Cambridge ( ) is a city in Middlesex County,
Massachusetts Massachusetts (, ), officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is the most populous state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * T ...

, and part of the
Boston metropolitan area Greater Boston is the metropolitan region of New England New England is a region comprising six states in the Northeastern United States The Northeastern United States (also referred to as the American Northeast, the Northeast, and the Ea ...

Boston metropolitan area
as a major suburb of Boston. , it was the fifth most populous city in the state, behind Boston,
Worcester Worcester may refer to: Places United Kingdom * Worcester, England, a city in Worcestershire ** Worcester (UK Parliament constituency) * Worcester Park, London, England * Worcestershire, a county in England United States * Worcester, Massachus ...
Springfield Springfield may refer to: * Springfield (toponym), the place name in general Places and locations Australia * Springfield, New South Wales (Central Coast) * Springfield, New South Wales (Snowy Monaro Regional Council) * Springfield, Queensland ...
, and
Lowell Lowell may refer to: Places United States * Lowell, Massachusetts ** Lowell National Historical Park ** Lowell (MBTA station) ** Lowell Ordnance Plant * Lowell, Arkansas * Lowell, California * Lowell, Florida * Lowell, Idaho * Lowell, Indiana ...
. According to the 2010 Census, the city's population was 105,162. It is one of two
de jure In law and government, ''de jure'' ( ; , "by law") describes practices that are legally recognized, regardless of whether the practice exists in reality. In contrast, ("in fact") describes situations that exist in reality, even if not legally ...
county seat A county seat is an administrative centerAn administrative centre is a seat of regional administration or local government, or a county town, or the place where the central administration of a Township, commune is located. In countries with Fre ...
s of Middlesex County, although the county's government was abolished in 1997. Situated directly north of
Boston Boston (, ), officially the City of Boston, is the capital city, capital and List of municipalities in Massachusetts, most populous city of the Commonwealth (U.S. state), Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the United States and 21st List of Unit ...

, across the
Charles River The Charles River (sometimes called the River Charles or simply the Charles) is an river in eastern Massachusetts. It flows northeast from Hopkinton, Massachusetts, Hopkinton to Boston, Massachusetts, Boston along a highly meandering route, t ...
, it was named in honor of the
University of Cambridge , mottoeng = Literal: From here, light and sacred draughts. Non literal: From this place, we gain enlightenment and precious knowledge. , established = , other_name = The Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of ...
in England, once also an important center of the
Puritan The Puritans were English Protestants Protestantism is a form of Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Je ...

theology embraced by the town's founders.
Harvard University Harvard University is a Private university, private Ivy League research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Founded in 1636 as Harvard College and named for its first benefactor, the History of the Puritans in North America, Puritan cler ...

Harvard University
, the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is a Private university, private Land-grant university, land-grant research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Established in 1861, MIT has since played a key role in the development of modern ...
Lesley University Lesley University is a private university A university ( la, universitas, 'a whole') is an educational institution, institution of higher education, higher (or Tertiary education, tertiary) education and research which awards academic degrees ...
, and
Hult International Business School Hult International Business School (also known as Hult Business School or Hult) is a private business school with campuses in Cambridge Cambridge ( ) is a College town, university city and the county town of Cambridgeshire, England, on the R ...
are in Cambridge,
Accessed December 1, 2016.
as was
Radcliffe College Radcliffe College was a women's A woman is an adult female human. The term ''woman'' may also refer to a girl (a female child or Adolescence, adolescent). The plural ''women'' is sometimes used for female humans regardless of age, as in phr ...
before it merged with Harvard.
Kendall Square Kendall Square is a neighborhood in Cambridge, Massachusetts Cambridge ( ) is a city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, and part of the Greater Boston, Boston metropolitan area as a major suburb of Boston. , ...

Kendall Square
in Cambridge has been called "the most innovative square mile on the planet" owing to the high concentration of successful startups that have emerged in the vicinity of the square since 2010.


In December 1630, the site of what would become Cambridge was chosen because it was safely upriver from
Boston Harbor Boston Harbor is a natural harbor and estuary of Massachusetts Bay, and is located adjacent to the city of Boston, Massachusetts. It is home to the Port of Boston, a major shipping facility in the northeastern United States. History Since it ...
, making it easily defensible from attacks by enemy ships.
Thomas Dudley Thomas Dudley (12 October 157631 July 1653) was a colonial magistrate who served several terms as governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Dudley was the chief founder of Newtowne, later Cambridge, Massachusetts, and built the town's first hom ...
, his daughter
Anne Bradstreet Anne Bradstreet (née__NOTOC__ A birth name is the name of the person given upon their birth. The term may be applied to the surname, the given name or to the entire name. Where births are required to be officially registered, the entire name ...
, and her husband,
Simon Bradstreet Simon Bradstreet (baptized March 18, 1603/4In the Julian calendar, then in use in England, the year began on March 25. To avoid confusion with dates in the Gregorian calendar, then in use in other parts of Europe, dates between January and March ...
, were the town's founders. The first houses were built in the spring of 1631. The settlement was initially referred to as "the newe towne". Official Massachusetts records show the name rendered as Newe Towne by 1632, and as Newtowne by 1638. Located at the first convenient Charles River crossing west of Boston, Newtowne was one of several towns (including Boston, Dorchester,
WatertownWatertown may refer to: Places in China In China, a water town (China), water town is a type of ancient scenic town known for its waterways. Places in the United States *Watertown, California *Watertown, Connecticut *Watertown, Florida *Watertown, ...
, and
Weymouth Weymouth can refer to: Places ;In the United Kingdom *Weymouth, Dorset, England :*Weymouth and Melcombe Regis (UK Parliament constituency) :*Weymouth and Portland, the abolished local government district :*Weymouth Bay :*Weymouth Beach :*Weymouth ...
) founded by the 700 original Puritan colonists of the
Massachusetts Bay Colony The Massachusetts Bay Colony (1630–1691), more formally The Colony of Massachusetts Bay, was an English settlement on the east coast of America around the Massachusetts Bay Massachusetts Bay is a bay on the Atlantic Ocean that forms part of t ...
under Governor
John Winthrop John Winthrop (January 12, 1587/88 – March 26, 1649) was an English Puritan The Puritans were English Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries who sought to purify the Church of England of Roman Catholic practices, maintaining that t ...

John Winthrop
. Its first preacher was
Thomas Hooker Thomas Hooker (July 5, 1586 – July 7, 1647) was a prominent English colonial leader, who founded the Colony of Connecticut after dissenting with Puritan leaders in Massachusetts. He was known as an outstanding speaker and an advocate of u ...
, who led many of its original inhabitants west in 1636 to found
Hartford Hartford is the List of capitals in the United States, capital city of the U.S. state of Connecticut. It was the seat of Hartford County, Connecticut, Hartford County until Connecticut disbanded county government in 1960. It is the core city i ...
and the
Connecticut Colony The Connecticut Colony or Colony of Connecticut, originally known as the Connecticut River Colony or simply the River Colony, was an English colony in New England which became the state of Connecticut. It was organized on March 3, 1636 as a settl ...
; before leaving, they sold their plots to more recent immigrants from England. The original village site is now within
Harvard Square Harvard Square is a triangular plaza at the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue (Boston), Massachusetts Avenue, Brattle Street (Cambridge, Massachusetts), Brattle Street, and John F. Kennedy Street, near the center of Cambridge, Massachusetts, Ca ...

