Talk:Cambridge, Massachusetts/Archive 1

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Archive 1


Maybe add to the neighborhoods? something about north, west, and east camb? a side note: should CPSD have its own page? or maybe one about the high school if i ever get around to editing the full history? or would that not be worth making a page? --mysekurity 03:49, 25 May 2005 (UTC) Maybe. Between the neighborhoods of east cambridge and port aka area 4 there is a neighborhood known as mid block whitch is a very diverse nighborhood.


Corrected a number of inaccurate and misleading statements in the cycling section. "bicycles are considered vehicles in Cambridge" is misleading as the vehicle classification is under MA law and the Uniform Vehicle Code, plus fifty years of common law before that, in no way unique to Cambridge. Sidewalk riding is permitted outside of business districts (again, this is MA law, but the cities and towns define the districts). All vehicles are required to share the road with all other vehicles everywhere. See MassBike. jnik 05:33, 5 February 2005 (UTC)

Origin of "Cambridge"

Removed "The English town, Cambridge, is named after the bridge that crosses the river Cam." Surprisingly, this is incorrect - the town was called Cambridge before the river became known as the Cam. Enchanter

I had heard that Cambridge was actually derived from Old English, and meant "Tree-Ville" am I mistaken? However, I know for a fact that the symbol for Cambridge in sign language is the same as that for "tree" [1]. Just thought I'd perhaps add that... mysekurity 17:46, 6 July 2005 (UTC)

Wikipedia's own article on Cambridge has a correct account. Gdr 20:42:41, 2005-09-06 (UTC)

Davis Square

It'd be good to include Davis Square in the mix. If anything, this seems a more vibrant area than, say, Porter. But I'm a new resident of the area, and don't know much, yet, so I'm not feeling qualified to actually edit the article. Still, Davis has: a movie theatre (Somerville), lots of funky restaurants, Jimmy Tingle's comedy club, a pretty good used bookstore, what appears to be a great music club (but I don't recall the name, and haven't visited, yet), a thrift shop, bars, and an actual outside square with benches, musicians, etc. It's also a T stop on the red line.

Technically, Davis square may be in Somerville, but it all seems like Cambridge, to me, and I think the distinction is rather artificial.

What do you mean, the distinction is artificial? A place is either in Cambridge or it isn't. Locations that are on the boundary between Cambridge and Somerville, like Porter Square and Inman Square, can be discussed in both city articles, if necessary; but no part of Davis Square is in Cambridge. AJD 20:36, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

Agree w/ AJD- Davis is the jewel of SOMERVILLE, not Cambridge. This would never, nor should it, be considered a Cambridge Square. I mean, if your going to say "it all seems like Cambridge to me" you may as well say "it's all Boston". The thing about living in this area is the neighborhood radii may be small, but they are definite.

Kendall Square

Disagreement for what actually constitutes "Kendall Square." While the MBTA's Kendall Square is indeed near the intersection of Main, Broadway, and Third, it seems as though Kendall Square proper is at the intersection of Broadway and Hampshire, as this is where the address 1 Kendall Square is and, geographically, is consistent with the hub-and-spoke layout of Cambridge's streets. Main-Broadway-Third leads to no other squares directly, while Hampshire-Broadway leads to Harvard Sq. and Inman Sq. -- 04:21, 6 July 2005

Kendall Square truly is along Main St. where the Kendall/MIT T station is. "One Kendall Square" is several blocks away and is truly a misnomer. The cynical assumption is that the developers of the One Kendall Square disreputably obtained a "vanity address" making it sound like they were right in Kendall Square proper. The real explanation is a bit more complicated: at the time that One Kendall Square was being developed, some other developers of a bunch of big buildings in Kendall Square ("Cambridge Center") were trying to get the old name "Kendall Square" erased, to be replaced with "Cambridge Center". The One Kendall Square developers (so the story goes) were nobly trying to preserve the Kendall Square name. But then the renaming of Kendall Square to Cambridge Center didn't stick (and a good thing it didn't), meaning that One Kendall Square remains confusingly out of place. Steve Summit (talk) 05:29, 6 September 2005 (UTC)

Is this article a stub?

I saw that the main article has been designated two different types of stub. This makes little sense to me, as their is already quite a bit of information here. This article is substantially larger and more detailed than your typical stubs, so I believe the stub designators should be removed. Before I did this, however, I wanted to raise the issue with other WikiCantabrians. What do you all think? Friejose 21:25, 21 August 2005 (UTC)

I noticed stub designations had been added then removed from the Boston article, so I was bold and removed the stubs here. Friejose 12:34, 22 August 2005 (UTC)

Better city hall picture?

City Hall is the right image to open the article with, but the picture here now:


is shot over the rooftops evidently from several blocks away, showing only the top part of the building, where it tends to get lost among the other rooftops and skyline behind. Here's a snapshot I took today which I think shows the building off better:


If people agree, I'll go back and take a more carefully composed shot from the same angle another day. Steve Summit (talk) 05:55, 6 September 2005 (UTC)

  • Indeed, that's a much better picture. Go for it. RSpeer 19:46, September 6, 2005 (UTC)

Folk-etymological explanation of "square" should be removed

The word "square" means an open area or plaza at the intersection of multiple paths or roads. It may seem confusing in the Boston area, but they exist the world over: Times Square, Trafalgar Square, Red Square, Tiananmen Square, and even the zócalos in Mexican cities -- and they aren't different (except in scale and whether traffic is allowed in some cases) from those in Boston -- and certainly don't come from dragging lumber down the road. In Cambridge, many of the squares didn't exist until turnpikes had been put through -- including Porter and Kendall Squares. And, many of the squares have had various traffic islands and signals added to make them less confusing. (Just ask anyone about Davis Sq., Somerville in the 1960's!)

