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Framingham, Massachusetts
Town
Official seal of Framingham, Massachusetts
Seal
Location in Middlesex County in Massachusetts
Location in Middlesex County in Massachusetts
Country United States
State Massachusetts
County Middlesex
Settled 1650
Incorporated 1700
Area
 • Total 26.4 sq mi (68.5 km2)
 • Land 25.1 sq mi (65.1 km2)
 • Water 1.3 sq mi (3.4 km2)
Elevation 165 ft (50 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 68,318
 • Density 2,581.1/sq mi (995.2/km2)
Time zone Eastern (UTC−5)
 • Summer (DST) Eastern (UTC−4)
ZIP code 01701, 01702, 01703, 01704, 01705
Area code(s) 508 / 774
FIPS code 25-24925
GNIS feature ID 0618224
Website Framinghamma.gov/

Framingham (how to say: /ˈfreɪmɪŋˌhæm/) is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 68,318 as of the United States 2010 Census, making it the 14th most populous municipality in Massachusetts. Founded in 1700, Framingham was placed at # 36 on 'Best Places to Live in US' by CNN Money magazine in 2012.

History

See also: Historic Places in Framingham, Massachusetts

Framingham, sited on the ancient trail known as the Old Connecticut Path, was first settled when John Stone settled on the west bank of the Sudbury River in 1647. In 1660, Thomas Danforth, an official of the Bay Colony, formerly of Framlingham, Suffolk, received a grant of land at "Danforth's Farms" and began to accumulate over 15,000 acres (100 km2). He strenuously resisted petitions for incorporation of the town, which was officially incorporated in 1700, following his death the previous year. Why the "L" was dropped from the new town's name is not known. The first church was organized in 1701, the first teacher was hired in 1706, and the first permanent schoolhouse in 1716.

On February 22, 1775, the British general Thomas Gage sent two officers and an enlisted man out of Boston to survey the route to Worcester, Massachusetts. In Framingham those spies stopped at Buckminster's Tavern. They watched the town militia muster outside the building, impressed with the men's numbers but not their discipline. Though "the whole company" came into the tavern after their drill, the officers managed to remain undetected and continued on their mission the next day. Gage did not order a march along that route, instead ordering troops to Concord, Massachusetts, on April 18–19. Framingham sent two militia companies totaling about 130 men into the Battles of Lexington and Concord that followed; one of those men was wounded.

In the years prior to the American Civil War, Framingham was an annual gathering-spot for members of the abolitionist movement. Each Independence Day from 1854 to 1865, the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society held a rally in a picnic area called Harmony Grove near what is now downtown Framingham. At the 1854 rally, William Lloyd Garrison burned copies of the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850, judicial decisions enforcing it, and the United States Constitution. Other prominent abolitionists present that day included William Cooper Nell, Sojourner Truth, Wendell Phillips, Lucy Stone, and Henry David Thoreau.

During the post–World War II baby boom, Framingham, like many other suburban areas, experienced a large increase in population and housing. Much of the housing constructed during that time consisted of split-level and ranch-style houses.

Framingham is known for the Framingham Heart Study, as well as for the Dennison Manufacturing Company, which was founded in 1844 as a jewelry and watch box manufacturing company by Aaron Lufkin Dennison, who became the pioneer of the American System of Watch Manufacturing at the nearby Waltham Watch Company. His brother Eliphalet Whorf Dennison developed the company into a sizable industrial complex which merged in 1990 into Avery Dennison, with headquarters in Pasadena, California, and active corporate offices in the town.

In 2000, Framingham celebrated its Tercentennial.

Geography

Framingham is located at Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'Module:mw' not found. (42.299795, −71.426627).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 26.4 square miles (68.5 km²). 25.1 square miles (65.1 km²) of it is land and 1.3 square miles (3.4 km²) of it (4.99%) is water.

Framingham is located in eastern Massachusetts, 20 miles (32 km) west of Boston, midway between Boston and Worcester. It is bordered by Southborough and Marlborough on the west; Sherborn and Ashland on the south; Natick on the east; Wayland on the northeast; and Sudbury on the north.

The town of Framingham is divided by Route 9, which passes east-to-west through the middle of the town. South Framingham includes Downtown Framingham (the town government seat), and the villages of Coburnville, Lokerville, and Salem End Road. North Framingham includes the villages of Nobscot, Pinefield, Ridgefield, and Saxonville plus Framingham Center (the physical center of town, featuring the town commons).

