Davis Square is a major intersection in the northwestern section of Somerville, Massachusetts where several streets meet: Holland Street, Dover Street, Day Street, Elm Street, Highland Avenue, and College Avenue.
The name is often used to refer to the neighborhood surrounding the square, encompassing parts of both Somerville and Cambridge. The Davis Square T station is one of the stops on the Red Line of the MBTA subway. Davis Square is 0.7 miles (1.1 km) from Porter Square, 0.8 miles (1.3 km) from Tufts University, 1.1 miles (1.8 km) from Alewife, 1.7 miles (2.7 km) from Harvard Square, and 1.8 miles (2.9 km) from Union Square. The Somerville Community Path runs through the middle of the square on a former rail line, leading to the popular Minuteman Bikeway.
With so many streets converging, several of which are one-way, Davis Square is infamously difficult to navigate.
Today, Davis Square is a mix of the old and the new. Restaurants, coffee shops, and stores catering to students and young urban professionals coexist with working class diners and tailors that predate Davis Square's trendy period. The Somerville Theatre shows movies, live performances, and has a satellite gallery of the Museum of Bad Art.
The brick-paved square contains a rich mixture of shops, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, a 1000 seat movie theater complex, a smaller 200 seat live performance theater, and other attractions.
In 2005, The Boston Globe reported the first million dollar condo sale in Davis Square, which marked a major shift for a neighborhood once known as affordable. It now contains some of the priciest homes in Somerville and is significantly more expensive than the average for eastern Massachusetts.
Davis Square itself is decorated with many colorful pieces of art, including tiles made by local schoolchildren, sculptures of prominent local figures, the Davis Square statues, and a flying cow.
The square also hosts many popular arts institutions and events. The Somerville Arts Council's popular ArtBeat festival takes place here every year on the third weekend of July, while the HONK! Festival of activist brass bands occurs here every October, on Columbus Day weekend. During the summer months there are free public folk dances. The Public Radio International show, Living on Earth is recorded in its studios in Davis Square. For five years, the Jimmy Tingle Off-Broadway Theater boasted a variety of nationally and regionally known acts, both comedic and musical, including Jimmy Tingle himself, but closed at the end of October 2007.
Davis Square is named for Person Davis (1819–1894), whose 10-acre (40,000 m2) estate included the present-day Davis Square.
The 87 and 88 trolleys (see Boston-area streetcar lines) ran along Elm Street and Highland Avenue, shaping Somerville's development as a streetcar suburb. Until July 9, 1922, they ran into the subway via Lechmere. Starting on November 7, 1941 they ran as trackless trolleys until replaced by the current bus routes on March 29, 1963. The Red Line was extended from Harvard to Alewife via Porter and Davis in the 1980s, with the Davis station opening on December 8, 1984.
Boston Magazine notes half a dozen food and entertainment establishments dating from before the Red Line still extant in 2012, including the Somerville Theatre, The Rosebud, McKinnon's Meat Market, and a candlepin bowling alley. A diverse set of shops, a medical center, and more bars and restaurants have been added in the years since, taking advantage of the increased foot traffic.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Davis Square (Somerville, Massachusetts).|
- "Google Maps". Maps.google.com. 1970-01-01. Retrieved 2012-03-26.
- Jay Walljasper and Daniel Kraker, "Hip Hot Spots: The 15 Hippest Places to Live". Utne Reader. November/December 1997.
- Blanton, Kimberly (September 2005). "New neighborhoods gaining $1m cachet". The Boston Globe. p. 2. Retrieved 2007-05-05.
- "Davis Square Contra Dance". Sccs.swarthmore.edu. Retrieved 2012-03-26.
- Green, Kristen (2007-10-28). "It's curtains for Tingle's theater". The Boston Globe.
- "Rebekah Gewirtz E-Newsletter: December 2006". December 2006. Retrieved 2007-05-04.
- Draper, Martin (1852). "Map of Somerville, Mass.". J.T. Powers & Co. Retrieved 2012-01-20.
- Patrick Doyle (2012-01). "The Evolution of Davis Square". Retrieved 2012-01-20.
- Transportation Research Board (1998). "Davis Square, Somerville, Massachusetts". Transit-friendly streets. Transportation Research Board. pp. 32–37. ISBN 0-309-06265-9. More than one of
- Your Davis Square
- ArtBeat festival Annual art festival in Davis Square
- Honk Festival
- New Neighborhoods Gaining 1M Cachet
- Davis Square: A Transit-Oriented Development Case Study
- Davis Square discussion forum on livejournal