The City of Somerville is culturally rich urban industrial city just 3 miles north of Boston. With 77,000 residents living in slightly over 4 square miles of land, it the most densely populated community in New England. The city is a diverse community of blue-collar families, young professionals, college students and recent immigrants... Show all »
The City of Somerville is culturally rich urban industrial city just 3 miles north of Boston. With 77,000 residents living in slightly over 4 square miles of land, it the most densely populated community in New England. The city is a diverse community of blue-collar families, young professionals, college students and recent immigrants from nearly every continent. It is known for its large number of squares, which help mark neighborhood boundaries while also featuring bustling commercial, entertainment and cuisine centers. Among the most vibrant are Davis Square, Union Square, Ball Square, Teele Square and Magoun Square.
Somerville is situated in the Mystic Valley on the Boston transportation corridor to the northwest. A vast network of roads and public transportation lines link the city with Boston and other communities. Early in its history, Somerville served as the grazing land for the residents of Charlestown and there were only a few scattered permanent settlements here. One exception was Governor Winthrops estate at Ten Hills, the location where the first ship built in the colonies, the Blessing of the Bay, was constructed in 1631.
Somerville's position along a divide between the lower Charles and Mystic River watersheds gave the town a critical military position in the Revolution. Fortifications were built on Prospect Hill, and later, Somerville was an important corridor of turnpike, canal and railroad routes from Boston during the early 19th century. Somerville's location, close to Boston and Charlestown, assured early development of markets for the citys agriculture and dairy products as well as well as for pottery, bricks and slate. Rural Somerville eventually separated from Charlestown and was incorporated in 1842.
However, as the 19th century progressed, a variety of brick and metal manufacturing industries and meat packing attracted population growth as immigrants settled in Somerville. By the early 1900's, Somerville itself had become a densely-packed and ethnically diverse urban area. Closely built two family homes and triple-deckers were put up around the city to house this population. This architecture still remains in Somerville that has a mixture of single-family, multi-family and condominium housing. Condos, largely built in reconverted homes and industrial space range in size and price from $150,000 to over $1 million for a vast loft space. Single family homes can be found on both dense urban and tree-lined suburban streets. Prices average from $400,000 to $600,000. Multi-family homes appealing to investors in this active rental market range from $400,000 to over a million dollars, depending on the number of units.
Somerville hosts a wide range of opportunities to enjoy its art and culture. The Somerville Arts Council sponsors a variety of festivals, exhibits and open-studio events. The city also boasts a number of small galleries, providing opportunities for local artists and the general public, the Brickbottom Artists Association is one of the more established. The diverse ethnic heritage of the community can be appreciated in a wealth of restaurants and food stores found throughout Somerville.