Remembering Tip O’Neill

Reembering Tip O'Neill - Family Panel at the Cambridge Public Library

Reembering Tip O'Neill - Family Panel at the Cambridge Public Library

When I first saw this beautiful banner on Mass Ave in Cambridge I thought it must be commemorating the centennial of Tip O’Neill’s first days in Congress – we just seem so far removed from those days with today’s Congress.  But no – Tip would be just 100 this year and Cambridge is commemorating the centennial of his birth.

On Tuesday, May 22nd Chris Matthews of MSNBC (which makes it even more exciting – in my family we’re all addicted to MSNBC) and former aide to the Speaker of the House will be moderating a panel of O’Neill family members reminiscing and remembering Tip O’Neill. 

Two more panels are planned by the Tip O’Neill Centennial Committee: a panel featuring former O’Neill staff members in September and a November panel in which community members will be invited to share their memories of Tip O’Neill.

The Family Reminiscence Panel will take place at the Cambridge Public Library, 449 Broadway, on Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 7 pm.  The event is free and open to the public.

Check out the City of Cambridge website for information on other tributes to Tip O’Neill that are planned and for excerpts of audio interviews with O’Neill, including his memories of growing up in North Cambridge.

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10 Chester St Cambridge MA Condos

10 Chester St Cambridge Condos

10 Chester St Cambridge Condos

The condos at 10 Chester Street in Cambridge are in one of the handsomest Victorian buildings in town, the Chester Kingsley House.  10 Chester Street was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.  It is a beautifully preserved Queen Anne Victorian with a corner turret and exterior ornamentation intact.

Today the building houses seven condominiums.  Chester Street is a popular location – just off Mass Ave, not far from Porter Square, with the heart of Davis Square at the other end of the street.

History of 10 Chester Street Cambridge 

10 Chester Street was built for Chester W. Kingsley in 1866.  Kingsley was a self-made man whose successes came in banking and business.  He paid his way through school by doing odd jobs, began his banking career as a messenger, and made his fortune in the wholesale provision business.

In an 1898 article in the New York Times about Kingsley’s charitable bequests, Chester Kingsley describes his attitude towards money with this: “I don’t smoke, because I have always felt that every cigar was burning up the price of a loaf of bread.”  His successes and frugality enabled him to donate large sums to a variety of educational institutions.

Kingsley died on January 1, 1904.   The house was converted to a nursing home in 1913 and an addition put on the back.  In the 1960s it became an apartment building. In 1983 it was restored and converted to condominiums.  Beautiful original details including ornamental moldings, paneling, fireplaces, a handsome paneled staircase and magnificent front door with stained glass windows have been preserved.

Details of 10 Chester Street Cambridge Condos

  • 7 condominiums
  • One bedrooms (870 – 1148 sq.ft.)
  • Two bedrooms (1388 – 1709 sq.ft.)
  • One and two-level condos
  • Fireplaces in some units
  • Large common yard with gardens, fountains and patios
  • Parking

Condo Sales at 10 Chester Street

There hasn’t been a condo for sale at 10 Chester Street since 2009.  In 2009 a 1,388 square foot two-bedroom condo on the first floor and lower level sold for $444,500.

If a condo is for sale at 10 Chester Street, Cambridge MA 02140 it will appear below.  Click on the small photo for additonal photographs and more information.

The Chester Kingsley Condominiums are located at 10 Chester St Cambridge MA 02140.

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Best Places to Trick or Treat in Cambridge

Cambridge Halloween trick or treatingBest Places to Trick or Treat in Cambridge  Halloween is coming up and maybe you’re wondering what are the best neighborhoods for trick or treating in Cambridge – where you’ll find the most fun – and the best candy.

I love getting trick or treaters and each year as I filled my candy bags with multiple treats hoped that my house would become a Halloween destination spot. But I’ve come to terms with the fact that my street can’t begin to compete with some of these top Cambridge neighborhoods on October 31st.  Here are some of the Best Places to Trick or Treat in Cambridge

East Cambridge Trick or Treating

East Cambridge is a popular trick or treating neighborhood.   The blocks bordered by Fulkerson and First Street and Cambridge Street and Charles Street are thickly settled and make for a really good ratio of candy to blocks walked.  A big part of the draw is the haunted house on Charles Street.  The Vendettis have been decorating their house for Halloween for more than twenty years. Hundreds of children visit the Halloween house – it’s not to be missed. There’s no admission charged but last year Mrs. Vendetti asked kids and their parents to bring a canned good for donation to the Sacred Heart Food Pantry.  Vist this Halloween wonderland on Charles Street between Sciarappa Street and 5th Street.

Halloween on Dudley Street, Cambridge

The homeowners on Dudley Street in North Cambridge do it up for Halloween.  Residents spend weeks preparing for the event – choosing a theme and planning decorations.  Dudley Street between Cedar and Reed Street is closed to traffic and hundreds of trick or treaters throng the block.  The theme last year – you can see some of the Halloween houses in the slideshow below – was Las Vegas.  A resident’s video about Halloween on Dudley Street shows the amazing creativity and fun you’ll find here on October 31st.  Dudley Street in North Cambridge is hopping on Halloween.