Harvard Square
. The
marketplace fa:بازار A market, or marketplace, is a location where people regularly gather for the purchase and sale of provisions, livestock, and other goods. In different parts of the world, a market place may be described as a ''souk A baz ...
where farmers sold crops from surrounding towns at the edge of a salt marsh (since filled) remains within a small park at the corner of John F. Kennedy and Winthrop Streets. In 1636, the Newe College (later renamed
Harvard College Harvard College is the undergraduate Undergraduate education is education conducted after secondary education and prior to postgraduate education. It typically includes all postsecondary programs up to the level of a bachelor's degree A b ...
after benefactor John Harvard) was founded by the Massachusetts Bay Colony to train ministers. According to
Cotton Mather Cotton Mather (; February 12, 1663 – February 13, 1728) was a History of New England, New England Puritan clergyman and a prolific writer. He became a highly controversial figure in his own day for his role in the Salem witch trials, Salem wit ...

Cotton Mather
, Newtowne was chosen for the site of the college by the
Great and General Court The Massachusetts General Court (formally styled the General Court of Massachusetts) is the state legislature A state legislature is a Legislature, legislative branch or body of a State (country subdivision), political subdivision in a Federalism ...
(the Massachusetts legislature) primarily for its proximity to the popular and highly respected Puritan preacher Thomas Shepard. In May 1638, the settlement's name was changed to Cambridge in honor of the university in
Cambridge Cambridge ( ) is a College town, university city and the county town of Cambridgeshire, England, on the River Cam approximately north of London. At the United Kingdom Census 2011, the population of the Cambridge built-up area (which is larger ...
, England. The town comprised a much larger area than the present city, with various outlying parts becoming independent towns over the years: Cambridge Village (later Newtown and now
Newton Newton most commonly refers to: * Isaac Newton (1642–1726/1727), English scientist * Newton (unit), SI unit of force named after Isaac Newton Newton may also refer to: Arts and entertainment * Newton (film), ''Newton'' (film), a 2017 Indian fil ...
) in 1688, Cambridge Farms (now Lexington) in 1712 or 1713, and Little or South Cambridge (now
Brighton Brighton () is a constituent part of the List of cities in the United Kingdom, city of Brighton and Hove, a former town situated on the southern coast of England, in the county of East Sussex. It is best known as a seaside resort and is positi ...
) and Menotomy or West Cambridge (now
ArlingtonArlington may refer to: Places Australia *Arlington light rail station, on the Inner West Light Rail#Arlington, Inner West Light Rail in Sydney Canada *Arlington, Nova Scotia *Rural Municipality of Arlington No. 79, Saskatchewan *Arlington, Yukon ...
) in 1807. In the late 19th century, various schemes for annexing Cambridge to Boston were pursued and rejected. Newtowne's ministers, Hooker and Shepard, the college's first president, the college's major benefactor, and the first schoolmaster
Nathaniel Eaton Nathaniel Eaton (Christened 17 September 1609 in Great Budworth, Cheshire, England − Burial 11 May 1674 at St. George the Martyr, London, Southwark, Surrey) was an English academic and the first schoolmaster of Harvard College in Cambridge, Mass ...
were all Cambridge alumni, as was the colony's governor John Winthrop. In 1629, Winthrop had led the signing of the founding document of the city of Boston, which was known as the
Cambridge AgreementThe Cambridge AgreementWest Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School District">West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School District: ''The Cambridge Agreement''/ref> was signed, on August 29 1629, between the shareholders of the Massachusetts Bay Company, at C ...
, after the university. In 1650, Governor Thomas Dudley signed the charter creating the corporation that still governs Harvard College. Cambridge grew slowly as an agricultural village by road from Boston, the colony's capital. By the
American Revolution The American Revolution was an ideological and political revolution which occurred in colonial North America between 1765 and 1783. The Americans in the Thirteen Colonies The Thirteen Colonies, also known as the Thirteen British Colo ...
, most residents lived near the
Common Common may refer to: Places * Common, a townland in County Tyrone County Tyrone (; ) is one of the thirty-two counties of Ireland Ireland (; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean, ...
and Harvard College, with most of the town comprising farms and estates. Most inhabitants were descendants of the original Puritan colonists, but there was also a small elite of
Anglican Anglicanism is a Western Christianity, Western Christian tradition that has developed from the practices, liturgy, and identity of the Church of England following the English Reformation. Adherents of Anglicanism are called ''Anglicans''; t ...
"worthies" who were not involved in village life, made their livings from estates, investments, and trade, and lived in mansions along "the Road to Watertown" (today's Brattle Street, still known as Tory Row). Coming north from
Virginia Virginia (), officially the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), '' ...
, George Washington took command of the volunteer American soldiers camped on Cambridge Common on July 3, 1775, now reckoned the birthplace of the
U.S. Army The United States Army (USA) is the land Land is the solid surface of the Earth that is not permanently covered by water. The vast majority of human activity throughout history has occurred in land areas that support agriculture ...
. Most of the
Tory A Tory () is a person who holds a political philosophy Political philosophy or political theory is the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, existence, ...
estates were confiscated after the Revolution. On January 24, 1776,
Henry Knox Henry Knox (July 25, 1750 – October 25, 1806) was an American military officer who was a senior general of the Continental Army The Continental Army was the army of the Thirteen Colonies and the Revolutionary-era United States. It was fo ...

Henry Knox
arrived with artillery captured from
Fort Ticonderoga Fort Ticonderoga (), formerly , is a large 18th-century built by the at a narrows near the south end of , in northern , in the . It was constructed by Canadian-born French military engineer between October 1755 and 1757, during the action i ...

Fort Ticonderoga
, which enabled Washington to drive the British army out of Boston. Between 1790 and 1840, Cambridge grew rapidly, with the construction of the
West Boston Bridge The Longfellow Bridge is a steel rib arch bridge spanning the Charles River to connect Boston's Beacon Hill, Boston, Massachusetts, Beacon Hill neighborhood with the Kendall Square area of Cambridge, Massachusetts, Cambridge, Massachusetts. The bri ...
in 1792 connecting Cambridge directly to Boston, so that it was no longer necessary to travel through the
Boston Neck The Boston Neck or Roxbury Neck was an isthmus, a narrow strip of land connecting the then-peninsular city of Boston Boston (, ), officially the City of Boston, is the capital city, capital and List of municipalities in Massachusetts, most ...
, Roxbury, and Brookline to cross the Charles River. A second bridge, the Canal Bridge, opened in 1809 alongside the new
Middlesex Canal The Middlesex Canal was a 27-mile (44-kilometer) barge canal Canals are waterways Channel (geography), channels, or artificial waterways, for water conveyance, or to service water transport vehicles. They may also help with irrigation. I ...
. The new bridges and roads made what were formerly estates and
marsh A marsh is a wetland A wetland is a distinct ecosystem that is flooded by water, either permanently (for years or decades) or seasonally (for weeks or months). Flooding results in oxygen-free (Anoxic waters, anoxic) processes prevail ...

land into prime industrial and residential districts. In the mid-19th century, Cambridge was the center of a literary revolution. It was home to some of the famous Fireside Poets—so called because their poems would often be read aloud by families in front of their evening fires. The Fireside Poets
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (February 27, 1807 – March 24, 1882) was an American poet and educator whose works include "", ', and '. He was the first American to translate 's ' and was one of the from New England. Longfellow was born in , w ...