Demographics

See also: List of Massachusetts locations by per capita income
Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1850 4,252 —    
1860 4,227 −0.6%
1870 4,968 +17.5%
1880 6,235 +25.5%
1890 9,239 +48.2%
1900 11,302 +22.3%
1910 12,948 +14.6%
1920 17,033 +31.5%
1930 22,210 +30.4%
1940 23,214 +4.5%
1950 28,086 +21.0%
1960 44,526 +58.5%
1970 64,048 +43.8%
1980 65,113 +1.7%
1990 64,989 −0.2%
2000 66,910 +3.0%
2010 68,318 +2.1%

Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data.

As of the census of 2010, there were 68,318 people, 27,529 households, and 16,573 families residing in the town. The population density was 2,663.6 people per square mile (1,028.4/km²). There were 26,734 housing units at an average density of 2,728.6 per square mile (410.9/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 65.3% White, 5.8% Black, 0.8% Native American, 6.3% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 6.27% from other races, and 3.38% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 13.4% of the population (4.7% Puerto Rican, 1.8% Guatemalan, 1.5% Salvadoran, 1.1% Dominican, 0.9% Mexican, 0.6% Colombian, 0.3% Peruvian). (Source: 2010 Census Quickfacts)

There were 26,153 households, out of which 29.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.0% were married couples living together, 10.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.6% were non-families. 28.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 3.02.

In the town, the age distribution of the population shows 21.4% under the age of 18, 9.0% from 18 to 24, 34.5% from 25 to 44, 22.1% from 45 to 64, and 13.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 91.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.6 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $54,288, and the median income for a family was $67,420. Males had a median income of $46,122 versus $35,941 for females. The per capita income for the town was $27,758. About 8.0% of families and 16.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.4% of those under age 18 and 6.1% of those age 65 or over.

Brazilian immigrants have a major presence in Framingham. Since the 1980s, a large segment of the Brazilian population has come from the single city of Governador Valadares.

Housing

Framingham is one of the few towns in Massachusetts that have met their legal requirement of 10% for Massachusetts Chapter 40B Affordable housing which mostly targets people with income levels in the 70% of median income. In addition to its 40B Affordable component, Framingham has a large percentage of rental units which target people in the 30% of median income bracket. Framingham has a much larger percentage of rental households than any of the surrounding towns. Statewide, the median income of rental households is 47% of the median for homeowners, and in Middlesex County it is slightly more than 50%. In Framingham, the median renter income of $33,626 is 45% of the median homeowner income of $75,040.

Housing in South Framingham is mainly single-family houses on lots of less than 0.5 acres (0 ha), multi-family homes or apartments. Additionally much of the town's affordable housing is located south of Route 9. However, there a large number of large, single-family homes around Salem End Road on the West Side of South Framingham. This region is often overlooked as being in South Framingham because the area is physically separated from most of the South Side due to a series of reservoirs and the Sudbury River. Also, there are many large Victorian houses located along the shores of Learned and Gleason Ponds, and along Concord St. and Union Ave. near Downtown Framingham. Additionally, the West Side of South Framingham along Route 9 has several large tracts of multi-story apartment buildings that comprise a major part of the town's apartment stock.

North Framingham was originally mostly farmland and gave way to large tracts of single-family housing on lots of over 0.5 acres (0 ha) after World War II. The village of Saxonville on the east side is an old mill area that consists of many Victorian homes, and is undergoing a large expansion of over six hundred new homes on a former gravel pit. The village of Nobscot on the western side has many homes that are valued above mean housing prices for the region. While there are several small apartment complexes on the North Side, most have been converted to condominia. In the 1950s and 1960s, the villages of Nobscot, Pinefield, and Saxonville all had a large number of slab and raised ranch-style houses constructed by the Campanelli Company. These homes are classic cookie-cutter style homes that feature the same general shape and floor plan; while there are six or seven styles of the houses, the large majority of which are referred to Campanelli "L" ranches because their floor plan resembles the letter "L". At the time of construction, these homes were considered by many to be the epitome of the American dream of homeownership; today they are viewed as more modest homes.

Today, most of Framingham has been developed with the exception of some parcels in the northwest quadrant. In this part of town, there are more people with wells and septic systems, combined with a large amount of ledge, which prevents most of the unbuilt land from being developed.