Are there any objections to my changing that section? BCorr|Брайен 02:32, 7 November 2005 (UTC)

Harvard Sq intercity bus

I removed "For a few weeks, intercity buses to New York stopped near Harvard Square, but Cambridge forced them to cease service (despite Cambridge's lack of legal authority to regulate intercity transportation)." There is not source for this. It renders a questionable legal opinion and it does not seem appropriate to the article. There are a lot of people in Cambridge with gripes. This is not the venue to air them. --agr 19:52, 10 November 2005 (UTC)

Green Line also services Cambridge

In the article, it's stated that only the red line serves cambridge and somerville. Actually the Lechmere stop of the Green line is in Cambridge.[2] Jacobeisenstein 19:06, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

Since fixed. -- Beland (talk) 17:20, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

Notable Residents

This section just gets longer and longer. For just about any city (and especially one the size of Cambridge that also has two large and well-known universities), the list of "notable" people associated with it is just about endless. I don't really see this being a positive contribution to the article. At the least, I would suggest moving this section to its own article. (This would be consistent with how it is handled with Philadelphia for example.) Ghaff 12:39, 20 October 2006 (UTC)

I do not believe it makes sense as a separate article. I am, however, not sure it belongs at all. Its long and unwieldly and, as you note, for a city of Cambridge's size and acclaim an ever-growing and seemingly endless list. Rlove 01:35, 22 October 2006 (UTC)

The Newton, MA article has a "Notable residents" section; shouldn't Cambridge? F.N. Wombat 18:12, 12 August 2007 (UTC)F.N. Wombat

This was previously discussed, and I have combined the two identically-titled sections. I agree with the previous comments. Such a list would soon swamp the host article. And where to draw the line for inclusion? Considering the extent to which Cambridge is a community of notables, criteria pertaining to other localities would inevitably set the bar too low. Hertz1888 18:32, 12 August 2007 (UTC)


The article list elevation as 510 feet. That is an order of magnitude too high. Does anyone know what the basis for elevation is supposed to be? City hall? Highest natural point? Average? I'm changing it to 40 feet for now, per --agr 11:37, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

510 feet???? That seems kind of high.... I wonder Where???? The only possible spots I could think of are 1) On Broadway (inbetween the High School and the building that is either currently-- or formerlly known as the Longfellow School.)? Or Perhaps 2) in the Brattle Square Neighbourhood(on either Fayerweather or Appleton Streets), or perhaps 3) Concord Avenue near the Harvard Observatory???, Then again--- 4) there's also perhaps near Porter Square inbetween Raymond Steet and the former Peabody School on Upton Road or Linnean Street???? Also don't forget the big hill near the Fresh Pond Golf course right by the the Huron Towers. Those are pretty much all of Cambridge's high spots possibly save- for a few possible hills in the Cambridge Mt. Aubourn Cemetary.... e.g. that tall spire-castle looking thing???

My mother thinks perhaps Danahey Park where they threw the dirt from the Harvard-Alewife Red Line Extension could be the 510 ft. elevation point.

In terms of low-point.... If you remember the huge flooding problems during the 80's along Memorial drive (mainly before those nice new waterlocks that could be closed at high/ tied in back of the Fleet Center) I would have to say Cambridge's low point could be Sea level (e.g. the shores of the charles river.) CaribDigita 02:35, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

According to my U.S. Geological Survey maps, the hill between Fayerweather and Appleton Streets gets up to 70 feet. The one near near the ex-Longfellow school (the peak is at Harvard and Dana) is 50'. Same for the hill near Huron Towers, on top of which hill I happen to live. The artificial hill at Danahey Park is not on my map, but it's nowhere near 510 feet, more in the 50-100 range. 510 feet is about the height of the Prudential Building. As for low points, Fresh Pons is marked 2 feet above MSL. --agr 12:13, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

Bay Square

The police maps I added show a "Bay Square" business district between Harvard and Central. Can anyone describe this in more detail or locate it more precisely? -- Beland 02:39, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

This reference describes what it is: Basically a couple blocks of buildings on and near Mass Ave. However, I've walked the Central to Harvard Square stretch literally hundreds of times over the course of decades, and I've never seen or heard the term used. So it's really not a Cambridge district in the manner of most of the others listed in the article. This Cambridge Police website ( lists all the divisions that they use. They correspond to generally-recognized areas to a certain degree, but they're primarily intended to divide the city into logical divisions from a police/crime perspective. Ghaff 21:01, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

The building at 950 Mass Ave, at the intersection with Bay Street, is called "Bay Square" - there's a prominent sign above the front entrance. --Frankg (talk) 03:30, 31 December 2008 (UTC)
I wonder if it really existed or if that was commercially done? Also Cambridge has started this odd practice of naming the same street intersection as multiple names. Example. In my area Concord Avenue intersects Chilton Street. At that same intersection point there is a "Francis Pierce Square" on the Northeast corner, a "George Hutchinson Square" on the Southeast corner, and a "Melvin Downs Square" on the South western corner. I'm wondering what the 4th corner (the northwest corner) at that same intersection will be called in future?

P.S. Here's a photo and the property information of that building at the city assessor's website. (950 Mass. Ave. I can see from that photo the sign about it being a "Square" directly next to the bus stop sign on the right hand half of the page. I can't remember what was on that site before they built that building. I remember it being a hole in the ground for a while... I think it was a grassy field for a while prior (??? ) with big grates leading down to the Red Line subway below. From the photo, you can see the big red sign with the "F" in the middle of the screen showing the emergency fire department hatch to the subway now.

