Cambridge Historical Commission

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The Cambridge Historical Commission is the city’s historic preservation agency. In their research library you’ll find books on the history of Cambridge and surrounding towns, local community groups, historic preservation, biographies and memoirs of Cambridge people, and more. They have records of all 13,000+ Cambridge buildings, thousands of photographs, and occasionally offer guided tours for…

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A Brief History of “Ten Ten”

 By Elizabeth af Jochnick Before Ten Ten was Ten Ten, it was an in-patient infirmary for Harvard students, located next to Mount Auburn Hospital, known as the Stillman Infirmatory.  When the University moved its student health facilities to Harvard Square, they put the Infirmary up for sale.  Harvard offered to sell the building and the…

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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…

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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…

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Cambridge Love Letters

Red envelope with words "Cambridge Love Letters" written on white paper coming out of envelope

In June 2021, History Cambridge held and event called “Cambridge Love Letters” at Starlight Square. We asked members of the larger Cambridge community to send us their love letters to the city. These are some of the submissions. Dear Cambridge, When I first arrived in your port twenty-one years ago, I had no idea how…

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Lois Lilley Howe Hub

Lois Lilley Howe Photo

As part of our year asking “Who Are Cambridge Women?” meet Lois Lilley Howe. Learn about her life and work.

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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