Historic Walking Tours of East Somerville

This historic tour, “Connecting Assembly Square with East Somerville:  Looking Back, Going Forward”, was held on May 15th, 2022 in partnership with the  Somerville Historic Preservation Commission and Assembly Connect.

Researched and led by Edward Gordon and curated by J. Brandon Wilson. 

Introduction:

The route of this walking tour winds its way through a hybrid of paths – streets, thoroughfares, underpass, and a parking lot -- further underscoring that the area is in transition, from a previously major industrial zone to a totally new mixed-use community, that is gradually being reconnected to one of the older and generally tight knit neighborhoods in Somerville, along Lower Broadway known for its “States” avenues and ethnically rich commercial district.  The Walk shows how the two areas can remain directly connected, both geographically and demographically, by a pedestrian walkway known as the “Kensington Connector.”  This interim walkway links the parallel universes of Assembly Row, with its upscale housing, brand-name shopping outlets, riverfront amenities, and vibrant restaurant scene, to East Somerville, that boasts a diversity of independently-owned ethnic restaurants and specialty shops, and many residents who work in and enjoy the Row’ offerings.

The tour highlighted some historically significant moments in industry and culture alongside landmarks and murals:

  • Middlesex County District Court House (175 Fellsway)

  • The Mystic River

  • The Ten Hills Neighborhood

  • The Fellsway

  • Middlesex Canal

  • Spaulding Brick Company

  • Construction of the Monsignor McGrath and O’Brien Highway

  • The Assembly Plant for the Ford Motor Company

  • Assembly Square

  • The Amelia Earhart Dam

  • The Orange Line and I-93

  • Deano's Pasta

  • Warren Littlefield House (181 Broadway)

  • Row Houses at 8-16 Cross Street East (LHD)

  • 161 Broadway

  • Fire House Engine #2 (165 Broadway)

  • Connexion United Methodist Church (149 Broadway)

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These historic tours are put on thanks to the Somerville Historic Preservation Society and are curated by Edward Gordon.

Evolving East Somerville: From Horse Drawn Trolley to Transit Stations

Hidden in Plain Sight 

New Insights Into the Rich Architecture & Historical Figures

Hidden Secrets

From Mansions to Mudflats

East Broadway: Looking Back, Going Forward