CaribDigita (talk) 07:16, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

I've seen the sign as well. In general, my inclination in the main article would be to show restraint in proliferating the names of squares and neighborhoods that aren't in widespread use. After all, Cambridge has lots of "squares" that basically consist of a sign at a street intersection. And, like many cities, there are doubtless lots of mini-neighborhoods identified by various rarely-used colloquial names. And I would tend to put "Bay Square" in that category. ghaff (talk) 14:31, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

Expansion request - Somerville boundary question

The city has a rather small and oddly shaped geographic footprint. Why were the outlying areas split into separate municipalities? How was the border with Charlestown/Somerville determined, and why is it where it is? It seems rather odd that the center of the settlement (Harvard Square) would be so close to its frontier. Looking at, it seems part of the eastern border was determined by the Miller's River (which I'm not sure exists anymore). I wonder if this used to go farther inland. Perhaps a full-size older map would be helpful in illustrating this once it is researched. -- Beland 23:29, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

Somerville was originally part of Charlestown and, as you say, the Miller's River was apparently part of the boundary between Cambridge and Charlestown. At the time, this boundary was in essentially a rural area between Charlestown and (what would be later named) Cambridge. My understanding is that some of the odd jogs in the straight part of the boundary relate to the construction of Beacon St. and other adjustments related to putting properties on one side of the border or another. See e.g.

ghaff (talk) 14:54, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

I thought I heard at some point that where the Fitchburg Line is now was a filled-in stream or riverbed? I wonder where it would be possible to verify that now? CaribDigita (talk) 23:31, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

What is now the Fitchburg line looks like it followed and partially ran above a section of the aforementioned Miller's River which was largely filled in over time. Here's some background on it. ghaff (talk) 14:12, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

It looks like I had heard right at least partly.

I found these links.

- (Quote) The northeast side of these dmlins drains directly into the Mystic River, which forms part of the city boundary with Medford; the hills to the southwest drained into Miller's (once 'Willis's) Creek, a vanished Charles River tributary, now largely traced by the route of the Fitchburg Railroad. Alewife Brook, tributary to the Mystic, marks the city's northwest boundary with Arlington. (end Quote)

  • The Whistler - From the Agassiz School Neighborhood in Cambridge. - June 2002

- (Quote) The Watery History of Sacramento Field [ . . . ]

Isaac Bradford, who lives at 46 Sacramento Street, tells me that up to about 40 years ago on the spot where the springs are located was quite a pond several feet deep with a stream running from it across Sacramento Street down through the Palfrey estate across the Fitchburg railroad and emptying into Miller’s river. (end Quote)

CaribDigita (talk) 17:40, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

Map requests

It would be neat to have maps that:

  • Show present-day features, such as major squares, districts, and roads
  • Show the original shoreline and changes over the years
  • Show the original extent of territory, and which pieces were separated or added when.

-- Beland 23:31, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

Same-sex marriage history

I have provisonally replaced the statement "The first legal same-sex civil marriage ceremonies in America were held at Cambridge's City Hall" with a narrower one that is easily verified, because so far I can't find a good source to verify the original wording. Now, the original statement may very well be true -- it's certainly likely, since Cambridge opened city hall at midnight May 17 to issue applications for marriage licenses, and the city clerk solemnized a same-sex marriage at 9:15 a.m. [3]. However, I cannot yet find a source verifying that the latter really was the first marriage of the day -- news accounts report couples with a waiver rushing many places to get married that morning. If anyone can, please add the source and restore the old text. --WikkiTikkiTavi 05:41, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

About the City

Regarding the 'Leftbank' 'PRC' 'Kremlin'comments- does anyone else think they should be removed or at least be made clear that no one in Cambridge refers to themselves that way? And certainly Harvard is not the leftist of the lefts in this town. If any body embodies the freemarket-capital-society-ethics of this country, it's Harvard. I think this paragraph is silly at best and should be clarified that this type of nickname is inflicted upon us by outsiders for having an independent spirit.

I think your recent small edit to that effect makes the point nicely. I don't know if the left-wing labels are notable enough for an encyclopedia article; possibly, I suppose. But I think the real problem with this paragraph, and indeed almost the entire article, is that it's unsourced and appears to be largely based on original reseach, i.e., mostly written by those of us who live here and just know all this stuff. From the Wikipedia standards point of view, it's the same as hearsay, even though the article is largely accurate. I know we have a missing references tag lower down the page; perhaps we should place a similar tag at the top of the article in the hopes that Cantabrigian Wikipedians will take up the cause and dig up more references. Any thoughts on that? --WikkiTikkiTavi 04:29, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

I think that is a great idea. I have a lot of books myself, and I will try to dig up some sources. I'm totally new to Wiki editing, so I made need some help (read: feel free to fix anything I messup :)....I know there's also zoning maps and stuff available for free download off the town site.

As a non Canterbrigian (did I get that right?), you might be interested to know that the section on "left bank" "Kremlin" really struck me as out of place. It was clearly conjecture either by a very proud local liberal or a very bitter conservative, either local or otherwise. Either way, it did not present a very objective view of the city. It's also quite hard to believe such an epicenter of power and elitist power production does much more than protect the status quo at all costs - especially being so close to the notoriously reticent Boston. - Douglas, 4/10/07

"Cantabrigian" (I think?) I'm not trying to nit pick. But I'm just thinking about the Teachers Caffeteria inside the Rindge and Latin H.S. a.k.a "The Cantabrigia". Where the teachers buy their favourate---- students lunch... Its kind of close to the loading dock on Cambridge Street (It is hidden in that rounded section of the building.) CaribDigita 00:37, 10 April 2007 (UTC)


Including a map or two, as Image's, would eliminate most of the words in the descriptions of squares and neighborhoods, and convey the geographic information in a much clearer, shorter, interesting, and graphical way. It would also much more clearly convey information not in the descriptions, like where each square is in relation to each neighborhood, and each neigborhood to it's abutting neighborhood and cities. This is easily a case where a picture is worth a thousand words.

Does any one know of an adequete or two GFDLed map, or be capable of making one/two and "giving" it to Wikipedia and the world? Lentower 12:12, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

Created Middle East nightclub article

I Created an article about the The Middle East (nightclub) and its notability is being questioned - Add your thoughts to the page. Cheers Markco1 23:32, 17 December 2006 (UTC)

Way, way too much about the Fire Department

Is a huge subsection about the fire department really necessary? It also seems to me to be highly technical and better suited to an article about firefighting; a better mention of the fire department might be the unique older firehouses the city features. Cantabwarrior 18:23, 24 May 2007 (UTC)

Worthy of mention? Most of Microsoft's Boston area office space will be in Cambridge?