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
James Russell Lowell James Russell Lowell (; February 22, 1819 – August 12, 1891) was an American Romantic poet Romantic poetry is the poetry of the Romanticism, Romantic era, an artistic, literary, musical and intellectual movement that originated in Europe tow ...
, and Oliver Wendell Holmes—were highly popular and influential in their day. Soon after, were built: the
Cambridge and Concord Turnpike Cambridge ( ) is a College town, university city and the county town of Cambridgeshire, England, on the River Cam approximately north of London. At the United Kingdom Census 2011, the population of the Cambridge built-up area (which is larger t ...
(today's Broadway and Concord Ave.), the Middlesex Turnpike (Hampshire St. and Massachusetts Ave. northwest of
Porter Square Porter Square is a neighborhood in Cambridge Cambridge ( ) is a College town, university city and the county town of Cambridgeshire, England, on the River Cam approximately north of London. At the United Kingdom Census 2011, the population of ...
), and what are today's Cambridge, Main, and Harvard Streets connected various areas of Cambridge to the bridges. In addition, the town was connected to the Boston & Maine Railroad, leading to the development of Porter Square as well as the creation of neighboring Somerville from the formerly rural parts of
CharlestownCharlestown or Charles Town may refer to: Places Australia *Charlestown, New South Wales ** Electoral district of Charlestown, an electoral district in the New South Wales Legislative Assembly including the area * Charlestown, Queensland Ireland ...
. Cambridge was incorporated as a city in 1846 despite persistent tensions between East Cambridge, Cambridgeport, and Old Cambridge stemming from differences in culture, sources of income, and the national origins of the residents. The city's commercial center began to shift from Harvard Square to Central Square, which became the city's downtown around that time. Between 1850 and 1900, Cambridge took on much of its present character—
streetcar suburb A streetcar suburb is a residential community A residential community is a community, usually a small town or city, that is composed mostly of residency (domicile), residents, as opposed to commerce, commercial businesses and/or Industrial sector ...
an development along the turnpikes, with working-class and industrial neighborhoods focused on East Cambridge, comfortable middle-class housing on the old Cambridgeport and Mid-Cambridge estates, and upper-class enclaves near Harvard University and on the minor hills. The coming of the railroad to North Cambridge and Northwest Cambridge led to three major changes: the development of massive brickyards and brickworks between Massachusetts Ave., Concord Ave. and
Alewife Brook Alewife Brook Reservation is a Massachusetts Massachusetts (, ), officially the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is the most populous U.S. state, state in the New England region of the United States. It borders on the Atlantic Ocean to the east ...
; the ice-cutting industry launched by
Frederic Tudor Frederic Tudor (September 4, 1783 – February 6, 1864) was an American businessman and merchant. Known as Boston Boston (, ), officially the City of Boston, is the capital city, capital and List of municipalities in Massachusetts, most popul ...
on Fresh Pond; and the carving up of the last estates into residential subdivisions to house the thousands of immigrants who arrived to work in the new industries. For many decades, the city's largest employer was the
New England Glass Company Libbey, Inc., (formerly ''Libbey Glass Company'' and ''New England Glass Company'') is a glass production Glass production involves two main methods – the float glass process that produces sheet glass, and glassblowing that produces bottles a ...
, founded in 1818. By the middle of the 19th century, it was the world's largest and most modern glassworks. In 1888,
Edward Drummond Libbey 200px, Edward Drummond Libbey (1854-1925) and his wife Florence Scott Libbey (1863-1938), ca. 1901. Edward Drummond Libbey (April 17, 1854 – November 13, 1925) is regarded as the father of the glass industry in Toledo, Ohio Toledo () is a ci ...
moved all production to
Toledo, Ohio Toledo ( ) is a city in and the county seat A county seat is an administrative centerAn administrative centre is a seat of regional administration or local government Local government is a generic term for the lowest tiers of public admin ...
, where it continues today under the name
Owens-Illinois O-I Glass, Inc. is an American Fortune 500 The ''Fortune'' 500 is an annual list compiled and published by ''Fortune Fortune may refer to: General * Fortuna or Fortune, the Roman goddess of luck * Luck, a chance happening, or that which happ ...
. The company's flint glassware with heavy lead content is prized by antique glass collectors. There is none on public display in Cambridge, but the
Toledo Museum of Art The Toledo Museum of Art is an internationally known art museum An art museum is a building or space for the display of art, usually from the museum's own Collection (artwork), collection. It might be in public or private ownership and may be ...
has a large collection. The
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston The Museum of Fine Arts (often abbreviated as MFA Boston or MFA) is an art museum in Boston, Massachusetts. It is the list of largest art museums, 20th-largest art museum in the world, measured by public gallery area. It contains 8,161 paintings a ...
, and the Sandwich Glass Museum on
Cape Cod Cape Cod is a extending into the Atlantic Ocean from the southeastern corner of mainland , in the northeastern United States. Its historic, maritime character and ample beaches attract heavy tourism during the summer months. As defined by th ...

Cape Cod
also have a few pieces. In 1895,
Edwin Ginn Edwin Ginn (February 14, 1838 – January 21, 1914) was an American publisher, peace advocate, and philanthropist. Biography Ginn was born in Orland, Maine on February 14, 1838, into a Universalist farming family who were descendants of early set ...

Edwin Ginn
, founder of
Ginn and Company Pearson Education is a United Kingdom, British-owned education publishing and assessment service to schools and corporations, as well for students directly. Pearson owns educational media brands including Addison–Wesley, Peachpit, Prentice H ...
built the Athenaeum Press Building for his publishing textbook empire. By 1920, Cambridge was one of
New England New England is a region comprising six states in the Northeastern United States The Northeastern United States (also referred to as the American Northeast, the Northeast, and the East Coast) is a geographical region In geography ...

New England
's main industrial cities, with nearly 120,000 residents. Among the largest businesses in Cambridge during the period of industrialization was
Carter's Ink Company Carter's Ink Company was an United States, American manufacturer of ink and related products, based first in Boston, Massachusetts, Boston and later in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Cambridge, Massachusetts. It was once the largest ink manufacturer in ...

Carter's Ink Company
, whose neon sign long adorned the Charles River and which was for many years the world's largest ink manufacturer. Next door was the Athenaeum Press. Confectionery and snack manufacturers in the Cambridgeport-Area 4-Kendall corridor included the Kennedy Biscuit Factory (later part of and originator of the
Fig Newton Newtons are a Nabisco-trademarked version of a pastry (''biscuit'' in the UK) filled with sweet fruit paste. "Fig Newtons" were the most prominent (fig rolls filled with fig paste). They are produced by an extrusion allow bars to be joined wit ...

Fig Newton
Necco Necco (or NECCO ) was an American manufacturer of candy created in 1901 as the New England Confectionery Company through the merger of several small confectionery companies located in the Greater Boston Greater Boston is the metropolitan regi ...

