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Porter Square, Cambridge

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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  • Few of the so-called squares in Cambridge are very charming; even Porter Square's more famous cousin, Harvard Square, has been taken over by cheap chain stores and a giant, depressing CVS. But Porter ...  more »
  • Nice small shopping area in a convenient site. With a Supermarket, DIY store, an excellent organic health foods store and other shops / cafes. Smallish car park but we have never had a problem parking...  more »
  • 1 stop is Harvard Square. Local people use Super Star. Bought the DELI, so the dinner, I went back. Other home centers, bookstores, etc.
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8 days in Cambridge & Boston BY A USER FROM CANADA June, teens, kids, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: June, teens, kids, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 12 days in New England BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, shopping, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: June, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 60 days in Boston BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM March, relaxing, romantic, beaches, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: March, relaxing, romantic, beaches, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 60 days in Boston BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM January, popular PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 20 days in New England BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM July, culture, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: July, culture, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 60 days in Boston BY A USER FROM CANADA January, culture, relaxing, historic sites, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: January, culture, relaxing, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 59 days in Boston BY A USER FROM PORTUGAL January, culture, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: January, culture ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 8 days in Cambridge, Salem & Boston BY A USER FROM MEXICO November, teens, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: November, teens, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 60 days in United States BY A USER FROM BRAZIL October, culture, relaxing, museums, popular PREFERENCES: October, culture, relaxing, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 26 days in United States BY A USER FROM COLOMBIA May, culture, romantic, historic sites, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: May, culture, romantic, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 11 days in Massachusetts BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, popular PREFERENCES: September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 14 days in New York City & New England BY A USER FROM ITALY October, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: October, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
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