Transportation

Framingham is located approximately halfway between Worcester, the commercial center of Central Massachusetts, and Boston, New England's leading port and metropolitan area. Rail and highway facilities connect these major centers and other communities in the Greater Boston Metropolitan Area.

Air

The closest airport with scheduled international passenger traffic is Boston's Logan International Airport, 25 miles (40 km) from Framingham. Worcester Regional Airport, about 27 miles (43 km) away, began scheduled flights to Fort Lauderdale and Orlando in November 2013.

Major highways

Framingham is served by one Interstate and four state highways:

Route number Type Local name Direction
I-90.svg Interstate 90 Interstate, limited access toll road The Massachusetts Turnpike east/west
MA Route 9.svg Route 9 State route, divided highway Worcester Rd.
The Boston/Worcester Turnpike, Ted Williams Highway
east/west
MA Route 30.svg Route 30 State route, partial divided highway Cochituate Rd., Worcester Rd. and Pleasant St. east/west
MA Route 126.svg Route 126 State route, primary road Old Connecticut Path, School St, Concord St. and Hollis St. north/south
MA Route 135.svg Route 135 State route, primary road Waverly St. east/west

Mass transit

Rail

  • Direct rail service to Boston and Chicago via Amtrak's Lake Shore Limited, as well as to all other points on the Amtrak network via a connection in another city.
  • MBTA commuter rail service is available to South Station and Back Bay Station, Boston, via the MBTA Framingham-Worcester Commuter Rail Line, which connects South Station in Boston and Union Station in Worcester. Travel time to Back Bay Station is 42–45 minutes. It was formerly called the Framingham Commuter Rail Line, as Framingham was the end of the line, until rail traffic was expanded to Worcester in 1996. The line also serves the communities of Newton, Wellesley, Natick, Ashland, Southborough, Westborough, and Grafton.
  • CSX provides freight rail service in Framingham.

Bus

  • MassPort operates the Logan Express bus service seven days per week providing a direct connection to Logan Airport. The bus terminal and paid parking facility are located on the Shoppers' World Mall property, off the Massachusetts Turnpike exit 13, between Route 9 and Route 30.
  • Peter Pan Bus Lines provides service to Worcester, New York, and Boston.
  • The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), provides THE RIDE, a paratransit service for the elderly and disabled.
  • The MetroWest Regional Transit Authority (MWRTA) operates a regional bus service which provides service to other local routes connecting the various regions of town and fixed route public bus lines servicing multiple communities in the MetroWest region, including the towns of Ashland, Holliston, Hopkinton, Milford, Marlborough, Sudbury, Sherborn, Natick, and Weston.
  • LimoLiner provides service to New York City.

Commuter services

Park and ride services:

  • MassDOT operates a free park and ride facility at the parking lot at the intersection of Flutie Pass and East Road on the south side of Shoppers' World Mall.
  • MassDOT also operates a free park and ride facility at a parking lot adjacent to exit 12 of the Massachusetts Turnpike, across from California Avenue on the west side of Framingham.

Utilities

  • Telephone poles – The majority of telephone poles serving Framingham are owned by either Eversource or Verizon.
  • Electrical distribution – Framingham is served by Eversource for electricity distribution, customers are free to purchase electricity from individual suppliers.
  • Telephone, CATV, and data services – The majority of Framingham is served by three vendors that provide telephone, cable TV, and internet services. Other smaller or specialized companies provide DSL, ISDN, POTS, and CTI services.
  • Natural gas – Framingham is served by National Grid's Keyspan division and Eversource for piped in natural gas.
  • Water and sewer – Framingham is part of the MWRA and the town owns its water and sewer mains. The northwest corner of town, west of Edgell Road and north of Route 30, primarily relies on wells and septic systems for private residences.

Points of interest

Framingham features dozens of athletic fields and civic facilities spread throughout the town in schools and public parks. Many of the recreational facilities were constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the New Deal.

Culture

  • Amazing Things Arts Center
  • Framingham Community Theater
  • Framingham History Center (formerly the Framingham Historical Society and Museum)
  • Danforth Museum
  • Performing Arts Center of Metrowest
  • Metrowest Youth Symphony Orchestra
  • Pike Haven Homestead was built in 1693 by Jeremiah Pike. He and his descendants were town and militia officers, yeomen, and makers of spinning wheels in the colonial period. This house had been occupied by the same family for eight generations.