, Squirrel Brands, George Close Company (1861–1930s), Page & Shaw, Daggett Chocolate (1892–1960s, recipes bought by Necco), Fox Cross Company (1920–1980, originator of the Charleston Chew, and now part of
Tootsie Roll Industries Tootsie Roll Industries is an American manufacturer of confectionery Confectionery is the art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities involving creative imagination to express technical proficiency, beauty, emotiona ...
), Kendall Confectionery Company, and James O. Welch (1927–1963, originator of
Junior Mints Junior Mints are a candy Candy, also called sweets (British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of ...
, Sugar Daddies, Sugar Mamas, and Sugar Babies (candy), Sugar Babies, now part of Tootsie Roll Industries). Only the Cambridge Brands subsidiary of Tootsie Roll Industries remains in town, still manufacturing Junior Mints in the old Welch factory on Main Street. The Blake and Knowles Steam Pump Company National Register District, Blake and Knowles Steam Pump Company (1886), the Kendall Boiler and Tank Company (1880, now in Chelmsford, Massachusetts), and the New England Glass Company (1818–1878) were among the industrial manufacturers in what are now Kendall Square and East Cambridge. In 1935, the Cambridge Housing Authority and the Public Works Administration demolished an Housing segregation in the United States, integrated low-income tenement neighborhood with African Americans and European immigrants, built in its place the whites-only "Newtowne Court" Subsidized housing in the United States, public housing development and the adjoining segregated "Washington Elms" project for Black people in 1940, and the city required segregation in its other public housing projects as well. As industry in New England began to decline during the Great Depression and after World War II, Cambridge lost much of its industrial base. It also began to become an intellectual, rather than an industrial, center. Harvard University had always been important as both a landowner and an institution, but it began to play a more dominant role in the city's life and culture. When Radcliffe College was established in 1879 the town became a mecca for some of the nation's most academically talented female students. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology's move from Boston in 1916 reinforced Cambridge's status as an intellectual center of the United States. After the 1950s, the city's population began to decline slowly as families tended to be replaced by single people and young couples. In Cambridge Highlands, the technology company BBN Technologies, Bolt, Beranek, & Newman produced Interface Message Processor, the first network router in 1969 and hosted the invention of computer-to-computer email in 1971. The 1980s brought a wave of high-technology startups. Those selling advanced minicomputers were overtaken by the microcomputer. Cambridge-based VisiCorp made the first spreadsheet software for personal computers, Visicalc, and helped propel the Apple II to major consumer success. It was overtaken and purchased by Cambridge-based Lotus Development, maker of Lotus 1-2-3. (This was in turn replaced in the market by Microsoft Excel). The city continues to be home to many startups. Kendall Square was a major software hub through the dot-com boom and today hosts offices of such technology companies as Google, Microsoft, and Amazon.com, Amazon. The Square also now houses the headquarters of Akamai. In 1976, Harvard's plans to start experiments with recombinant DNA led to a three-month moratorium and a citizen review panel. In the end, Cambridge decided to allow such experiments but passed safety regulations in 1977. This led to regulatory certainty and acceptance when Biogen opened a lab in 1982, in contrast to the hostility that caused the Genetic Institute (a Harvard spinoff) to abandon Somerville and Boston for Cambridge. The biotech and pharmaceutical industries have since thrived in Cambridge, which now includes headquarters for Biogen and Genzyme; laboratories for Novartis, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Teva, Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, Takeda, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Alnylam, Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, Ironwood, Catabasis Pharmaceuticals, Catabasis, Moderna Therapeutics, Editas Medicine; support companies such as Cytel; and many smaller companies. By the end of the 20th century, Cambridge had one of the most costly housing markets in the Northeastern United States. While considerable class, race, and age diversity persisted, it became harder for those who grew up in the city to afford to stay. The end of rent control in 1994 prompted many Cambridge renters to move to more affordable housing in Somerville and other cities or towns. Until recently, Cambridge's mix of amenities and proximity to Boston kept housing prices relatively stable despite the bursting of the United States housing bubble. Cambridge has been a sanctuary city since 1985 and reaffirmed its status as such in 2006.


According to the United States Census Bureau, Cambridge has a total area of , of which is land and (9.82%) is water.

Adjacent municipalities

Cambridge is located in eastern Massachusetts, bordered by: * the city of Boston to the south (across the Charles River) and east * the city of Somerville to the north * the town of Arlington to the northwest * the town of Belmont, Massachusetts, Belmont and * the city of Watertown to the west The border between Cambridge and the neighboring city of Somerville passes through densely populated neighborhoods which are connected by the Red Line (MBTA), MBTA Red Line. Some of the main squares, Inman Square, Inman, Porter, and to a lesser extent, Harvard and Lechmere Square, Lechmere, are very close to the city line, as are Somerville's Union Square (Somerville), Union and Davis Squares. Through the City of Cambridge's exclusive municipal water system, the city further controls two exclave areas, one being Payson Park Reservoir and Gatehouse, a American and Canadian Water Landmark, 2009 listed American Water Landmark located roughly one mile west of Fresh Pond and surrounded by the town of Belmont. The second area is the larger Hobbs Brook and Stony Brook (Middlesex County, Massachusetts), Stony Brook watersheds, which share borders with neighboring towns and cities including Lexington, Lincoln, Massachusetts, Lincoln, Waltham, Massachusetts, Waltham and Weston, Massachusetts, Weston.



Cambridge has been called the "City of Squares", as most of its commercial districts are major street intersections known as Town square, squares. Each square acts as a neighborhood center. These include: *
Kendall Square Kendall Square is a neighborhood in Cambridge, Massachusetts Cambridge ( ) is a city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, and part of the Greater Boston, Boston metropolitan area as a major suburb of Boston. , ...

Kendall Square
, formed by the junction of Broadway, Main Street, and Third Street, has been called "the most innovative square mile on the planet", owing to its high concentration of entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial startup company, start-ups and quality of innovation which have emerged in the vicinity of the square since 2010. Technology Square (Cambridge, Massachusetts), Technology Square is an office and laboratory building cluster in this neighborhood. Just over the Longfellow Bridge from Boston, at the eastern end of the MIT campus, it is served by the Kendall (MBTA station), Kendall/MIT station on the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, MBTA Red Line subway. Most of Cambridge's large office towers are located in the Square. A biotech industry has developed in this area. The Cambridge Innovation Center, a large co-working space, is in Kendall Square at 1 Broadway. The Cambridge Center office complex is in Kendall Square, and not at the actual center of Cambridge. The "One Kendall Square" complex is nearby, but not actually in Kendall Square. * Central Square (Cambridge), Central Square, formed by the junction of Massachusetts Avenue, Prospect Street, and Western Avenue. Containing a variety of ethnic restaurants, it was economically depressed as recently as the late 1990s; it underwent gentrification in recent years (in conjunction with the development of the nearby University Park at MIT), and continues to grow more costly. It is served by the Central (MBTA station), Central Station stop on the MBTA Red Line subway. Lafayette Square, formed by the junction of Massachusetts Avenue, Columbia Street, Sidney Street, and Main Street, is considered part of the Central Square area. Cambridgeport is south of Central Square along Magazine Street and Brookline Street. * Harvard Square, formed by the junction of Massachusetts Avenue, Brattle Street, and JFK Street. This is the primary site of Harvard University and a major Cambridge shopping area. It is served by a Harvard (MBTA station), Red Line station. Harvard Square was originally the Red Line's northwestern terminus and a major transfer point to streetcars that also operated in a short Harvard bus tunnel, tunnel—which is still a major bus terminal, although the area under the Square was reconfigured dramatically in the 1980s when the Red Line was extended. The Harvard Square area includes Brattle Square and Eliot Square. A short distance away from the square lies the Cambridge Common, while the neighborhood north of Harvard and east of Massachusetts Avenue is known as Agassiz, after the famed scientist Louis Agassiz. * Porter Square, about a mile north on Massachusetts Avenue from Harvard Square, at the junction of Massachusetts and Somerville Avenues. It includes part of the city of Somerville and is served by the Porter (MBTA station), Porter Square Station, a complex housing a Red Line stop and a Fitchburg Line MBTA commuter rail, commuter rail stop. Lesley University's University Hall and Porter campus are in Porter Square. * Inman Square, at the junction of Cambridge and Hampshire streets in mid-Cambridge. It is home to restaurants, bars, music venues, and boutiques. Victorian era, Victorian streetlights, benches, and bus stops were recently added to the streets, and a new city park was installed. * Lechmere Square, at the junction of Cambridge and First streets, adjacent to the CambridgeSide Galleria shopping mall. It is the MBTA Green Line (MBTA), Green Line's northern terminus, at Lechmere (MBTA station), Lechmere Station.

