Welcome to Centers and Squares

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.

What’s Happening This Weekend

Check out Cambridgeport History Day this Saturday in Cambridge

Check out Cambridgeport History Day this Saturday in Cambridge

Looking for something to do this weekend?  There are some super events scheduled for Saturday – which leaves Sunday free for real estate open houses if you’re so inclined.  Here are a few of my favorites:

Need some ideas for renovating your kitchen?  You can visit eight beautiful kitchens in Concord on the Concord Kitchen Tour 2012 held on Saturday, September 29th from 10:30 am to 3 pm.  If you want more you can check out the CentersAndSquare’s schedule of upcoming house tours in Massachusetts.

Did you know that the lunchbox favorite, Marshmallow Fluff, had Somerville roots?  Somerville resident Archibald Query invented the spread and sold it door to door before selling his formula to two Lynn businessmen who brought Fluff nationwide.  Somerville’s tribute to Query’s invention, the annual Fluff Festival, in all its wacky wonderfulness is scheduled for this Saturday, September 29th in Union Square from 3 pm to 7 pm. 

Local history buffs will want to check out Cambridgeport History Day on Saturday, September 29th from noon to 5 pm.  There’s a tour, musket firings, activities in Dana Park and my favorite – neighbor-created If This House Could Talksigns posted outside houses along Cambridgeport streets.  Pick up a list of signs at the booth in Dana Park and stroll the streets for a fun way to find out more about the old houses that line this Cambridge neighborhood’s blocks.

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Hurricane of ’38 in Cambridge

A tree fell on 44 Union Street in Keene NH during the Hurricane of '38

A tree fell on 44 Union Street in Keene NH during the Hurricane of '38

74 years ago people all over New England were greeted by scenes likes the one at right.  The Hurricane of ’38 slammed into New England on September 21, 1938.  The devastating storm killed over 700 people in New York and New England and town after town, including Cambridge, suffered enormous damage from the violent storm.

My dad grew up on Brookline Street in Cambridgeport near the B.U. Bridge.  He and other neighborhood boys, aged about 7 – 12, were outside in the early part of the storm, gathered by the Stop and Shop on Brookline Street.

When a large tree fell in the field that’s now the site of the Morse School, the policeman outside the Stop and Shop advised the kids to head home.

Not five minutes later the enormous Stop and Shop sign blew off, hitting the policeman, who barely survived his injuries.

Shortly after he arrived home my grandmother asked my dad to look outside and see if there was any damage in the front yard.  Leaves filled the window when my dad looked out – a large maple tree in the front yard had fallen on the house.  Not long after a poplar tree in the back yard fell on Billy Harris’s house at 1-3 Rockingham Place.  Both houses survived unscathed.

Not so for the Keene, New Hampshire house I lived in during the 1990s.  That’s it in the photo above.  The woman I bought it from described cowering in the pantry with her parents during the 1938 hurricane which caused extensive damage in Keene and nearby towns.  The tree at the corner of the yard fell on the house, knocking off the chimney and part of the second floor.  The house across the street was split in half by another large tree and similar scenes could be found all over town.

If you were in New England 74 years ago chances are your memories of the Hurricane of 1938 are still vivid.  If you missed the big hurricane you can still get an idea of power of the storm from images on old postcards, newspapers, booklets and scrapbooks that you’ll come upon in local antique stores.  I discovered the photo of my 44 Union Street house in a booklet about the hurricane I found at an antiques shop.

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Modern Cambridge Condo With a Yard

369 Franklin St Cambridge MA

369 Franklin St Cambridge MA

New to the market, 369 Franklin Street Unit 101 in Cambridge offers a rare combination – a condo in a modern elevator building with its own exclusive use yard and patio.

After looking for several months with a Cambridge real estate buyer this year, I know how difficult it is to find a modern Cambridge condo with *any* outdoor space – even a small balcony to call your own.  369 Franklin Unit 101 is truly exceptional with sliders from the living room to a private patio and a yard space that extends the depth of the building.

Inside, the condo has one bedroom plus a second that’s been converted to an office with a beautiful built-in desk.  The condo has bamboo floors, central air conditioning, in-unit laundry, a garage parking space, and a kitchen with Corian counters, a gas stove, and plenty of cabinets.  The building is extremely energy efficient and has an elevator and a small penthouse exercise room with a great Boston skyline view.  It’s a pet friendly building with one household pet allowed and a second with trustee approval.

Listed at $489,000 by Elizabeth Bolton – that’s me! – 369 Franklin Street Unit 101 can be shown by appointment or at several open houses this week.  Call me for more information at 617-504-1737 or click on the Contact button above to send me an email.

