Central Square in Cambridge has once again become a focal point for planners, activists, property owners, developers, elected officials, and residents. There is much that can be said, but the primary point of this picture book is to emphasize the opportunities that exist in what may be a narrow window in time to "Complete the Square" in a manner that should satisfy most people. Here are a few images (mostly taken on Monday, June 10, 2013) to help tell this story.
It’s important to understand that Central Square today is just an echo of the days when it was a prime shopping district for the residents of Cambridge and elsewhere. There are proposals today that would encourage a more diverse mix of retail and bring more residents close to the Square. This may require some creative changes in the zoning laws to bring about these positive changes. There’s plenty of room for debate on location, height and density but there are good opportunities now to make some great changes for the better. – RW
This was once the site of the Cambridge Athenaeum
which also served for a time as City Hall
There seems to be something missing next to the
beautiful facade of the Barron Building.
This site at Pearl Street could be so much more vital than it is today.
Another strip of "taxpayers" – one story structures that occupy space formerly occupied by far more appropriate structures.
The rhythm of Mass. Ave. benefits from a mixture of taller
and shorter structures, especially when the sides of the taller
buildings have something to offer visually.
This is one of the most deficient parts of the Central Square streetscape – a site where new retail and residential uses would be a great benefit. Today the most prominent feature is the graffiti next door.
Central Square could be so much better than prominent displays of vandalism. There should be great buildings all the way to Norfolk St.
The site of the Middle East Restaurant today occupies what was a
building with several stories. It could use some upstairs space.
Many of us remember this block when you could rent tools in one location, watch a movie in another, buy clothes at another, and enjoy some great Chinese food.
This block is improving, but we could still do better.
One of the blocks that seems to be missing a lot. The Central
Square Cinema and other storefronts once occupied this space.
Lafayette Square now hosts Jill Brown-Rhone Park. This end of
the Square can only improve with more residents in proximity.
Standing like a lone soldier in what should be a series of great buildings.
Miracle of Science at the eastern edge of the Square
The park is beautiful and tries to draw attention from the
scene’s most prominent feature – a blank pink wall.
This may be the most incomplete corner in all of Central Square.
The decaying billboard on the roof guards the deficit.
The U-Haul is convenient for those who are moving, but this stretch of Main Street would be so much better with residential uses.
One of the many Quest sites recently sold which may soon
potentially enhance this area.
Another missing tooth. The outline of a former building is apparent on the blank brick wall.
Ideally, the future Central Square would still retain some of its industrial past, but maybe people could live next door to the chocolate factory.
The view from Main Street across Lafayette Square
The view toward the hotel at University Park. Ideally, Central Square should have more of a rhythm of heights and density.
Architecturally Lacking – #1
Architecturally Lacking – #2
This end of Columbia St. would be so much better with more activity.
A great Central Square building
Central Square Hardware and Tool Rental was once here until a
spectacular fire destroyed the building. It’s now a parking lot.
A view of what this block once looked like is shown at right.
Another great Central Square building
The Odd Fellows Hall (now the Dance Complex) seems to be missing a neighbor.
Vacancies where there was once a very active street
Though this site at Pearl Street is just feet from public transit and should support more height, the existing building seems to be in good shape.
The site of the former Manhattan Market has cycled through multiple commercial tenants in recent years.
The old signage on the side of the Barron Building
This block could stand to have a lot more character.
The Barron Building – another great Central Square building
Here’s an example of a good-looking tall building in Central Square.
Most of us agree that we don’t want this kind of tall building again.
The often-criticized Holmes Building was supposed to have cafes and other amenities on the ground floor. Instead we got banks and phone stores.
With the old pool removed, we get a brief look at the YWCA prior
to new housing construction on Temple Street.
Looking across the Temple Street lot toward City Hall
The ultimate eyesore – Vail Court still vacant after decades
Lost opportunity – Vail Court still vacant on Bishop Allen Drive
View from the balcony of the new Alice K. Wolf Center
View of the Holmes Building from the Alice K. Wolf Center
View of City Hall from the Alice K. Wolf Center
A new survey shows that a full-two thirds of grown children, if forced to choose, would pick Mom over Dad to move in with them later in life. This is proof that mothers spend years brainwashing their children to prefer them over their fathers, mainly by sneakily doing most of the child rearing while the fathers are watching sports on TV.
According to multiple reports, the Patriots are going to sign quarterback Tim Tebow and will have him in Foxboro for the start of minicamp on Tuesday. Check out what people had to say about it on Twitter.
If you’ve found yourself enjoying your role as a citizen archivist by helping to improve the Historic Cambridge Newspaper Collection then you’ll love Old Weather, too. Old Weather is a joint project between a diverse group of people and institutions from the National Archives (NARA) to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to the Providence Public Library aiming to recover worldwide weather observations to help improve climate model predictions.
Your job is simple: all you do is help transcribe ship logs. Scientists use this data to gather information to help inform climate model predictions. Watch a video tutorial here. Create a user name and password and start transcribing here. Search for ships here. Who knows – you may even find an ancestor among the ships logs!
Jalen Penrose, a four-year varsity volleyball star, and Elijah Scott, a wide receiver for Rindge’s football team, recently signed letters of intent with recruiting colleges.
The Living Well Network invites you to a interpretive community walk with your neighbors! We are pleased to have Cathy Weller return to tell the history and stories of the Agassiz Neighborhood Path East Walk. Socialize, exercise, meet new people.
Date: Tuesday, June 11th at 4:30 PM
Location: Meet up in front of the Agassiz Baldwin Community at 20 Sacramento St., Cambridge.