More governmental information?

Hey everybody,

I live in Cambridgeport and was thinking the article might benefit from additional information about state and national government, namely, that Cambridge is part of the 8th MA Congressional district, represented by Mike Capuano, and is part of the 25th, 26th, and 29th state districts (Senate), represented by Alice Wolf, Timothy Toomey, and Rachel Kapreliean, respectively.

Got this info from Let me know if anything is out of date or needs fixing.

If there are no objections, I'll make the changes tomorrow, Monday the 20th.

- Justin

Jreans 05:45, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

Cambridge tried to be a self-contained city in the past...

I just thought of some things which could-- be added about Cambridge. Cambridge has always had a weird history of trying to be self-sufficient has anyone else noticed this???? If you find a job in Cambridge, you could literally almost never need to leave the city.

  • It used to have their own dump. Right behind the Fresh Pond mall. (Namely Danehy Park.)
  • It used to have their own power company. The Cambridge Light and Power Company (later Commonwealth Electric, Now NSTAR.) The power plants still remain standing. One is on the corner of Western Avenue & Memorial Drive.... The other one is next to the two draw-bridges at Kendall Square along the Charles River. Some of the substations remain too. There's a huge one near the bridge over the commuter rail tracks near Alewife. Just across from the Fresh Pond Mall. There's another one on Walden Street too, (just off to the side of the bridge being rebuilt it is next to the commuter rail tracks as well, there is another one on Concord Avenue right next to the firewood shop. Just across from Fresh Pond near the Sozio's appliance store.)
  • The city also used to have underground city wide natural gas storage in the Kendal Square area. Anyone remember when all those huge gas mains which used to dominate Third Street (Over near the brand new Genezyme Headquarters????).
  • The city also owns their own municipal water supply. Of course, opting not to use the MWRA. (The watershed area includes Fresh Pond where the water treatment plant is, that HUGE lake off of Route 128/95 in Waltham. That lake is the property of Cambridge and is part of the water supply that feeds into Fresh Pond via pipes through Belmont etc.) [4].
  • The city owns their own fiber optics network which connects to all the city's government buildings. However, I'm not sure though if they've gotten rid of it due to the cheapness of being able to get this type of stuff directly from Verizon.
  • Cambridge & Somerville Hospitals share medical services between one another including their health programme known as "Network Health" [5] (Part of of the "Cambridge Health Alliance") which is a health network for the two cities.
  • Cambridge also has their own affordable housing agency [6], [7]
  • Cambridge has their own 'low-interest' loan home-restoration company.[8]
  • They have their own version of the Better Business Bureau (Known as the "Cambridge Consumers Council " [9]
  • Cambridge is one of the main members of the MBTA's Advisory Board.
  • Any Cambridge family can request--- enrollment for their student in any programme offered at the Minute Man Vocational School in Lexington. (Only for programmes NOT already available at the Rindge School of Technical Arts.)
  • Any Cambridge family can request--- enrollment for their student in any programme offered at Harvard's Extension School (Only for programmes NOT already available at CRLS. And it will be for College credit. Even while that student is in H/s.)
  • The city of Cambridge used to treat their own sewage at a small water treatment plant just beside the B.U. Bridge (along the Charles River.) With the opening of the Deer island plant, the city now feeds their sewage out to Deer island-- via Boston. At this time, only the storm drains along city streets in Cambridge should now still feed into this B.U. Bridge area water treatment facility. Some parts of Cambridge near the city of Arlington may still feed into the Mystic River/Alewife Brook (towards Medford area)
  • Cambridge is seeking to run their own city-wide WiFi network.[10]

CaribDigita 05:41, 6 October 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for compiling this list. Lots of items here that could enrich the article. One that I would not include is the power substations. These have nothing to do with Cambridge self-sufficiency, but are simply part of the power distribution system. They "remain" because, as far as I know, they are very much in active use. Hertz1888 07:15, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
Yes, you're absolutely correct about the substation sentiments. IMHO. I wouldn't include that myself. I merely threw that out there because Wikipedia is supposed to be about verifible facts. I threw those out there because if anyone is near those things you can see the signs/lettering along the top or on the gates of those facilities. Albeit the Walden/Concord Ave. facilities have Ivy growing all over the building so-as to make it blend in with the surroundings.... Some manhole covers in Cambridge also still bear the name Cambridge Light and Power. Same-- for the sewage treatment hidden behind trees next to the B.U. bridge. Some of it I also stated because it may jog the memories of other long time Cambridge residents. I don't know the full structure of the Cambridge Light and Power Company, however I read recently the City of Cambridge bought back their street light poles from NSTAR? (They stated the agreement with NSTAR wasn't working out and they wanted to regain control of the poles in the city. CaribDigita 01:43, 7 October 2007 (UTC)
When I was little, I thought this self-contained we're-NOT-Boston attitude was the origin of the People's Republic of Cambridge. In actuality,it has to do with the supposed left-leaning politics in the city, right? I think I'll just stick with Seven Self-Contained Square Miles Surrounded by Reality.  :-) Great list though, I didn't know most of these, especially the one about the lake on 128. Thanks, CSZero 11:17, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
Here's another tid-bit... Lets just say, since that lake is on the border of Lincoln, Lexington, Weston and Waltham. They have tried to take back their lake before... Cambridge is however semi-protected by the State. Since that is drinking water, those places can't do anything with it. Map here -- Note Rt. 128 is depicted on the far right going from top to bottom.