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Blue Houses for a Blue Moon

In honor of the beautiful blue moon tonight I’ve put together a slide show of blue houses from Cambridge and nearby.

What’s a blue moon?  It’s official definition is the third full moon in a season with four full moons (instead of three). It’s also been defined as the second full moon in a month.  There was a full moon on the first day of August and now we have another on the last day.  We won’t have another blue moon until 2015.

Blue houses aren’t too common either in our neck of the woods but over the years I’ve found a number.  Here, in a variety of architectural styles, are some blue houses for a blue moon:

Blue House slideshow

Elizabeth Bolton is a real estate agent in Cambridge, MA and a lover of houses in all styles and colors.

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Cambridge Triple-Decker Sales

Cambridge Triple-Deckers Are Selling Well

Cambridge Triple-Deckers Are Selling Well

Here’s a look at recent Cambridge triple-decker sales.

Many of Cambridge’s triple deckers have been converted from rental housing to condominiums.  But there are a good number of extant triple-deckers and seven have changed hands since the beginning of the year.

Like most of Cambridge real estate this year, three-deckers sold quickly and well.  Three of the seven sold for over asking.  The average time on market was 36 days but five sold in two weeks or less.

These three-deckers were all around town – Strawberry Hill, Cambridgeport, Inman Square, North Cambridge, Huron Village, and just outside Harvard Square.

Here are the triple deckers that have sold so far in 2012 in Cambridge.  The second column shows the total room, bedroom and bath count.

Triple Decker Sales in Cambridge

Triple Decker Sales in Cambridge

If you’re have questions about selling or buying a triple-decker in Cambridge or nearby, give me a call at 617-504-1737 or email me at [email protected].  I’d be happy to help.  Elizabeth Bolton, Remax Destiny, Cambridge

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Gothic Revival Houses in the Globe

The On the Block column in today’s Boston Globe Magazine featured one of my favorite house styles – the Gothic Revival.  The three houses in the magazine are extraordinary.  Want to see inside?

The Gothic Revival architectural style was popular in the US from 1830 to 1875.   The style featured steep gables, often with decorative trim, and motifs that included trefoils, quatrefoils and Tudor arches.

The houses in today’s paper are every bit as exquisite inside as out.  I had already fallen in love with the house at 20 Chestnut Street in Taunton after it turned up in a “serendipity search” in MLS.  7 High Street in Westborough and 19 Irving Street in New Bedford are new to me – though I’m going to search through my bookshelves since the Globe reports that Irving has been on the cover of two books on architecture.

Here are the Gothic Revival houses from the Globe in all their glory.  Click on the small photo for a photo showcase with interior views and more information.

Elizabeth Bolton is an old house enthusiast and real estate agent in Cambridge MA.

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Walden Mews Cambridge MA 02140

Walden Mews in Cambridge is a complex of fee-simple townhouses – attached single family townhouses – sited in an English mews style setting.  Walden Mews is within walking distance of Mass Ave and Porter Square and is just down the street from the very popular Raymond Park.

Walden Mews Cambridge MA 02140

Walden Mews Cambridge MA 02140

The complex of eleven lofty townhouses was built in 1987.  Buyers looking for a spacious, modern townhouse will want to consider Walden Mews if anything is available for sale.

Features of Walden Mews Townhouses:

  • 1670 – 2070 square feet
  • Two – four bedrooms
  • Fireplace
  • Skylights
  • Central air conditioning
  • Enclosed patio / garden
  • Direct access garage
  • Roof deck

Recent Sales at Walden Mews:

In 2012 a 1956 sq.ft. townhouse with new hardwood floors sold for $750,000.  Also in 2012, a 1672 sq.ft. townhouse that needed some work sold for $640,000.

If anything is available at Walden Mews it will be shown below.  Click on the small photo for additional photographs and more information.

Walden Mews is located in Cambridge MA 02140 off of Walden Street near the intersection of Raymond Street.

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New Somerville Library Planned for Union Square

I was happy to read recently about plans for a new main Somerville Public Library in Union Square.  Somerville has big ideas for Union Square revitilization and it turns out that relocating the main branch of the library is part of that vision. Exciting times for Union Square, with the Green Line, a new $45 million  library, and more.

The yellow brick building that currently houses the main branch of the Somerville Public Library was built in 1912 on Highland Avenue. 

The Somerville Public Library main branch was built in 1912 on Highland Avenue.

The Somerville Public Library main branch was built in 1912 on Highland Avenue.

The 1912 library replaced the former library, pictured below, designed in 1884 in the Romanesque style by Somerville architect George F. Loring.

Former Somerville Public Library built in 1884

Former Somerville Public Library built in 1884

See images of the next version of the Somerville Public Library and read more about the grant Somerville hopes to get for library construction in this Boston Globe article.

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