= Gallery

= File:Centralsquarecambridgemass.jpg, Central Square File:Harvard square 2009j.JPG, Harvard Square File:Cambridge MA Inman Square.jpg, Inman Square

Other neighborhoods

Cambridge's residential neighborhoods border but are not defined by the squares. * East Cambridge, Cambridge, Massachusetts, East Cambridge (Area 1) is bordered on the north by Somerville, on the east by the Charles River, on the south by Broadway and Main Street, and on the west by the Grand Junction Railroad tracks. It includes the NorthPoint (Cambridge, Massachusetts), NorthPoint development. * Campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT Campus (MIT Campus (Area 2), Cambridge, Area 2) is bordered on the north by Broadway, on the south and east by the Charles River, and on the west by the Grand Junction Railroad tracks. * Wellington-Harrington (Area 3) is bordered on the north by Somerville, on the south and west by Hampshire Street, and on the east by the Grand Junction Railroad tracks. Referred to as "Mid-Block". * The_Port,_Cambridge, The Port, formerly known as Area 4, is bordered on the north by Hampshire Street, on the south by Massachusetts Avenue, on the west by Prospect Street, and on the east by the Grand Junction Railroad tracks. Residents of Area 4 often simply call their neighborhood "The Port" and the area of Cambridgeport and Riverside "The Coast". In October 2015, the Cambridge City Council officially renamed Area 4 "The Port", formalizing the longtime nickname, largely on the initiative of neighborhood native and then-Vice Mayor Dennis Benzan. The port is usually the busier part of the city. * Cambridgeport (Area 5) is bordered on the north by Massachusetts Avenue, on the south by the Charles River, on the west by River Street, and on the east by the Grand Junction Railroad tracks. * Mid-Cambridge (Area 6) is bordered on the north by Kirkland and Hampshire Streets and Somerville, on the south by Massachusetts Avenue, on the west by Peabody Street, and on the east by Prospect Street. * Riverside, Cambridge, Riverside (Area 7), an area sometimes called "The Coast", is bordered on the north by Massachusetts Avenue, on the south by the Charles River, on the west by JFK Street, and on the east by River Street. * Agassiz, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Agassiz (Harvard North) (Area 8) is bordered on the north by Somerville, on the south and east by Kirkland Street, and on the west by Massachusetts Avenue. * Neighborhood Nine or Radcliffe (formerly called Peabody, until the recent relocation of a neighborhood school by that name) is bordered on the north by railroad tracks, on the south by Concord Avenue, on the west by railroad tracks, and on the east by Massachusetts Avenue. ::The Avon Hill sub-neighborhood consists of the higher elevations within the area bounded by Upland Road, Raymond Street, Linnaean Street and Massachusetts Avenue. * Brattle area/West Cambridge (neighborhood), West Cambridge (Area 10) is bordered on the north by Concord Avenue and Garden Street, on the south by the Charles River and Watertown, on the west by Fresh Pond and the Collins Branch Library, and on the east by JFK Street. It includes the sub-neighborhoods of Brattle Street (formerly known as Tory Row) and Huron Village. * North Cambridge, Massachusetts, North Cambridge (Area 11) is bordered on the north by Arlington and Somerville, on the south by railroad tracks, on the west by Belmont, and on the east by Somerville. * Cambridge Highlands (Area 12) is bordered on the north and east by railroad tracks, on the south by Fresh Pond, and on the west by Belmont . * Strawberry Hill, Cambridge, Strawberry Hill (Area 13) is bordered on the north by Fresh Pond, on the south by Watertown, on the west by Belmont, and on the east by railroad tracks.


In the Köppen climate classification, Koppen-Geiger classification Cambridge has a Continental climate, warm continental summer climate (Dfa) that can appear in the southern end of New England's interior. Abundant rain falls on the city; it has no dry season. The average January temperature is 26.6 °F (- 3 °C), making Cambridge part of Group D, independent of the isotherm. There are four well-defined seasons.


As of the census of 2010, there were 105,162 people, 44,032 households, and 17,420 families residing in the city. The population density was 16,354.9 people per square mile (6,314.6/km2). There were 47,291 housing units at an average density of 7,354.7 per square mile (2,840.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 66.60% White (U.S. Census), White, 11.70% Black (U.S. Census), Black or Race (United States Census), African American, 0.20% Native American (U.S. Census), Native American, 15.10% Asian (U.S. Census), Asian (3.7% Chinese American, Chinese, 1.4% Indian American, Asian Indian, 1.2% Korean American, Korean, 1.0% Japanese American, Japanese), 0.01% Pacific Islander (U.S. Census), Pacific Islander, 2.10% from other races, and 4.30% from two or more races. 7.60% of the population were Hispanics in the United States, Hispanic or Latino (U.S. Census), Latino of any race (1.6% Puerto Ricans in the United States, Puerto Rican, 1.4% Mexican American, Mexican, 0.6% Dominican American, Dominican, 0.5% Colombian American, Colombian & Salvadoran American, Salvadoran, 0.4% Spanish people, Spaniard). Non-Hispanic Whites were 62.1% of the population in 2010, down from 89.7% in 1970. An individual resident of Cambridge is known as a Cantabrigian. In 2010, there were 44,032 households, out of which 16.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 28.9% were married couples living together, 8.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 60.4% were non-families. 40.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.00 and the average family size was 2.76. In the city, the population was spread out, with 13.3% of the population under the age of 18, 21.2% from 18 to 24, 38.6% from 25 to 44, 17.8% from 45 to 64, and 9.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30.5 years. For every 100 females, there were 96.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.7 males. The median income for a household in the city was $47,979, and the median income for a family was $59,423 (these figures had risen to $58,457 and $79,533 respectively ). Males had a median income of $43,825 versus $38,489 for females. The per capita income for the city was $31,156. About 8.7% of families and 12.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.1% of those under age 18 and 12.9% of those age 65 or over. Cambridge has been ranked as one of the most liberal cities in America. Locals living in and near the city jokingly refer to it as "The People's Republic of Cambridge." For 2016, the residential property tax rate in Cambridge was $6.99 per $1,000. Cambridge enjoys the highest possible bond credit rating, AAA, with all three Wall Street rating agencies. In 2000, 11.0% of city residents were of Irish American, Irish ancestry; 7.2% were of English American, English, 6.9% Italian American, Italian, 5.5% West Indian and 5.3% German Americans, German ancestry. 69.4% spoke only English at home, while 6.9% spoke Spanish, 3.2% Standard Mandarin, Chinese or Mandarin, 3.0% portuguese language, Portuguese, 2.9% French-based creole languages, French Creole, 2.3% French, 1.5% korean language, Korean, and 1.0% Italian.


Data is from the 2009–2013 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates.


