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Berkeley Street Historic District facts for kids

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Berkeley Street Historic District
CambridgeMA BerkeleyStreetHD.jpg
Berkeley Street
Berkeley Street Historic District is located in Massachusetts
Berkeley Street Historic District
Location in Massachusetts
Berkeley Street Historic District is located in the United States
Berkeley Street Historic District
Location in the United States
Location Berkeley St. and Berkeley Pl., Cambridge, Massachusetts
Area 4.9 acres (2.0 ha) (original size)
7.2 acres (2.9 ha) (after 1986 increase)
Built 1852 (1852)
Architectural style Late Victorian, Italian Villa
MPS Cambridge MRA
NRHP reference No. 82001920 (original)
86001265 (increase)
Quick facts for kids
Significant dates
Added to NRHP April 13, 1982
Boundary increase May 19, 1986

The Berkeley Street Historic District is a historic district on Berkeley Street and Berkeley Place in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It encompasses a neighborhood containing one of the greatest concentrations of fine Italianate and Second Empire houses in the city. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982, with a substantial increase in 1986.

Description and history

Berkeley Street is located west of Cambridge Common in western Cambridge, running parallel to and south of Concord Avenue between Craigie Street and Garden Street. Land in this area was acquired by Harvard University professor Joseph Worcester in 1843, and laid out for subdivision in 1852. Most of the houses on Berkeley Street were built between 1852 and 1872, for people prominent in business, culture, and politics. Berkeley Place, a dead end street projecting southerly from Berkeley Street, was laid out in 1890; it was originally a back lane to the Longfellow House, which was Worcester's home in the 1840s. Most of its houses date to the period between 1892 and 1918.

When the district was first listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982, it included 15 properties on Berkeley Street. Most of these houses are in the fashionable Bracketed Italianate style of that time, with a number of examples of the Second Empire style. A few later houses, built in the Queen Anne style, are sympathetic to the earlier houses in massing and style. Four years later the district was expanded to include most of the properties on Berkeley Place. Stylistically, they are a cross section of styles fashionable at that time: Queen Anne, Shingle, and Colonial Revival.

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