P.S. Factoid... Cambridge was one of the first cities in the U.S.A. to begin adding Fluoride to the drinking water to reduce dental cavities in children. CaribDigita 01:43, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

About, "that HUGE lake off of Route 128/95 in Waltham." Cambridge actually owns a lake out of the city (in Waltham)?-- (talk) 23:44, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

Info on Cambridge

I thought I would post this link, some good facts about Cambridge, if I have time I will add them to the article within the next week or so..Bronayur (talk) 20:55, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

High schools

The section on public schools has conflicting information: The section on this page lists two public high schools, but the page for Cambridge Rindge and Latin says that it is the only public high school. One page or the other is incorrect. (talk) 18:20, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

It looks as if Rindge is the only high school in the Cambridge Public Schools system. The other one appears to be a charter school that happens to be located in Cambridge but isn't part of the Cambridge school system. AJD (talk) 18:35, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

BBN is also a high school. -- (talk) 04:11, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

A private school. AJD (talk) 06:33, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
Cambridge Ringe and Latin is the only Public High School in Cambridge. Bluesmanjay (talk) 18:06, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
Notwithstanding what it says on the web site you cite, that doesn't appear to be true. Prospect Hill Academy is a public school, and its 9–12th grade division is located in Cambridge. AJD (talk) 19:54, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
Actually Prospect Hill Academy is a Charter School. So I guess the real question is, are Pulbic Schools (run the the city or town) and Charter Schools (Schools that are run independently) the same thing, as they are both open to the public. Maybe a better way to say it is, Cambridge Ringe and Latin is the only Municiple High School in the city???? I've always thought of public and charter schools as different (why else would they have different names?). Bluesmanjay (talk) 21:47, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
Yes, a charter school is a kind of public school. Rindge is the only municipal high school in Cambridge, or the only high school in the Cambridge Public Schools system, or however you want to put it, but Prospect Hill Academy is taxpayer-funded and subject to the same general regulations as all other public schools in Massachusetts. AJD (talk) 01:53, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
A Charter School is open to the public. But I think when the general population talks about schools, they think of public schools as schools run by the school department (which Charter Schools are not). I think some distinction needs to be made. The way the article reads not
The public high schools in Cambridge are Cambridge Rindge and Latin (also known as CRLS), part of the Cambridge Public School system, and Prospect Hill Academy, a charter school whose middle and high schools are in Central Square.
I believe is appropriate. As both schools are mentioned but there is a distinction between the two. Bluesmanjay (talk) 11:54, 22 February 2008 (UTC)Bluesmanjay (talk) 11:55, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
I don't see what's wrong with that description—it gets the distinction across, though I grant as it currently appears in context in the article it appears a little confusing. I'll fix it up a bit. AJD (talk) 16:39, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
I agree. What I meant to say before was "The way the article reads now is appropirate". It makes the distinction that should be there. Bluesmanjay (talk) 23:41, 22 February 2008 (UTC)


The neighborhoods section seems to take the police division mapping of the city into "neighborhoods" as gospel. I think this is wrong-headed. This is division of the city for police purposes and does not correspond to what people would widely consider the neighborhoods of Cambridge (though some areas correspond better than others). For example I doubt you will find many people who consider their neighborhood to be "Area 4" or "Mid-Cambridge". Huron Village should be considered a full-on neighborhood and not merely a portion of "West Cambridge", which is not so much a neighborhood but a more general term used to refer vaguely to that side of town. Many of the neighborhoods are defined by the squares, and the statement to the contrary seem to be only an attempt to validate the artificial construct from the police map. This section needs a complete overhaul.--Ericjs (talk) 05:14, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

I generally agree although I'm not sure of the the best way to fix. I don't see any authoritative source that break out Cambridge neighborhoods in a way that residents tend to think about them. I've never seen a map that breaks Cambridge into generally-accepted areas such as you see for Manhattan (and, to a lesser degree, Boston). As you say, residents often talk about neighborhoods in terms of square names. Some (but not others) of the listed neighborhoods seem to get used mostly where there isn't a prominent square nearby or the area otherwise has an historical or current unique character (such as Cambridgeport).

(For what it's worth, this site ( lists the following as neighborhoods which maps pretty well to how I think most residents would think of the city: Central Square, Riverside, Cambridgeport, Inman Square, Kendall Square, MIT, Harvard Square, Agassiz, East Cambridge, Porter Square, Huron Village, North Cambridge, Strawberry Hill. But I don't know if people would regard this as an authoritative list.) ghaff (talk) 14:15, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

That citysquares list sounds more realistic to me, but I wish we could find someone who could lay some claim as an "expert". As far as their being an authoritative source, that is the nature of things like this, there is none, though I think some approximation of most resident's perception is possible. I wouldn't doubt that there is some generational differences in the ideas of the neighboorhood breakdown.--Ericjs (talk) 03:57, 24 February 2009 (UTC)

Newetowne vs. Newtowne

Before this develoves into an edit war, I am noting here that I am changing the "original name" of the city to "Newtowne" rather than "Newetowne", but leaving the second as an alternate, based on the following:

Thanks, BCorr|Брайен 23:05, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

Text below crossposted from User talk:Hertz1888 -- BCorr|Брайен 13:07, 26 December 2008 (UTC)