Manufacturing was an important part of Cambridge's economy in the late 19th and early 20th century, but educational institutions are its biggest employers today. Harvard and MIT together employ about 20,000. As a cradle of technological innovation, Cambridge was home to technology firms Analog Devices, Akamai Technologies, Akamai, Bolt, Beranek, and Newman (BBN Technologies) (now part of Raytheon), General Radio (later GenRad), Lotus Development Corporation (now part of IBM), Polaroid Corporation, Polaroid, Symbolics, and Thinking Machines. In 1996, Polaroid, Arthur D. Little, and Lotus were Cambridge's top employers, with over 1,000 employees, but they faded out a few years later. Health care and biotechnology firms such as Genzyme, Biogen Idec, bluebird bio, Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Sanofi, Pfizer and Novartis have significant presences in the city. Though headquartered in Switzerland, Novartis continues to expand its operations in Cambridge. Other major biotech and pharmaceutical firms expanding their presence in Cambridge include GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca, Shire plc, Shire, and Pfizer. Most of Cambridge's biotech firms are in Kendall Square and East Cambridge, which decades ago were the city's center of manufacturing. Some others are in University Park at MIT, a new development in another former manufacturing area. None of the high-technology firms that once dominated the economy was among the 25 largest employers in 2005, but by 2008 Akamai and ITA Software were. Google, IBM Research, Microsoft Research, and Philips Research maintain offices in Cambridge. In late January 2012—less than a year after acquiring Billerica, Massachusetts, Billerica-based analytic database management company, Vertica—Hewlett-Packard announced it would also be opening its first offices in Cambridge. Also around that time, e-commerce giants Staples Inc., Staples and Amazon.com said they would be opening research and innovation centers in Kendall Square. And LabCentral provides a shared laboratory facility for approximately 25 emerging biotech companies. The proximity of Cambridge's universities has also made the city a center for nonprofit groups and think tanks, including the National Bureau of Economic Research, the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, Cultural Survival, and One Laptop per Child. In September 2011, the City of Cambridge launched the "Entrepreneur Walk of Fame" initiative. The Walk recognizes people who have made contributions to innovation in global business.

Top employers

, the city's ten largest employers are:(1)

Arts and culture


* Harvard Art Museum, including the Busch-Reisinger Museum, a collection of Germanic art, the Fogg Art Museum, a comprehensive collection of Western art, and the Arthur M. Sackler Museum, a collection of Middle East and Asian art * Harvard Museum of Natural History, including the Glass Flowers collection * Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard * MIT Museum * List Visual Arts Center, MIT * Semitic Museum, Harvard

Public art

Cambridge has a large and varied collection of permanent public art, on both city property (managed by the Cambridge Arts Council) and the Harvard and MIT campuses. Temporary public artworks are displayed as part of the annual Cambridge River Festival on the banks of the Charles River, during winter celebrations in Harvard and Central Squares, and at university campus sites. Experimental forms of public artistic and cultural expression include the Central Square World's Fair, the annual Somerville-based Honk! Festival, and If This House Could Talk, a neighborhood art and history event. Street musicians and other performers entertain tourists and locals in Harvard Square during the warmer months. The performances are coordinated through a public process that has been developed collaboratively by the performers, city administrators, private organizations and business groups. The Cambridge public library contains four Works Progress Administration murals completed in 1935 by Tracy Montminy, Elizabeth Tracy Montminy: ''Religion'', ''Fine Arts'', ''History of Books and Paper'', and ''The Development of the Printing Press''.


Despite intensive urbanization during the late 19th century and the 20th century, Cambridge has several historic buildings, including some from the 17th century. The city also has abundant contemporary architecture, largely built by Harvard and MIT. Notable historic buildings in the city include: * The Asa Gray House (1810) * Austin Hall, Harvard University (1882–84) * Cambridge, Massachusetts City Hall, Cambridge City Hall (1888–89) * Cambridge Public Library (1888) * Christ Church (Cambridge, Massachusetts), Christ Church, Cambridge (1761) * Cooper-Frost-Austin House (1689–1817) * Elmwood (Cambridge, Massachusetts), Elmwood House (1767), residence of the president of Harvard University * First Church of Christ, Scientist (Cambridge, Massachusetts), First Church of Christ, Scientist (1924–30) * The First Parish in Cambridge (1833) * Harvard-Epworth United Methodist Church (1891–93) * Harvard Lampoon Building (1909) * The Hooper-Lee-Nichols House (1685–1850) * Longfellow House–Washington's Headquarters National Historic Site (1759), former home of poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and headquarters of George Washington * The Memorial Church of Harvard University (1932) * Memorial Hall, Harvard University (1870–77) * Middlesex County Courthouse (Massachusetts), Middlesex County Courthouse (1814–48) * Urban Rowhouse (40–48 Pearl Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts), Urban Rowhouse (1875) * spite house, O'Reilly Spite House (1908), built to spite a neighbor who would not sell his adjacent land Contemporary architecture: * List of MIT undergraduate dormitories#Baker House, Baker House dormitory, MIT, by Finnish architect Alvar Aalto, one of only two Aalto buildings in the US * Harvard Graduate Center/Harkness Commons, by The Architects Collaborative (TAC, with Walter Gropius) * Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Harvard, the only Le Corbusier building in North America * Harvard's Harvard Science Center, Science Center, Holyoke Center and Peabody Terrace, by Catalonia, Catalan architect and Harvard Graduate School of Design Dean Josep Lluís Sert * Kresge Auditorium, MIT, by Eero Saarinen * MIT Chapel, by Eero Saarinen * Design Research Building, by Benjamin Thompson and Associates * American Academy of Arts and Sciences, by Kallmann McKinnell and Wood, also architects of Boston City Hall * Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Harvard, one of the few buildings in the US by Pritzker Prize winner James Stirling (architect), James Stirling * Harvard Art Museums, renovation and major expansion of Fogg Museum building, completed in 2014 by Renzo Piano * Stata Center, home to the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, the Department of Linguistics, and the Department of Philosophy, by Frank Gehry * The two MIT Media Lab buildings by I. M. Pei and Fumihiko Maki * List of MIT undergraduate dormitories#Simmons Hall, Simmons Hall, MIT, by Steven Holl


The city has an active music scene, from classical performances to the latest popular bands. Beyond its colleges and universities, Cambridge has many music venues, including The Middle East (nightclub), The Middle East, Club Passim, The Plough and Stars, and the Nameless Coffeehouse.

Parks and recreation

Consisting largely of densely built residential space, Cambridge lacks significant tracts of public parkland. Easily accessible open space on the university campuses, including Harvard Yard, the Radcliffe Yard, and MIT's Great Lawn, as well as the considerable open space of Mount Auburn Cemetery and Fresh Pond (Cambridge, Massachusetts), Fresh Pond Reservation, partly compensates for this. At Cambridge's western edge, the cemetery is known as a garden cemetery because of its landscaping (the oldest planned landscape in the country) and arboretum. Although known as a Cambridge landmark, much of the cemetery lies within Watertown. It is also an Important Bird Area (IBA) in the Greater Boston area. Fresh Pond Reservation is the largest open green space in Cambridge with 162 acres (656,000 m²) of land around a 155-acre (627,000 m²) kettle hole lake. This land includes a 2.25-mile walking trail around the reservoir and a public 9-hole golf course. Public parkland includes the esplanade along the Charles River, which mirrors its Charles River Esplanade, Boston counterpart; Cambridge Common, a busy and historic public park adjacent to Harvard's campus; Danehy Park, formerly a landfill; and the Alewife Brook Reservation.


Federal and state representation

Cambridge is split between Massachusetts's Massachusetts's 5th congressional district, 5th and Massachusetts's 7th congressional district, 7th U.S. congressional districts. The 5th district seat is held by Democrat Katherine Clark, who replaced now-Senator Ed Markey in a Massachusetts's 5th congressional district special election, 2013, 2013 special election; the 7th is represented by Democrat Ayanna Pressley, elected in 2018. The state's senior United States Senate, United States Senator is Democrat Elizabeth Warren, elected in 2012, who lives in Cambridge. The governor of Massachusetts is Republican Charlie Baker, elected in 2014. Cambridge is represented in six districts in the Massachusetts House of Representatives: the 24th Middlesex (which includes parts of Belmont and Arlington), the 25th and 26th Middlesex (the latter of which includes a portion of Somerville), the 29th Middlesex (which includes a small part of Watertown), and the Eighth and Ninth Suffolk (both including parts of the City of Boston). The city is represented in the Massachusetts Senate as a part of the Massachusetts Senate's 2nd Middlesex district, 2nd Middlesex, Massachusetts Senate's Middlesex and Suffolk district, Middlesex and Suffolk, and Massachusetts Senate's 1st Suffolk and Middlesex district, 1st Suffolk and Middlesex districts.


