Cambridge Then And Now

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Destiny Real Estate Cambridge, MA

One of my favorite things about Cambridge, and Harvard Square in particular, is how many decades, centuries actually, are commemorated here. 

From Colonial times to the recent past - there are buildings, monuments, plaques and more memorializing people, places and events from Cambridge's past.

Walk down any block and you're likely to come across the juxtaposition of Cambridge then and Cambridge now.

Here are a couple I spotted recently:

The first school house in Cambridge in 1646 was here on what is now Holyoke Street in Harvard Square. The street was called Crooked Lane in the 1600s.

Plaque showing the site of the first school house in Cambridge Mass

Today, where the school house once stood is Looks, a women's boutique - one of several you'll find in Harvard Square.

Looks - a women's boutique - in Harvard Square

On the other side of the square, in the Cambridge Common, this plaque marks the site of a Revolutionary War encampment (complete with a 21st century water bottle littering the lawn)

Plaque at the site of a Revolutionary War encampment in Cambridge Mass


Now, the site of a playground for Cambridge kids.


Playground on Cambridge Common

Take a walk around Cambridge and stroll through the centuries.


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Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker and Attorney Licensed in DC, MD, VA,

I love Cambridge. We owned a condo on Story Street, just off Harvard Square and I thought it was so wonderful to own a condo there. Have you been to Wagamama?

Sep 03, 2010 04:45 PM #1
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad

Liz - I loved the hsitory of Cambridge, and the Boston are in general. There is so much I have reliazed I have learned since leaving, but it was one of the things I really enjoyed about being there.


Sep 03, 2010 04:52 PM #2
Elizabeth Bolton
RE/MAX Destiny Real Estate Cambridge, MA - Cambridge, MA
Cambridge MA Realtor

Hi Lise ~ No kidding! I was just on Story Street taking a photo for a post last week - and thinking that you can't get much closer to the heart of Harvard Square than that street.  And no - I haven't been to Wagamama - figures I'd learn about it on AR - too funny!


Sep 03, 2010 04:54 PM #3
Elizabeth Bolton
RE/MAX Destiny Real Estate Cambridge, MA - Cambridge, MA
Cambridge MA Realtor

Hi Jeff ~ It can become easy to take it for granted when you're surrounded by it - for me at least. My favorite plaque in Harvard Square is the one about the Hong Kong. That tickled my funny bone for sure. Good old Cambridge.


Sep 03, 2010 04:59 PM #4
Steve, Joel & Steve A. Chain
Chain Real Estate Investments & Mortgage, Steve & Joel Chain - Cottonwood, CA


The foundation of our nation's history seems so touchable in Boston.


Sep 04, 2010 04:51 AM #5
Joseph D. Federico
Donahue Real Estate Co. - Dedham, MA
Eastern Massachusetts Real Estate

Liz-Great info on some of the history of Cambridge.

Sep 05, 2010 01:59 AM #6
Larry Lawfer
YourStories Realty Group - Newton, MA
"I listen for a living." It's all about you.

Liz, the history in New England stretches back to our earliest days, not so Texas.  I do love the sense of history in the northeast, but have found that the history of an area is deeply loved by the people who call it home.  The way this is related to real estate to me is through the homes, styles, names of streets (as you pointed out) and the people who live there. Thanks for your blog.

Sep 07, 2010 02:49 AM #7
Karen Kruschka
RE/MAX Executives - Woodbridge, VA
- "My Experience Isn't Expensive - It's PRICELESS"

Liz  I enjoyed this very much - we both have the good fortune to live in very historic areas which provides blog material

Sep 07, 2010 03:44 AM #8
John Cannata
214-728-0449 - Frisco, TX
Texas Home Mortgage - Purchase or Refinance

I think that is whats great about Mass. in general. So much history!

Sep 07, 2010 04:22 AM #9
June Tassillo
Owner/Broker RE/MAX Elite Realty - Franklin, NC
Let me help you with the next phase of your life!

Liz ~ I think it is important to know the history of where you live.  We have a Indian Mound in the middle of town that is never to be sold or used for anything.  I love it when people marked their history as such like the brick above. 

Sep 07, 2010 07:54 AM #10
John J. Dean, Jr.
Engel & Voelkers Boston - Boston, MA


it is amazing how many of these signs we walk past daily ... I love it that you took the time to slow things down and show how time has changed Cambridge.

Sep 08, 2010 09:45 AM #11
Michael Bergin
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - ABR - SRES - Alexandria, VA
Northern Virginia Real Estate

Don't you love living with history?  I'm always so frustrated with young people say history is boring - it's not, it's alive and well and all around us.

Sep 08, 2010 03:14 PM #12
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

Cambridge is full of history.. It is one of the first places I visited when we moved to NH.  I love these types of posts.

Sep 08, 2010 03:37 PM #13
Gloria Todor
Century 21 Absolute Realty - Media, PA
& Doug Durren (484) 431-3686 in SE PA

Liz, That's great how you are showing what is there now.  A great start to a series......

The east coast is rich in history.


Sep 10, 2010 03:58 PM #14
Marianne Cherico
Interiors by Marianne Cherico - Foxboro, MA
Home Stager -Massachusetts and Rhode Island


That is what is so cool about Boston. I have always loved the juxtaposition of Trinity Church and the Hancock building in Copley Square.

And Cambridge is filled with so much soul!

Hope you are well!


Sep 11, 2010 07:59 AM #15
Lottie Kendall
Today | Sotheby's International Realty - San Carlos, CA
Serving San Mateo County and San Francisco

I'm sad that my close ties to Cambridge and Boston are no longer there, but will continue to enjoy your posts, Liz. Thanks.

Sep 11, 2010 07:05 PM #16
Gabrielle Kamahele Rhind
KGC Properties LLC, Tucson Property Management & Real Estate - Tucson, AZ

HI LIZ!  I can't wait to visit cities like this back east - and you're post really makes me want to visit sooner!  Nice work! -- Gab

Sep 16, 2010 10:42 AM #17
Jim Frimmer
HomeSmart Realty West - San Diego, CA
Realtor & CDPE, Mission Valley specialist

1648? !! That's older than me! Did you pick up the plastic bottle and recycle it? Out here we get a nickle per bottle that size. If you do recycle 58 bottles, you have enough money to buy a cheap gallon of gas! LOL

Sep 16, 2010 01:41 PM #18
Claudette Millette
The Buyers' Counsel - Ashland, MA
Buyer, Broker - Metrowest Mass


This is nice piece on the history of Cambridge. What do you think our forefathers would have though of "Looks" boutique.  It looks pretty nice to me.


Sep 19, 2010 01:52 AM #19
Karen Kruschka
RE/MAX Executives - Woodbridge, VA
- "My Experience Isn't Expensive - It's PRICELESS"

Liz  Since you commnted on one of my posts yesterday I assume you are OK  I hope you are too busy to post  :)

Sep 27, 2010 06:12 AM #20
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Elizabeth Bolton

Cambridge MA Realtor
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