Crescent Street Cambridge Halloween

Another Cambridge hotspot on Halloween is Crescent Street in the Agassiz neighborhood between Porter Square and Harvard Square. Crescent Street is one block long and runs from Sacramento Street to Oxford Street.  Residents move their cars and the street is blocked to traffic and lined with jack-o-lanterns carved during a neighborhood party the day before.  Like Dudley Street, there’s a theme each year – this year it’s “Monsters.”  All are welcome and one homeowner estimated that more than 600 children trick or treated on Crescent Street last year. The Halloween party on Crescent Street is the place to be for trick or treaters  from 5 to 8 pm.

Halloween Open Houses at Cambridge Fire Stations

Cambridge Fire Stations will be hosting Halloween Open Houses from 2 to 4 pm on October 31, 2010.  Kids and parents can visit their neighborhood fire station to view the fire trucks and get free glow sticks and trick or treat bags compliments of the Cambridge Fire Department.  Candy has been donated by Cambridge Brands.

Do you know any other best places to trick or treat in Cambridge?  Let us know! 

Here’s a slide show of Halloween decorations on Dudley Street last year:

Dudley Street Halloween slideshow

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Tip O’Neill’s Cambridge Church

Tip O'Neill's Cambridge Church

Tip O'Neill's Cambridge Church

Tip O’Neill’s Cambridge Church   Last weekend I spent several days watching the coverage of Ted Kennedy – the nonstop coverage (thank you channel 5!) of the funeral and the various documentaries about the Kennedy family – and didn’t have time to read the newspapers.  As I was going through the back issues this weekend it occurred to me that the Mission Hill church, Our Lady of Perpetual Help Basilica, will be known for years to come as the church where Teddy Kennedy’s funeral was held.

St. John the Evangelist church on Mass Ave in North Cambridge is similarly remembered to this day as the church where Tip O’Neill’s funeral was held.  Some 1700 people attended the January 1994 funeral including Vice President Al Gore, and former Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter.

O’Neill grew up in this North Cambridge neighborhood and raised his family in the Orchard Street neighborhood.  He was baptized and married at St. John the Evangelist. O’Neill represented Massachusetts for 34 years in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1953 to 1987 and served as Speaker of the House from 1977 to 1987.

It was great to see this banner in memory of Teddy Kennedy in Tip’s old neighborhood on Orchard Street in Porter Square.

Sign of Appreciation for Ted Kennedy on Orchard Street Cambridge

Sign of Appreciation for Ted Kennedy on Orchard Street Cambridge

Tip O’Neill’s church is the large yellow brick church at 2254 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge MA 02140.

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The French School Condominiums – 69 Harvey Street, Cambridge MA 02140

French School Condominums in Cambridge MAThe French School Condos at 69 Harvey Street, Cambridge MA occupy a handsome brick building constructed in 1900.  The building was converted to condominiums in 1989. There are sixteen condos in the association – four units on each of the four floors. A wide staircase with shallow steps rises through the building – there is no elevator. Condos at the French School range in size from 989 sq.ft. to 1390 sq.ft.

Condo layouts vary but are open and loft-like. Most have exposed brick walls. The windows are large and ceilings high – appealing features often found in schoolhouse conversions. The condominiums have in-unit laundry and off street parking.

History of the French School

69 Harvey Street Cambridge MA was built by the French Canadian community in North Cambridge in 1900. Built to house the Notre Dame de Pitie School, the building became a convent in 1916 when the school moved to a new facility at Rindge and Sargent Streets. The building was once again converted in 1961 when it became a manufacturing facility.

The French School Neighborhood and Location

French School - Facade Detail

French School – Facade Detail

Harvey Street is a one-way street running west off Mass Ave in North Cambridge. Harvey Street intersects Massachusetts Avenue at the point where the bike path to Davis Square crosses the Avenue. Davis Square is just a short walk away via the bike path. There you’ll find the Davis Square T stop, the Somerville Theatre, and a variety of shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants.  More shops and restaurants line Mass Ave all the way into Arlington or towards Porter Square and Harvard Square.

In the other direction, the Alewife T station – the first (or last!) stop on the Red Line T is not far since Harvey Street ends at Russell Field across from the T station. One of several cohousing communities in Cambridge, Cornerstone Cohousing, built in 2000-2001, is at 175 Harvey Street. In spring you can meet your neighbors at the North Cambridge open studios tour.

Recent Real Estate Sales at the French School Condominiums

There haven’t been many sales at 69 Harvey Street.  A top floor condo with two bedrooms and two baths sold for $519,000 in 2012.  A unit with an atypical layout for the French School – over 2300 square feet on the first floor and lower level – sold for $500,000 in 2013.

If any condos are available at the French School they’ll show below.  Or you can see all the condos on the market in Cambridge right now. And if you dream of living in a converted school give me a call – I can help.  Liz Bolton – 617-504-1737


Sales information for 69 Harvey St Cambridge MA from MLSpin.  Post written by Elizabeth Bolton, ReMax Destiny, Cambridge MA.

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