BCorr|Брайен 23:15, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

Greetings. I appreciate the courtesy and your earnest efforts, but would have preferred discussion in advance; I do not agree with your conclusion as to the original name. I thought I had the name & its evolution well-sourced, and now see my previous edit as supported, rather than contradicted, by your own most official, primary source, "Report on the Custody...". That source is a valuable find. Please note there, on the same page, that before the name evolved into Newtowne (by 1638), the town had the name Newe Towne (two words), per the 1632 record. Whoever wrote the history on the Cambridge city site may not have seen "Report on the Custody" or looked farther back than 1638 by other means. As for what's most common in searches, frequency is not objective evidence; as I'm sure you know, errors sometimes are propagated & become entrenched and popular.
I don't want an edit war and hope we can quickly reach agreement. As you have recognized, Drake and The Boston Book give Newe Towne as the first proper name. That is, happily, corroborated by the 1632 Mass. record. Please review the evidence and see if you don't agree. With your concurrence, I will put the original name back to Newe Towne and integrate into the article the Mass. records page you located. We don't want to be responsible for propagating any errors. Thank you. Hertz1888 (talk) 00:46, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for your reply -- I do appreciate it. Here's the full text from that reference:
Town of Newtowne.'
July 26. Mass. Rec., Vol. I., p. 90. " Charlton, Misticke, and the newe town " are mentioned.
Mar. 6. Mass. Rec., Vol. I., p. 94. " Bounds between Charles-Towne and Newe Towne " established.
8. Mass. Rec., Vol. I.f p. 180. " Newe Town now called Cambridge."
2. Mass. Rec.; Vol. I., p. 228. "It is ordered that Newtowne shall hence-forward be called Cambridge."
So I don't think that anything is completely clear here: The title of the section says "Newtowne" while the quotes from the records say "Newe Towne", "Newe Town", and "Newtowne". This all says to me that while spelling may have varied according to who was writing, the Commonwealth considers the original name to be "Newtowne," and I do think there is insufficient evidence to conclude that there was an evolution in the accepted spelling in the space of just six years, just as it would be unlikely that "Charlton" evolved into "Charles-Towne".
Thanks Again
BCorr|Брайен 01:53, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
The Commonwealth, like most of us, would, I believe, use as a section heading the ultimate, most developed version, not the most primitive. They do not claim that the heading represents the original name. As for there having been an evolution, it's not I (alone) that's saying it. The point is cited (Drake, p. 306), and we can (& should) use that. The Mass. records are the earliest and most authoritative. If contradicted by some later publications (1913 Atkins and recent city site), we can either omit them or comment on the apparent contradiction. I see no alternative then to go with the 1632 version (p. 94)—which is very clear—as the basic authority. It's the earliest proper name (capitalized) we have that's on contemporaneous, official public record. If I thought there was substantial doubt as to the original name, on this basis, I would suggest putting alternatives in a footnote, but as it stands I don't see the need even for that. You have actually cinched the case for Newe Towne by providing the 1889 Mass. source. Hertz1888 (talk) 02:44, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
I don't compltely agree, but I do understand your points and I'd be comfortable with Newe Towne as opposed to Newetowne.

Thanks Again,
BCorr|Брайен 13:07, 26 December 2008 (UTC)

Barry's Corner

Where in North Cambridge is Barry's Corner? It's mentioned in Tip O'Neill. -- Beland (talk) 17:24, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

At or around the intersection of Rindge Ave., Cedar and Middlesex Streets. See for location of historical marker. Hertz1888 (talk) 17:38, 1 January 2009 (UTC)


CaribDigita mentions in an edit summary: "According to figures by Cambridge city government, MIT reports to them 7,820 employees? But MIT says they have 11,500 on website? [11] what a conundrum."

I don't think it's a conundrum. Not all of MIT's employees are employed in Cambridge. MIT has facilities outside Cambridge, such as Lincoln Labs and WHOI. rspεεr (talk) 07:21, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

  • Okay, ofcourse. I had no idea MIT had other areas outside of Cambridge? I knew Harvard did as they have buildings all over the U.S.A, but it never occurred to me that MIT might have facilities outside of Cambridge. Just of curiosity what might WHOI stand for? By chance would you happen to know (or think) it could be possible for these other facilities along with Lincoln Labs to have the remaining (almost) 3700 people? CaribDigita (talk) 00:31, 6 June 2009 (UTC)
WHOI is Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. It's not MIT per se but there is a joint program there which presumably has some number of MIT employees. Lincoln Labs is substantial and they also run Haystack in Westford and do field work at a number of other sites.They employed 2600 people as of 2007 ( MIT also has various other employees around the world--I imagine into the hundreds at any rate (in Washington, regional MIT club administrators, etc.). That's not to say that the two employee counts are necessarily completely consistent; you could well have somewhat different definitions of employees and so forth. But, especially given Lincoln Labs, any discrepency is relatively small. ghaff (talk) 14:49, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

A Harvard/MIT land acquisition ban in Camb?

Has anyone come across any news articles about this? Or perhaps been to any hearings of the city council where someone in authority stated this??? According to that source (which I knew personally) they stated to me that Harvard and MIT were barred by the city council from being able to acquire anymore land in the city? Unfortunately, my source (which had worked with the city) has moved abroad. According to the same source, they also said Arlington was considering similar action on Harvard at the time? I came up with a few articles below highlighting some of the not-so-rosy relations between Harvard and local municipalities but nothing say an all out ban on buying more property in these areas...

I also see now Harvard has been buying and selling houses in my neighbourhood under their own Real Estate company??? ("Harvard University Realty")??? Well, I guess that is one way to bypass any say of the city. They can't block private companies from buying land. Just tax exempt schools. CaribDigita (talk) 06:54, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

Harvard's 2005 "Town/Gown Report" to Cambridge [12] lists property that Harvard bought and sold that year, so I doubt such a ban exists. I'd question whether the City of Cambridge has legal authority to impose such a ban anyway.--agr (talk) 12:29, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
There is no such ban. It's illegal under the constitution. Lentower (talk) 10:10, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

A list of tallest buildings in Cambridge?

