The Hills of Somerville, Boston

Somerville, Massachusetts

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Like an East Coast San Francisco, Somerville’s street grid is imposed on its hills without regard to steep grades. Architects have capitalized on the city’s resulting dramatic views with two- and three-family houses densely built in straight rows climbing the hills. This unusual loop walk through the city’s heart takes in many of its cultural, historical, and architectural landmarks. The city’s glacial hills and deep valleys were first settled by colonial farmers. Their roads—which followed crests or valleys —still exist in the form of modern-day Broadway, Somerville Avenue, Elm Street, Main Street, Washington Street, and others. Farmers’ lands were parceled out perpendicular to the roads, with crude paths or lanes every quarter mile. T From the leafy hilltops, there are frequent views overlooking the surrounding city. This walk gives an overview of Somerville, following its early streets, taking in its rich history—including many sites pivotal in the American Revolution—and looking at the influence of topography and transportation lines that molded the residential areas. It is, as you’ll see, a remarkable city.
Walk Boston

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Walk Boston

by Robert Sloane (editor) of WalkBoston (Appalachian Mountain Club Books)

Like an East Coast San Francisco, Somerville’s street grid is imposed on its hills without regard to steep grades. Architects have capitalized on the city’s resulting dramatic views with two- and three-family houses densely built in straight rows climbing the hills. This unusual loop walk through the city’s heart takes in many of its cultural, historical, and architectural landmarks. The city’s glacial hills and deep valleys were first settled by colonial farmers. Their roads—which followed crests or valleys —still exist in the form of modern-day Broadway, Somerville Avenue, Elm Street, Main Street, Washington Street, and others. Farmers’ lands were parceled out perpendicular to the roads, with crude paths or lanes every quarter mile. T

From the leafy hilltops, there are frequent views overlooking the surrounding city. This walk gives an overview of Somerville, following its early streets, taking in its rich history—including many sites pivotal in the American Revolution—and looking at the influence of topography and transportation lines that molded the residential areas. It is, as you’ll see, a remarkable city.

©  Robert Sloane (editor) of WalkBoston/Appalachian Mountain Club Books. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Walking
Nearby City: Somerville
Distance: 4
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: 3.5 hours
Season: Year-round
Accessibility: Stroller/Wheelchair Accessible
Driving Directions: Directions to The Hills of Somerville, Boston

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Apr 2018