R. Buckminster Fuller in Cambridge

By Richard Lingner, 2011 If you’ve read anything about Richard Buckminster Fuller (1895–1983), you probably know that Fuller was kicked out of Harvard College. And not just once, but twice. He never graduated. You may not know, however, about some of his more positive experiences in Cambridge, including a stint as a visiting Harvard professor in the early 1960s. In … Read More

1986 Neighborhood Trivia Hunt

Cambridge Trivia Hunt

Cambridge has certainly changed over time, and our 1986 trivia hunt shows just how true that is. It serves as a kind of time capsule of our city. Take a trip back in time with this self-guided tour to see how many of these sites are still around. Which ones do you recognize? Which ones do you remember? What are … Read More

Lois Lilley Howe: Pioneer Career Woman, Architect, Cambridge Citizen

By Larry Nathanson This article was originally published as a chapter in Cambridge in the Twentieth Century, edited by Daphne Abeel, Cambridge Historical Society, 2007.  Inspired by Cambridge Historical Society’s 2020 theme—Who are Cambridge Women?—the author has reviewed the manuscript and made a few updates. Introduction Growing up in the house at number three Gray Gardens East (GGE), I was totally … Read More

Self-Guided Tour: Lois Lilley Howe Homes of Gray Gardens

By John Howe, volunteer, Spring 2020 Lois Lilley Howe (1864-1964), born and bred in Cambridge, Massachusetts, was one of the first women to graduate from Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s architectural program, the organizer of the only all-woman architectural firm in Boston in the early twentieth century, and the first woman elected as a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. … Read More

POSTPONED 2020 Spring Benefit

The Cambridge Historical Society is closely monitoring the recent outbreak of COVID-19. We continue to evaluate all measures in response to available information from the Cambridge Public Health Department and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Any changes to our event schedule will be communicated via our website, email, and social media. If you have further questions about our response, please … Read More

Opposition House

By Susan Chasen, 2012 Tucked away on a short spur off Hancock Street stands a quiet, historic home that has been known — if not well known — for most of its two hundred and five years as Opposition House. The name suggests a headquarters for political activity or resistance. But it was the house itself that expressed the opposition: … Read More

Mr. Foxcroft and His Street

By Michael Kenney, 2012 Along Cambridge Street one can spot a solid 1920s brick residence, now condominiums, known as Fox Croft Manor. The name, despite its fractured appearance, most likely refers to the Foxcroft family, Tory grandees who owned some120 acres of fields and orchards stretching beyond the present Kirkland Street to Shady Hill. Little else remains to recall, however … Read More

The Old Hooper-Lee House by Thomas Coffin Amory

From the Proceedings, Volume 16, p. 21-25 [The following is taken, by permission, from the little-known article by Thomas Coffin Amory (H. C. 1830) entitled “Old Cambridge and New,” in the Register of the New England Historic-Genealogical Society for July, 1871. It gives an interesting picture of the house some sixty years ago — very nearly in its original condition … Read More

Lois Lilley Howe by Elizabeth W. Reinhardt

Lois Lilley Howe, F.A.I.A. (1864-1964) by Elizabeth W. Reinhardt Read December 7, 1975 This article appeared in the Cambridge Historical Society Proceedings for the years 1973-1975 (Volume 43) Miss LOIS LILLEY HOWE, one of the first women to graduate from Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s architectural program, the organizer of the only all-woman architectural firm in Boston in the early twentieth … Read More

Touching History; Harvard Square, The Bank and The Tasty Diner [video]

Touching History tells the story of the re-development of Harvard Square’s Read Block. The film combines interviews with archival materials to take the viewer through the hows and whys of the project, introducing audiences to the necessary, sometimes polemical, but always compelling relationships that exist between the public and the private sector. At the film’s core is the inevitable push … Read More