I'm trying to canvass some opinions. Are buildings tall enough in Cambridge to have a "tallest buildings in Cambridge" article list? I'm thinking that Kendall Square area is certainly getting 'up there'. And also I'm seeing general information online that I think could be put to the test. MIT is claiming their Green building is the tallest building in Cambridge??? But I question that? I count roughly 16-17 windows on the façade??? (You can see the photo of it here )

  • The former Edward J. Sullivan Superior Courthouse (48 Thorndike Street) is 20 storeys.
  • The Manning Apartments (240 Green Street / Central Square area) - 19 storeys
  • The Fresh Pond Apartments and Rindge Towers located near Alewife are 22 storeys.
  • The 704 Huron Avenue near the Fresh Pond golf course 20 storeys.
  • Marriott Hotel at (8 Cambridge Centre) Kendall T-station 15 storeys.
  • There's a Brutalist building along Mass. Ave. between Harvard Square (929 Mass Ave) 16 storeys.
  • Lastly, the Apartment building in East Cambridge (3 Lambert Street) 19 storeys.
  • Along Memorial Drive there's a few other buildings that are unusually high for their Cambridge surroundings. I seriously wonder though, if the Green Building is in fact the tallest? When I walk though Kendall Square, I'm constantly see new buildings opening (on that side of Cambridge) and they seem to keep on getting taller and taller.

CaribDigita (talk) 03:17, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

CD, your cultural roots are showing. Stories is correct American English, as would apply in the present context. Cheers, Hertz1888 (talk) 16:32, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

The claim, on the WP Green Building page, was made by someone at MIT 10 years ago. Find a reputable source more recent than that that shows another building is taller. Lentower (talk) 03:30, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

You assume that the height of a story is the same in each building you mention. This assumption is wrong. Lentower (talk) 03:30, 26 September 2009 (UTC)
The Green Building's stories are much taller than those in most buildings. I used to walk to the 11th floor. The reasoning that I have heard is that they wanted the building to be the tallest for the Doppler radar on top, and the building height limit in Cambridge used to be stories, not height. After the Green building was built they instituted a height cap that requires buildings to be shorter than it. Also, it is 18 stories, but is on stilts and has a lecture hall as one of the stories. It was evacuated on September 11 as the tallest building there. And after all those anecdotes, a source that will answer all questions. Awickert (talk) 04:13, 26 September 2009 (UTC)
400 and 402 Rindge Avenue state they are 22 stories tall according the City of Cambridge property Assessor's website. Unfortunately it doesn't list building's height overall. If you've ever driven past Alewife T-Station you can't miss these three buildings.
The property at 704 Huron Avenue is reportedly 20 stories tall according to the same City of Cambridge property Assessor's site.
I don't think the Assessor's website lists specs on the Green Building, since I don't believe the Green Building has an actual street address? (outside of 77 Massachusetts Avenue?), or the MIT based building letter and number. CaribDigita (talk) 05:40, 26 September 2009 (UTC)
The Green Building does have an address: it is something Ames St. (Its MIT number is 54.) But the link I provided above should give decent info on most of the tallest. Awickert (talk) 06:49, 26 September 2009 (UTC)
The USPS official address of the Green Building is
77 Massachusetts Ave. - 54-ROOM_NUMBER Lentower (talk) 10:24, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

MIT builds many of it's buildings wth a larger story height to hold large research equipment, including the Green Building. Though it's true that the Meteorology Dept convinced the donor to pay to have the Green Building the tallest in Boston at the time. Meteorology wanted it's weather radars to have no obstructions. The MIT administration was opposed because of the added cost. They could have gotten a lot more floor space for the same dollars. They were also pretty sure that taller buildings would be built across the river in Boston soon - they were right. Lentower (talk) 10:18, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

There is an international organization that lists tallest buildings and structures. They use at least four different definitions. Anyone want to track them down for us? Lentower (talk) 17:31, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

A list of tallest buildings in Cambridge is not notable for WP

A list of tallest buildings in Cambridge is NOT notable by wikipedia standards. Lentower (talk) 03:30, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

Okay. I suspected as much. They may well have to be taller skyscrapers it seems. Similar to List of Boston skyscrapers. —Preceding unsigned comment added by CaribDigita (talkcontribs) 11:20, 26 September 2009 (UTC
Taller or some other way notable. You could try and expand the Boston list to Metro Boston. Both the Green Building at MIT, and Harvard's Holyoke Center are notable enough, though perhaps not tall enough. Lentower (talk) 17:23, 26 September 2009 (UTC)
I looked up Holyoke Center (1336-1362 Massachusetts Avenue). I was curious about that one too. It is visually an imposing structure right at the heart of Harvard Square but, according to the city's website, it is a mere 10 Storeys in height. Harvard has a taller white building along Kirkland St. (Actually considered 2 Oxford Street though) that one is 15 storeys. Holyoke Ctr. I don't believe would even make it to the top "10 tallest buildings in Cambridge" list. Perhaps a 25 but I doubt 10??? I think the top 10 might get to say ~ 15 storeys? (Bearing in mind ofcourse not all storey heights are the same, and these buildings would need to be ranked by actual elevation in feet (or Meters). The building in Central Square at the corner of Propsect St. and Mass Ave. is 13 storeys itself. The Hyatt Hotel (595 Memorial Drive) near the BU Bridge is 16 storeys. So even those buildings could possibly out rank Holyoke Center.
Not a chance for Holyoke Center to make 25th place. Nos. 20-25 on the Emporis list cited earlier have 19 or 20 stories each, and there is nothing exceptional about story heights at Holyoke. Hertz1888 (talk) 20:15, 26 September 2009 (UTC)
Very cool. I think they pretty much got them all. The only ones I can think of which may very well be too short is the white building on Kirkland Street. Here it is on Google streetview [13]. I count 15 storeys (which I think would be taller than the City Hall building?) CaribDigita (talk) 00:37, 27 September 2009 (UTC)
Holyoke Center was one of Cambridge's tallest, if not the tallest building, when it was built. The Boston list mentioned above has a chronological list of the tallest building from Boston's founding, and Holyoke's might make Cambridge's historical list. Harvard's white building on Kirkland is William James Hall. Lentower (talk) 01:14, 27 September 2009 (UTC)
33 Kirkland Street. Hertz1888 (talk) 01:22, 27 September 2009 (UTC)
Oddly enough Cambridge has it listed as 2 Oxford. On the Assessor's site, If you scroll down there's a bunch of buildings listed as being at 2 Oxford Street. I wonder if it was a glitch on Cambridge's part? or if Harvard considered that one parcel of land with a single main address? P.S. I had no idea about Holyoke being one of the tallest Cambridge-buildings of its time? That's pretty cool if true. CaribDigita (talk) 16:54, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

New 2k10 phone book "Cambridge, Middlesex" and "Cambridge, Suffolk"?