From 1868–1880, Republicans Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, and James Garfield each won Cambridge, Grant doing so by margins of over 20 points in both of his campaigns. Following that, from 1884–1892, Grover Cleveland won Cambridge in all three of his presidential campaigns, by less than ten points each time. Then from 1896–1924, Cambridge became something of a "swing" city with a slight Republican lean. GOP nominees carried the city in five of the eight presidential elections during that time frame, with five of the elections resulting in either a plurality or a margin of victory of fewer than ten points. The city of Cambridge is extremely Democratic in modern times, however. In the last 23 presidential elections dating back to the nomination of Al Smith in 1928, the Democratic nominee has carried Cambridge in every election. Every Democratic nominee since Massachusetts native John F. Kennedy in 1960 has received at least 70% of the vote, except for Jimmy Carter in 1976 and 1980. Since 1928, the only Republican nominee to come within ten points of carrying Cambridge is Dwight Eisenhower in his 1956 re-election bid.

City government

Cambridge has a city government led by a List of mayors of Cambridge, Massachusetts, mayor and a nine-member city council. There is also a six-member school committee that functions alongside the superintendent of public schools. The councilors and school committee members are elected every two years using proportional representation. The mayor is elected by the city councilors from among themselves and serves as the chair of city council meetings. The mayor also sits on the school committee. The mayor is not the city's chief executive. Rather, the city manager, who is appointed by the city council, serves in that capacity. Under the city's Plan E form of government, the city council does not have the power to appoint or remove city officials who are under the direction of the city manager. The city council and its members are also forbidden from giving orders to any subordinate of the city manager. Louis DePasquale is the City Manager, having succeeded Lisa C. Peterson, the Acting City Manager and Cambridge's first woman City Manager, on November 14, 2016. Peterson became Acting City Manager on September 30, 2016, after Richard C. Rossi announced that he would opt out of his contract renewal. Rossi succeeded Robert W. Healy, who retired in June 2013 after 32 years in the position. In recent history, the media has highlighted the salary of the city manager as one of the highest for a Massachusetts civic employee. ''* = current mayor''
''** = former mayor''

County government

Cambridge was a
county seat A county seat is an administrative centerAn administrative centre is a seat of regional administration or local government, or a county town, or the place where the central administration of a Township, commune is located. In countries with Fre ...
of Middlesex County, along with Lowell, until the abolition of county government. Though the county government was abolished in 1997, the county still exists as a geographical and political region. The employees of Middlesex County courts, jails, registries, and other county agencies now work directly for the state. The county's registrars of Deeds and Probate remain in Cambridge, but the Superior Court and District Attorney have had their operations transferred to Woburn, Massachusetts, Woburn. Third District Court has shifted operations to Medford, Massachusetts, Medford, and the county Sheriff's office awaits near-term relocation.


Higher education

Cambridge is perhaps best known as an academic and intellectual center. Its colleges and universities include: * Cambridge School of Culinary Arts *
Harvard University Harvard University is a Private university, private Ivy League research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Founded in 1636 as Harvard College and named for its first benefactor, the History of the Puritans in North America, Puritan cler ...

Harvard University
* Hult International Business School *
Lesley University Lesley University is a private university A university ( la, universitas, 'a whole') is an educational institution, institution of higher education, higher (or Tertiary education, tertiary) education and research which awards academic degrees ...
* Longy School of Music of Bard College *
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is a Private university, private Land-grant university, land-grant research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Established in 1861, MIT has since played a key role in the development of modern ...
* Radcliffe College (now merged with Harvard College) Nobel laureates by university affiliation, At least 129 of the world's total 780 Nobel Prize winners have at some point in their careers been affiliated with universities in Cambridge. The American Academy of Arts and Sciences is also based in Cambridge.

Primary and secondary public education

* Amigos School * Baldwin School (formerly the Agassiz School) * Cambridgeport School * Fletcher-Maynard Academy * Graham and Parks Alternative School * Haggerty School * Kennedy-Longfellow School * King Open School * Martin Luther King, Jr. School * Morse School (a Core Knowledge Foundation, Core Knowledge school) * Peabody School * Tobin School (a Montessori school) Five upper schools offer grades 6–8 in some of the same buildings as the elementary schools: * Amigos School * Cambridge Street Upper School * Putnam Avenue Upper School * Rindge Avenue Upper School * Vassal Lane Upper School Cambridge has three district public high school programs, the principal one being Cambridge Rindge and Latin School (CRLS). Other public charter schools include Benjamin Banneker Charter School, which serves grades K–6; Community Charter School of Cambridge in Kendall Square, which serves grades 7–12; and Prospect Hill Academy, a charter school whose upper school is in Central Square though it is not a part of the Cambridge Public School District.

Primary and secondary private education

Cambridge also has several private schools, including: * Boston Archdiocesan Choir School * Buckingham Browne & Nichols School * Cambridge Montessori school * Cambridge Religious Society of Friends, Friends School * Fayerweather Street School * International School of Boston (formerly École Bilingue) * Matignon High School * Shady Hill School * St. Peter School



Cambridge is served by the ''Cambridge Chronicle'', the oldest surviving weekly paper in the United States. Another popular online newspaper is Cambridge Day.


Cambridge is home to the following commercially licensed and student-run radio stations:

Television and broadband

Cambridge Community Television (CCTV) has served the city since its inception in 1988. CCTV operates Cambridge's public access television facility and three television channels, 8, 9, and 96, on the Cambridge cable system (Comcast). The city has invited tenders from other cable providers, but Comcast remains its only fixed television and broadband utility, though services from American satellite TV providers are available. In October 2014, Cambridge City Manager Richard Rossi appointed a citizen Broadband Task Force to "examine options to increase competition, reduce pricing, and improve speed, reliability and customer service for both residents and businesses."



*Cable television service is provided by Comcast Communications. *Parts of Cambridge are served by a district heating systems loop for industrial organizations that also cover Boston. *Electric service and natural gas are both provided by Eversource Energy. *Landline service is provided by Verizon Communication. All phones in Cambridge are connected to Verizon's series of central office locations in the metropolitan area. *The city maintains its own Public, educational, and government access (PEG) known as Cambridge Community Television (CCTV).

Water department

Cambridge obtains water from Hobbs Brook (in Lincoln and Waltham) and Stony Brook (Boston), Stony Brook (Waltham and Weston), as well as an emergency connection to the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority. The city owns over of land in other towns that includes these reservoirs and portions of their watershed. Water from these reservoirs flows by gravity through an aqueduct to Fresh Pond (Cambridge, Massachusetts), Fresh Pond in Cambridge. It is then treated in an adjacent plant and pumped uphill to an elevation of above sea level at the Payson Park Reservoir (Belmont). The water is then redistributed downhill via gravity to individual users in the city. A new water treatment plant opened in 2001. In October 2016, the City of Cambridge announced that, owing to drought conditions, they would begin buying water from the MWRA. On January 3, 2017, Cambridge announced that "As a result of continued rainfall each month since October 2016, we have been able to significantly reduce the need to use MWRA water. We have not purchased any MWRA water since December 12, 2016 and if 'average' rainfall continues this could continue for several months." *Sewer service is available in Cambridge. The city is inter-connected with the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA)'s sewage network with Deer Island Waste Water Treatment Plant, sewage treatment plant in the Boston Harbor.



