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Porter Square, Cambridge

(3/5 based on 40 reviews on the web)
Porter Square is a neighborhood in Cambridge and Somerville, Massachusetts in the USA, located around the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and Somerville Avenue, between Harvard and Davis Squares. The Porter Square station serves both the MBTA Red Line and the Commuter Rail Fitchburg Line. A major part of the Lesley University campus is located within the Porter Square area.In 2004–06 the principal intersection, including the area adjacent to the shopping center, underwent extensive construction both to improve access for vehicles, pedestrians, bicyclists, and mass transit users, and to improve drainage and storm water conditions. The artist Toshihiro Katayama of Harvard University, in conjunction with the landscape architect Cynthia Smith, designed a new visual look for the new circulation design, including contrasting light and dark concrete paving, stone walls and boulders.HistoryPreviously called Union Square, Porter Square was renamed in 1899 for the now-vanished Porter's Hotel, operated by Zachariah B. Porter, who also left his name to the hotel's specialty, the cut of steak known as porterhouse. The hotel was demolished in 1909. The square, formerly flanked by cattle yards that used the Porter rail head to transport their beef throughout the US, was an important center for commerce and light industry as early as the late 18th century. A tunnel for moving cattle to and from the railroad without interfering with street traffic, known as the Walden Street Cattle Pass, was built in 1857. The tunnel survives under the nearby Walden Street Bridge, and in 2007–08 was preserved and restored. The "most dramatic loss" of 19th century landscape in the square was the leveling of the old Rand Estate in 1952 to make way for the Porter Square Shopping Center.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Too crowded expensive don't like it navigate to Davis Square or Boston. Parking is lousy good restaurants to eat at in looking at people is hilarious 
  • Porter is right in between Davis and Harvard but there is not as much to do in this area/the "square" is not as cohesive. I would recommend walking in either direction to the next stop. 
  • Take the Red Line, and leave your car at Alewife station on a Saturday. You won't be sorry. Just use the day to explore Cambridge and Porter Square is a good place to end it n the evening. Music is at...  more »