Styles on Follen Street in Cambridge

The houses that line Follen Street encompass an array of architectural styles and construction dates ranging from the 1830s to the 1950s.

  • Greek Revival houses from the 1830s – 29 Follen Street built in 1837, and from the 1840s – 9 Follen Street built in 1844. 
  • Mansard Victorians including an 1862 Mansard built on Waterhouse Street in 1862 and moved to 44 Follen Street in 1923 to accomodate the building of the Christian Science Church. 44 Follen is home to Harvard Law’s Lincoln’s Inn Society
  • Stick Style Victorian at 10 Follen Street 
  • Modernist houses including 22 Follen Street designed by Carleton Richmond in 1951
  • The former Edwin Abbot house at 1 Follen Street, was the first all stone house built in Cambridge, constucted of granite in the Richardson Romanesque style in 1889 and designed by the firm of Longfellow, Alden and Harlow

Follen Street Cambridge Real Estate Sales

 Recent real estate sales on Follen Street:

  • A townhouse built in 1986 sold in 2008 for $1,600,000
  • A 12 room single family built in 1853 sold in 2007 for $2,060,000
  • One-bedroom condos at 50 Follen Street sold in 2006 and 2007 for $369,000 and $330,000

Here are photographs of Follen Street Cambridge:

Follen Street slideshow


Use the following link to search the MLS for real estate for sale on Follen Street and then use the New Search link to expand or change your search criteria:




Check out these great Cambridge streets for more Cambridge real estate and architecture:

Orchard Street Cambridge
Garfield Street Cambridge


Follen Street – Cambridge Real Estate, History and Architecture was written by Elizabeth Bolton, a Cambridge real estate agent at Coldwell Banker on Huron Avenue, Cambridge.

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Agassiz Neighborhood-Cambridge-Real Estate, Resources and History

Houses in the Agassiz neighborhood of Cambridge MA

Houses in the Agassiz neighborhood of Cambridge MA

The Agassiz neighborhood is very popular with Cambridge real estate buyers and one of my favorite areas of Cambridge. The Agassiz neighborhood stretches from Porter Square to Harvard Square between Mass Avenue and the Somerville line.  Oxford Street is the main thoroughfare, paralleling Mass Ave from Beacon Street to the back of Harvard Yard.

A marvelously walkable neighborhood, the tree-lined side streets of the Agassiz neighborhood spill out onto a stretch of Mass Ave that is lined with restaurants, boutiques, stores, and a variety of shops selling books, housewares, clothes, records, furniture and more. The many public transportation options make this an easy neighborhood to live car-free.  Red Line subway stops can be found in Harvard Square and Porter Square, the commuter rail stops in Porter Square and buses run up and down Mass Ave.

History of the Agassiz Neighborhood

In the late 1700s the area now known as the Agassiz neighborhood consisted of three large parcels of land owned by Nathaniel Jarvis, Jonathan Hastings, and the Frost family.  Development did not take off until transportation options increased in the mid-1800s when the railroad stop at Porter Square was opened in the 1840s and horsecars began to run along Massachusetts Avenue in the 1850s.  Much of the neighborhood development took place from the 1850s to 1900 resulting in a rich collection of Victorian architecture on the streets of the Agassiz neighborhood.  As available land was built up in the early 1900s  a number of apartment buildings were constructed in the neighborhood ranging from three-families to larger brick buildings.

Agassiz Neighborhood Resources

  • Agassiz Neighborhood Council, 20 Sacramento Street, offers an art gallery and a variety of programs and services focused on children and the arts
  • Lesley University‘s campus is in the Agassiz neighborhood
  • The Mary Prentiss Inn, a lovely bed and breakfast, is located at 6 Prentiss Street
  • Sacramento Field is a marvelous hidden park of just over an acre. There is a field for soccer and softball and a basketball court
  • The Sacramento Street Community Garden is adjacent to the field
  • The Harvard Museum of Natural History at 26 Oxford Street is not to be missed. There’s loads to see – the vintage mounted animals of every sort are my personal favorite and the glass flower collection is known around the world.
  • Alden Park -a well used playground across from the Baldwin School
  • The Baldwin School, formerly the Agassiz School, is a Cambridge public K-8 school.  The school was renamed in 2004 to honor its former principal, Maria Baldwin, the first African American school principal in Massachusetts, a position she held for some 40 years. Poet ee cummings was a student at the school during Baldwin’s tenure.

Real Estate in the Agassiz Neighborhood

Single family houses in the Agassiz neighborhood have sold in the last few years for prices ranging from $500,000 (for a total fixer-upper) to $1,323,000. Most Agassiz single families sell for over $1,000,000. 

There are a variety of condominium styles in the Aggassiz neighborhood – condos in classic brick buildings, condos in multi-unit wood buildings, condominiums in converted two and three-family houses, and recently built townhouses.  The average sales price for a Cambridge condo in the Agassiz neighborhood sold in the last three years was $424,183 with an average per square foot price of $435.