Are we disintegrating? According to Page 8 of the new "Greater Boston Yellowbook" phonebooks for 2010. Zip codes: 02138-02142, and 02238 are "Cambridge, Middlesex"; while 02163 is listed as "Cambridge, Suffolk". What gives? Are they mistaking the state senate districting areas (in place of actual county location)? Or perhaps there is a covert plan to have Cambridge join Suffolk county (at least piece by piece)?

It turns out the US Postal Service(Federal government) is the source of this information. They list 02163 (in Alston, Boston, Suffolk Country) as being acceptable to name it as Cambridge? source

CaribDigita (talk) 19:25, 6 January 2010 (UTC)

Isn't that the Harvard Business School area? With most of Harvard just across the river, there's some logic to regarding that as an extension of Cambridge. Hertz1888 (talk) 23:00, 6 January 2010 (UTC)

Time Warner Cable's regional HQ in Cambridge?

Under Economy of Cambridge it states Time Warner Cable's regional HQ for New England is in Cambridge??? Is there a source referring to something recent??? I thought many of those cable systems and infrastructure were swapped in the late 90s. Time Warner Cable was given some of AT&T's cities/towns in upstate New York, in exchange for TWC's Boston area systems. New York-based Cablevision gave Downtown-Boston to AT&T in exchange for networks elsewhere in New York too I thought. The current Time Warner Cable site says nothing about Cambridge. (Locations) The closet thing to this that I can think of was back when MediaOne Express and Time Warner formed a joint "Roadrunner Broadband" service. The New England MediaOne and later Roadrunner website for New England was for a short time updated from the 88 Sherman Street office where they also maintained After the AT&T Broadband buyout, AT&T no longer had a focus on local content and they devised a new structure between them and Time Warner. They terminated and other team members at Sherman Street. From then on, all of the website updates for AT&T and Time Warner were transfered to somewhere in Virginia. AT&T's main NOC office for New England was up in Chelmsford, MA though. I don't know if it still is though. CaribDigita (talk) 19:32, 5 February 2010 (UTC)

Dancing Arts

Cambridge Massuchutes is home to Static noyze.. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:46, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

Shoreline map

It would be interesting to have a map that showed the original shoreline vs. the current one, and when landfilled areas were added. -- Beland (talk) 06:02, 23 August 2010 (UTC)

Much of Mt. Auburn Cem. in Watertown?

I am adding citation needed for the claim that "much of the Mt. Auburn cemetery lies in Watertown" because I know when on Mount Auburn St. the town line is just after the Shaws (after the Watertown Branch Railroad tracks. Furthermore, to the south is the Winsor Belmont Hill Boathouse along the Charles. Again also (again) in Cambridge [14] So those pretty well outline the western edge of Cambridge and much of Mt. Auburn is within that. I think from the Charles River Grove St.(?) is the boundary??? Anyway I'd be interested in seeing the source that claims much of Mt. Auburn is in Watertown given the split of Mt. Auburn/Belmont St. are town-line plus the boathouse along the Charles is also in Cambridge. CaribDigita (talk) 21:46, 4 February 2011 (UTC)

See . The Cambridge border in the cemetery is Coolidge Ave and the bulk of the cemetery is west of that. --agr (talk) 21:56, 4 February 2011 (UTC)
Oh my!!! Okay so it really does check out. I find that totally fascinating. So that might help account to why there is a "Cambridge Cemetery" next to Mt. Auburn. ;)

CaribDigita (talk) 23:22, 4 February 2011 (UTC)

Only City Using Single Transferable Vote?

"Since the disbanding of the New York City Community School Boards in 2002, Cambridge's Council is now unusual in being the only governing body in the United States to still use STV."

Is this true since Minneapolis adopted ranked choice voting in 2009? I believe they use single transferable vote for their park board and board of estimate and taxation. Are those not "governing bodies"? --Banyan (talk) 22:05, 5 December 2012 (UTC)

worthy of mention?

A little bit of amusement (for now, not sure what will happen if he's actually elected), but one "Roger Nicholson" has cooked up a plan whereby he claims if he's elected to Cambridge's City Council he plans to broach the idea of annexing the neighborhood of Davis Square in exchange for allowing Somerville to annex East Cambridge. This came to my mind today with another current City Councillor Mr. Leland Cheung sending me his first pre-election campaign email today. So I guess the election season is here. I've yet to hear of any individuals seeking Cambridge office with the expressed purpose of altering the city's long established boundaries.

CaribDigita (talk) 17:02, 23 July 2011 (UTC)

Sorry for no summary

Sorry for not including a summary, I simply removed Kraców because below it was listed as inactive, so a double mention was confusing. Same with the relation with British Cambridge, to avoid an unecesary double mention. Thank you (talk) 00:54, 4 January 2012 (UTC)

Cambridge Police Dept. photo up for deletion.

I obtained a photo of the Cambridge Police Department from an old press release document outlining the city's intent to purchase the building (I believe it was.)

I wrote to the City Manager's office and was approved for the fore-mentioned image to be included on *that page* of Wikipedia (Non-commercial use). It is currently up for deletion. I know I only went through all the trouble of calling and emailing the city because I had great difficulty in getting that 5 story building into a single photo. I tried on three occasions. Does anyone in that area want to try and see if they have better luck than myself in taking a good photo? One that's as good as the current one up for deletion. Me personally, I can't see why a commercial entity would need a free use image of the Cambridge Police dept. building. CaribDigita (talk) 18:20, 3 March 2012 (UTC)