Several major roads lead to Cambridge, including Massachusetts State Highway 2, Route 2, Massachusetts State Highway 16, Route 16, and the Massachusetts State Highway 28, McGrath Highway (Route 28). The Massachusetts Turnpike does not pass through Cambridge but provides access by an exit in nearby Allston, Massachusetts, Allston. Both U.S. Route 1 and I-93 (MA), Interstate 93 also provide additional access on the eastern end of Cambridge at Leverett Circle in Boston. Massachusetts State Highway 2A, Route 2A runs the length of the city, chiefly along Massachusetts Avenue. The Charles River forms the southern border of Cambridge and is crossed by 11 bridges connecting Cambridge to Boston, including the Longfellow Bridge and the Harvard Bridge, eight of which are open to motorized road traffic. Cambridge has an irregular street network because many of the roads date from the colonial era. Contrary to popular belief, the road system did not evolve from longstanding cow-paths. Roads connected various village settlements with each other and nearby towns and were shaped by geographic features, most notably streams, hills, and swampy areas. Today, the major "squares" are typically connected by long, mostly straight roads, such as Massachusetts Avenue between Harvard Square and Central Square, or Hampshire Street between Kendall Square and Inman Square.

Mass transit

Cambridge is served by the MBTA, including the Porter Square Station on the regional MBTA Commuter Rail, Commuter Rail; the Lechmere Station on the Green Line; and the Red Line at Alewife Station (MBTA), Alewife, Porter (MBTA), Porter Square, Harvard Square, Central Square, and Kendall/MIT (MBTA station), Kendall Square/MIT Stations. Alewife Station, the terminus of the Red Line, has a large multi-story parking garage (at a rate of $7 per day ). The Harvard bus tunnel, under Harvard Square, connects to the Red Line underground. This tunnel was originally opened for streetcars in 1912 and served trackless trolleys (trolleybuses) and buses as the routes were converted; four lines of the Trolleybuses in Greater Boston, MBTA trolleybus system continue to use it. The tunnel was partially reconfigured when the Red Line was extended to Alewife in the early 1980s. Besides the state-owned transit agency, the city is also served by the Charles River Transportation Management Agency (CRTMA) shuttles which are supported by some of the largest companies operating in the city, in addition to the municipal government itself.


Cambridge has several bike paths, including one along the Charles River, and the Cambridge Linear Park, Linear Park connecting the Minuteman Bikeway at Alewife with the Somerville Community Path. A Watertown Branch Railroad, connection to Watertown is under construction. Bike parking is common and there are bike lanes on many streets, although concerns have been expressed regarding the suitability of many of the lanes. On several central MIT streets, bike lanes transfer onto the sidewalk. Cambridge bans cycling on certain sections of sidewalk where pedestrian traffic is heavy. While ''Bicycling Magazine'' in 2006 rated Boston as one of the worst cities in the nation for bicycling, it has given Cambridge honorable mention as one of the best and was called by the magazine "Boston's Great Hope". Boston has since then followed the example of Cambridge and made considerable efforts to improve bicycling safety and convenience. Cambridge has an official bicycle committee. The LivableStreets Alliance, headquartered in Cambridge, is an advocacy group for bicyclists, pedestrians, and walkability, walkable neighborhoods.


Walking is a popular activity in Cambridge. In 2000, among US cities with more than 100,000 residents, Cambridge had the highest percentage of commuters who walked to work. Cambridge's major historic squares have changed into modern walking neighborhoods, including traffic calming features based on the needs of pedestrians rather than of motorists.


The Boston intercity bus and train stations at South Station, Boston, and Logan International Airport in East Boston, are accessible by subway. The Fitchburg Line rail service from Porter Square connects to some western suburbs. Since October 2010, there has also been intercity bus service between Alewife (MBTA station), Alewife Station (Cambridge) and New York City.

Police department

In addition to the Cambridge Police Department, the city is patrolled by the Fifth (Brighton) Barracks of Troop H of the Massachusetts State Police. Owing, however, to proximity, the city also practices functional cooperation with the Fourth (Boston) Barracks of Troop H, as well. The campuses of Harvard and MIT are patrolled by the Harvard University Police Department and Massachusetts Institute of Technology Police Department, MIT Police Department, respectively.

Fire department

The city of Cambridge is protected by the Cambridge Fire Department. Established in 1832, the CFD operates eight engine companies, four ladder companies, one rescue company, and two paramedic squad companies from eight fire stations located throughout the city. The Acting Chief is Gerard Mahoney.

Emergency medical services (EMS)

The city of Cambridge receives emergency medical services from PRO EMS, a privately contracted ambulance service.

Public library services

Further educational services are provided at the Cambridge Public Library. The large modern main building was built in 2009, and connects to the restored 1888 Richardson Romanesque building. It was founded as the private Cambridge Athenaeum in 1849 and was acquired by the city in 1858, and became the Dana Library. The 1888 building was a donation of Frederick H. Rindge.

Sister Cities – Twin Towns

Cambridge has seven official Twin towns and sister cities, sister cities with active relationships: * Coimbra, Portugal (est. June 1982) * Gaeta, Lazio, Italy (est. December 1982) * Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Tsukuba Science City, Ibaraki Prefecture, Ibaraki, Japan (est. October 1983) * San José Las Flores, Chalatenango, San José Las Flores, Chalatenango Department, Chalatenango, El Salvador (est. March 1987) * Yerevan, Armenia (est. April 1987) * Galway, County Galway, Ireland (est. March 1997) * Les Cayes, Haiti (est. May 2014) Cambridge has ten additional official sister city relationships that are not active: * Dublin, Ireland (October 1983) * Ischia, Campania, Italy (June 1984) * Catania, Sicily, Italy (February 1987) * Kraków, Lesser Poland Voivodeship, Poland (October 1989) * Santo Domingo Oeste, Dominican Republic (May 2003) * London Borough of Southwark, Southwark, Greater London, UK (June 2004) * Yuseong District, Daejeon, Korea (February 2005) * Haidian District, Beijing, China (March 2005) * Cienfuegos, Cuba (May 2005)





* * * *
Cambridge article
by Rev. Edward Abbott in Volume 1, pages 305–358. * Eliot, Samuel Atkins. ''A History of Cambridge, Massachusetts: 1630–1913''. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The Cambridge Tribune, 1913. * * Lucius Robinson Paige, Paige, Lucius. ''History of Cambridge, Massachusettse: 1630–1877''. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The Riverside Press, 1877. * ''Survey of Architectural History in Cambridge: Mid Cambridge''. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Cambridge Historical Commission, 1967. . * ''Survey of Architectural History in Cambridge: Cambridgeport''. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Cambridge Historical Commission, 1971. . * ''Survey of Architectural History in Cambridge: Old Cambridge''. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Cambridge Historical Commission, 1973. . * ''Survey of Architectural History in Cambridge: Northwest Cambridge''. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Cambridge Historical Commission, 1977. . * ''Survey of Architectural History in Cambridge: East Cambridge'' (revised edition). Cambridge, Massachusetts: Cambridge Historical Commission, 1988. * *

External links

* * {{Authority control Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1630 establishments in Massachusetts Charles River Cities in Middlesex County, Massachusetts County seats in Massachusetts Greater Boston Populated places established in 1630 University towns in the United States Cities in Massachusetts