The five multi-families that sold recently in the Agassiz neighborhood sold for prices ranging from $845,000 to $1,104,300.



Here are some more photographs of the Agassiz neighborhood in Cambridge:


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Garfield Street – Cambridge Real Estate Rambles

garfield-street-pinkish-red-victorianGarfield Street Cambridge – Real Estate Rambles.  Garfield Street, in the Agassiz neighborhood of Cambridge, Massachusetts, has been one of my favorite Cambridge streets for years.  Architecturally appealing and in an unbeatable location, Garfield Street is very popular with Cambridge real estate buyers.

Just one block long, running from Mass Ave. to Oxford Street, Garfield Street is lined with an amazing collection of large, beautifully restored Victorian houses.  Located midway between Porter Square and Harvard Square, the street is just around the corner from restaurants, boutiques, cafes, museums, and more.

Tucked in among the trees that edge and arch over the street is a classic older brick apartment building at 61 Garfield Street and on the other side, almost hidden behind the leafy branches at 76 Garfield Street, a modern apartment building built in the 1970s, both now converted to condominiums.

At one point, Harvard University owned several of the houses on Garfield Street.  Harvard sold the houses in the late 1980s and 1990s. Over the years the street has grown to be more and more attractive as house after house was restored.

Garfield Street Cambridge – Real Estate Sales

The grand Victorians on Garfield Street are not inexpensive. Recent real estate sales include:

  • 32 Garfield Street sold in 2002 for $1,625,000
  • 36 Garfield Street sold in 2003 for $1,550,000
  • 64 Garfield Street sold in 2006 for $2,350,000

If you’re not in the market for one of the large homes on the street, #61 and #76 offer options for condo buyers. 

Recent sales of condos at 61 Garfield Street include:

  • A third floor one-bedroom condo sold for $377,000 in 2007
  •  A second floor renovated one-bedroom condo sold for $425,000 in 2007
  • A top floor two-bedroom two-bath condo sold for $472,983 in 2008

At 76 Garfield Street a three-bedroom condo sold in 2008 for $433,000 and a three-bedoom condo was recently listed for sale for $425,000.

Click on the button below to search for Cambridge real estate. You can also modify your search to search by address if you want to check for houses or condos currently for sale on Garfield Street.


Orchard Street in Cambridge and Somerville is another special street.  Check back often for more posts about great streets in Cambridge and nearby towns.

Here are some more photographs of Garfield Street in Cambridge MA:

Garfield St slideshow

Garfield Street – Cambridge Real Estate Rambles was written by Elizabeth Bolton, a real estate agent at the Huron Avenue office of Coldwell Banker.

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Orchard Street – Somerville and Cambridge – Real Estate Rambles

mansard-orchard-streetSomerville and Cambridge real estate buyers have their favorite streets and for many Orchard Street tops the list.  This tree-lined street parallels Mass Avenue and Elm Street and runs from Davis Square to Porter Square.  Just a half mile in length it is one of the most charming streets in Cambridge or Somerville.

From the first time I saw Orchard Street I was determined to live there.  Sure enough, within several months I was living there as a tenant in one of the large brick apartment buildings built in the 1930s.  It was a great place to live – the Davis Square T stop was a few minutes away, the supermarket in Porter Square was a pleasant walk down the sidewalk lined street, and neighbors – and neighbors’ cats – soon became familiar sights along my route.

Houses on Orchard Street

It’s been years since I lived on Orchard Street but it is still one of my favorite streets in the city.  Lined with an eclectic mix of triple deckers, single families and two-families, the architectural mix on Orchard Street includes Victorians, Greek Revivals, multi-families built in the early 1900s and several handsome brick apartment buildings. 

Orchard Street is right on the line between Somerville and Cambridge with part of the street in each city. The brick sidewalks are one giveaway that you’ve crossed into Cambridge.

Orchard Street History

The first lots on Orchard Street were platted in 1845 from former farm land near Beech Street.  The lots were large and the first houses on the street were built in 1846 to 1847.

tip-oneils-house-at-orchard-and-russellTwo Orchard Street houses were once home to one of Massachusetts’ most beloved leaders – Tip O’Neill.  The O”Neill family owned a two-family on Orchard Street where Tip grew up and during his years in the House of Representatives he and his wife raised their family in the mansard on Russell Street at the corner of Orchard that is pictured at right.

Orchard Street – Somerville and Cambridge Real Estate Sales

Recent real estate sales on Orchard Street include:

Orchard Street Real Estate Sales

Somerville and Cambridge real estate sales data from MLSpin.



More real estate rambles: Garfield Street Cambridge

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Spring Hill Somerville – Somerville MA Real Estate, Architecture and History

Spring Hill MansardSomerville’s Spring Hill neighborhood is a popular option for Somerville real estate buyers given its proximity to Porter Square and its stock of handsome, architecturally significant houses.