Route: The walk will be about one hour, walking along Divinity Ave., Kirkland St., Francis Ave. and Irving St. Join us for all or part of this route.
For more information please contact Colin at email@example.com or (617) 349-6287 x21.
The post appeared first on Agassiz Baldwin Community.
Saved By the Bell superhunk Mario Lopez is scheduled to stop into the Cambridgeside Galleria Mall Sunday, June 23 for the fourth annual Run & Ride.
Children ages 5 to 15 years are invited to run and bike as part …
Four years after the Cambridge City Council voted unanimously against public security cameras, a new policy would allow the police to record and stream video of city streets and deploy surveillance cameras at public events.
It’s still early in the 2013 municipal election cycle, but the campaign finance reports are beginning to tell a story about which candidates are planning to make a serious run for a seat on the Cambridge City Council. Here are the figures from January 2013 through the latest (May 31, 2013) reports:SummariesStartEndOpenReceiptsExpendBalanceNotes Benzan, Dennis16-Jan-1331-May-130.0024970.066721.9218248.14 Carlone, Dennis1-Jan-1331-May-130.000.000.000.00no campaign account Cheung, Leland1-Jan-1331-May-137016.7816197.9110307.9212906.77 Connolly, Mike1-Jan-1331-May-130.000.000.000.00no campaign account Davis, Henrietta1-Jan-1331-May-132120.834225.381637.364708.85 House, Janneke6-Jun-136-Jun-130.000.000.000.00no campaign account Kelley, Craig1-Jan-1331-May-135262.080.004711.40550.68includes $4,000 candidate loan reimbursed Leslie, Logan16-Jan-1331-May-130.004343.203008.401334.80 Maher, David1-Jan-1331-May-1319131.76975.004297.8215808.94 Mazen, Nadeem1-May-1315-May-130.001000.000.001000.00 McGovern, Marc16-Feb-1331-May-130.0011727.714017.637710.08 Mello, Gary1-Jan-1315-May-130.000.000.000.00 Moree, Gregg J. 1-Feb-1331-May-130.00100.0027.0073.00reports amended June 6 Nelson, Matthew P.1-Jan-1331-May-13995.600.0025.00970.60 Phillips, Lesley1-Jan-1331-May-130.000.000.000.00no campaign account Reeves, Ken1-Jan-1331-May-1316034.2715270.3413687.2117617.40 Seidel, Sam1-Jan-1331-May-13253.961751.001299.90705.06 Simmons, Denise1-Jan-1331-May-137625.656260.131587.9612297.82 Smith, Jefferson1-May-133-Jun-130.00750.000.00750.00 Stohlman, Tom 1-Jan-1331-May-13964.820.0060.00904.82 Toomey, Tim1-Jan-1331-May-136035.622431.117124.941341.79 vanBeuzekom, Minka 1-Jan-1331-May-135201.713085.45229.018058.15 Vasquez, Luis1-Jan-134-Jun-130.00110.000.00110.00 von Hoffmann, Kristen16-Feb-1331-May-130.009568.098558.791009.30 Williamson, James1-Jan-1331-May-130.000.000.000.00no campaign account
The table can be sorted by category in ascending or descending order by clicking on the category name in the top row.
There may be additional candidates and some of the incumbents and challengers may decide against running. This post and the table will be updated periodically.
Not a day goes by these days without my being asked who the candidates will be this year for Cambridge City Council and Cambridge School Committee. [Why do they ask me?] Anyway, let’s just put all this on the table – rumored candidates, confirmed candidates, rumored vacancies, etc. We’ll update this as unnamed candidates sheepishly emerge and named candidates angrily deny. This way it will all be on the table.City Council
Incumbents expected to seek reelection: Leland Cheung, Craig Kelley, David Maher, Kenneth E. Reeves, E. Denise Simmons, Tim Toomey, Minka vanBeuzekom.
There are rumors that Henrietta Davis might not seek reelection, but neither she nor anyone else has made any statement indicating this.
Verified challengers: Dennis Benzan, Dennis Carlone, Mike Connolly, Janneke House, Logan E. Leslie, Nadeem Mazen, Marc McGovern, Gregg Moree, Lesley Phillips, Sam Seidel, Jefferson Smith, Tom Stohlman, Luis Vasquez, Kristen von Hoffmann
Possible challengers: Julian Cassa, Matt Nelson, James Williamson (perennial)
Not running: Marjorie Decker (incumbent), Joseph "Slugs" Aiello, Larry WardSchool Committee
Incumbents expected to seek reelection: Alfred E. Fantini, Richard Harding, Patricia Nolan, Mervan Osborne, Alice Turkel
Verified challengers: Joseph "Slugs" Aiello, Fran Cronin, Joyce Gerber, Elechi Kadete, Kathleen Kelly
Possible challengers: Emily Dexter
Incumbent who will attempt to jump to City Council: Marc McGovern
Feel free to submit the names of any other rumored or actual candidates. [If there's someone you would like to see as a candidate. we can create a category for that too. Maybe we can recruit some good candidates that way!] If you are a rumored or actual candidate, feel free to confirm or deny your candidacy. If you would like to be added as a rumored or actual candidate, just click on my initials and let me know. – RW
You can also just spill the beans in the comments below.
An overflow crowd packed St. Ann Church in Neponset this morning for a celebration of the life of Martin Richard, a Dorchester boy who would have turned 9 this weekend if he had not been killed on April 15 by one of two bombs that exploded at the Boston Marathon. Seated in the front pew were his family: Parents Bill and Denise, brother Henry and sister, Jane, 7, who lost her left leg below the knee in the bomb attack. The church rocked with a Bruins-style "Mar-tin!, Mar-tin!" chant led by his father.