Spring Hill History and Architecture

Much of Spring Hill was developed on former farm land in the 1840s when the Greek Revival architectural style was popular.  Many fine example of Greek Revival architecture remain and Spring Hill is a designated historic district.  Development continued as a horse-drawn streetcar line to Boston was extended through the neighborhood in the 1870s.  Other architectural styles found in Spring Hill include Gothic Revivals, Italianates, Queen Anne Victorians, and Second Empire MansardsTriple deckers filled remaining empty lots in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Spring Hill Somerville HouseSpring Hill is set high enough that you can glimpse wonderful views of Boston and Cambridge as you walk around the neighborhood. The views are even better from the houses in the neighborhood many of which are topped with cupolas.

Spring Hill, Somerville Real Estate

Real estate options for Somerville buyers in Spring Hill include single families, multi-families and condos including units in the converted Carr School on Atherton Street.

Recent real estate sales on Spring Hill from MLSpin include:

  • a Victorian three-bedroom single family on Berkeley St. sold in Jan. 2009 for $426,000
  • a Greek Revival six-bedroom house on Atherton St. sold for $580,000 in Nov. 2008
  • a six-room, two-bedroom condo on Berkeley St. sold in Dec. 2008 for $400,000
  • a seven-room, three-bedroom condo on Porter St. sold in Nov. 2008 for $550,000
  • a newly renovated 2400 sq.ft. three-bedroom condo on Benton Rd. sold for $733,750 in Jan. 2009
  • a two-family on an 8500 sq.ft. lot on Harvard St. sold for $500,500 in Dec. 2008
  • an Italianate used as a multi-family on Laurel St. sold for $830,000 in June 2008 






Spring Hill Greek Revivals

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The Round House In Somerville – Atherton Street, Somerville MA

Round House Somerville MAIt looks like things are improving for one of Somerville’s most unusual – and most neglected – houses. The Round House on Atherton Street in Somerville, Massachusetts has a new owner who’s working on its restoration. 

I hadn’t realized the Round House had sold until I went to a brokers’ open house on the corner of Harvard Street.  That house, also suffering from years of neglect, had been owned by the woman who owned the Round House for some forty years, prompting me to take a closer look at the landmark around the corner at 36 Atherton Street across the street from the Carr Schoolhouse condos.   Sure enough there were signs that someone was working on the house and a quick call to the city of Somerville confirmed that the house had changed hands.  The new owner is a contractor and previous recipient of  preservation awards from the Somerville Historic Preservation Commission.  The Harvard Street house renovation is now well under way but things seem to be proceeding more slowly at the Round House – which may be a good thing considering the scope of the needed restoration.

Interior of the Round House. Courtesy of the Frances Loeb Library, Graduate School of Design, Harvard University.

Interior of the Round House. Courtesy of the Frances Loeb Library, Graduate School of Design, Harvard University.

The Round House was built in 1856 by inventor and manufacturer, Enoch Robinson.  Robinson’s company manufactured high quality hardware still in use in many significant buildings including the Old State House and Old City Hall in Boston, and the United States Treasury Building in Washington, DC.   A showpiece at the time it was built, the 40 foot diameter Round House had  rooms on three floors including an oval parlor and round library on the first floor.  A glass dome at the center of the building’s roof added light to the interior and the many windows took advantage of the views from Spring Hill.  Before opening his own business, Robinson worked with pressed glass at his family’s company, the New England Glass Company and not surprisingly his house was well equipped with beautiful hardware including decorative glass knobs on all the doors.  The French scenic wallpaper in the house can be seen in the vintage lantern slide image at right.

At the time the Round House was built, octagon houses were all the rage.  Octagon houses were popularized by amateur architect, Orson Fowler, author of the 1848 book A Home For All: The Gravel Wall and Octagon Mode of Building. Fowler believed that the round form was ideal but the octagon  style the most practical to construct.  Many octagon houses were built in the United States between 1850  and 1860, a number in Massachusetts,  but round buildings were relatively rare.

round-house-third-floorThe Round House was offered for purchase to the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities in 1920.  The Society chose not to purchase the house and reported in its April 1921 Bulletin, Old-Time New England, that “In many ways this would make an ideal period house for the display of mid-Victorian black walnut, but the present is probably fifty years too early for anything of the kind, since to most people that period represents the very quintessence of the ugly.” During its consideration of a purchase, the Society had the floor plans of the Round House drawn that are shown at right and below.

The Round House lay vacant for years and its owner was deaf to the  pleas of the City and of preservationists who were alarmed at its deteriorating condition.  In 1997 Historic Massachusetts included it on that year’s Ten Most Endangered Historic Resources List. Sadly, another architectural favorite of mine included on that year’s list, the largely unchanged buildings built to house prison workers at the Concord Reformatory, were subsequently demolished.  It is heartening that the Round House seems destined to meet a better fate.  I wish the new owner all the best. His is a daunting, but very important, endeavor.  We’re all looking forward to a tour!






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