Parks

  • Bowditch Field is the town's main athletic facility. It is located on Union Avenue midway between Downtown and Framingham Center and was the main athletic facility for the town. It houses a large multi-purpose football stadium that included permanent bleachers on both sides of the field. There is still a baseball field, tennis courts, a track and field practice area, and the headquarters of the town Parks Department. Bowditch, along with Butterworth and Winch Parks, were all built during the Great Depression of the 1930s as WPA projects. It underwent a complete renovation/reconstruction in 2010.
  • Butterworth Park is located at the corner of Grant St and Arthur St. The park occupies a square block near downtown. The park has includes a baseball stadium that includes permanent bleachers on one side of the field, a basketball court and a tennis court. There is street parking available on three sides.
  • Winch Park is the sister park to Butterworth and is located in Saxonville adjacent to the Framingham High School. It includes a baseball stadium that includes permanent bleachers on one side of the field, a basketball court, tennis courts and two large practice fields used for football, soccer and lacrosse. There are two additional multi-use fields located on the other side of the high school's gymnasium building.
  • Callahan State Park is a large state park run by the DCR located in North Framingham in the northwest corner of town.
  • Cochituate State Park on Lake Cochituate has a small section in Framingham where Saxonville Beach is located on the north western shore of the lake.
  • Danforth Park located on Danforth Street, not far from the Wayland town line. The small park has playground with a half basketball court and a small baseball/kickball field.
  • Framingham Common is located in Framingham Center in front of the old Town Hall along Edgell Road and Vernon Street. It features the town Christmas Tree and an outdoor stage used for concerts and other fair weather events. It is a favorite of the students of Framingham State University, and the site of their annual graduation ceremonies.
  • Cushing Park on the South Side is a passive recreational area. The Framingham Peace and 9/11 Memorials are located within the park across the street from Farm Pond, along with the Cushing Chapel. After World War II ended, this land used to be the Cushing Veterans Hospital.
  • Long Athletic Complex On the south side of Framingham, near downtown the complex is the host of three little league baseball diamonds (Carter, Tusconi, Merloni), two Babe Ruth baseball fields (one being Long field), a softball field, outdoor basketball court, and two concession stands. The complex is surrounded by Keefe Tech High School, Loring Arena, and Barbari Elementary School. All of the fields have lights, and they host almost all of Framingham's Little League games. Long field is the host of JV high school games as well as a majority of the Framingham Babe Ruth games. The concession stands are both non-profit and all the money goes back towards the Framingham baseball league.

Conservation land

  • Framingham has about 400 acres (1.6 km2) of land that has been placed into public conservation.
    • The Wittenborg Woods was donated to the town in 1999 by Harriet Wittenborg. The properties were originally purchased from Henry Ford in the 1940s. Henry Ford owned all of the land around the Wayside Inn in nearby Sudbury, and Harriet (and her husband) were required to interview with Mr. Ford to determine if they would be good stewards of the land.
    • The Morency Woods is a parcel of land that is physically located in Natick, Massachusetts on the Framingham border, but which is owned by the town of Framingham. This forested land was used as a sewer bed up until the mid-1940s and was placed into conservation in 2001.
  • The Sudbury Valley Trustees has approximately 200 acres (0.8 km2) of land in North Framingham and along the Sudbury River in a private conservation trust.

Recreation

Garden in the Woods - IMG 2451
Garden in the Woods
  • Garden in the Woods, operated by the New England Wild Flower Society, is a botanical garden that features the largest landscaped collection of native wildflowers in New England. It is located in Nobscot, off of Hemenway Road.
  • Framingham Country Club, located along Salem End Road on the South Side, is a private club that features an 18-hole course with 6,580 yards (6,017 m) of golf from the longest tees for a par of 72.
  • Millwood Farms Golf Course off Millwood Street is a public 14-hole, par 53 golf course. Originally a 9-hole course, it was expanded to 14 holes in the late 1970s. Attempts to purchase land for a full 18-hole were unsuccessful.
  • Nobscot Scout Reservation is a private facility owned by the Knox Trail Council of the Boy Scouts of America and is open to the public during most of the year.
  • The town has several public beaches including Saxonville beach on Lake Cochituate, Washakum Beach on Lake Washakum, and the beach at Learned Pond.
  • The former Cushing hospital grounds serve as walking, biking, rollerblading, and picnic areas.
  • Farm Pond, located in South Framingham, once used to host Fourth of July Fireworks, now serves as a picnic area.
  • Edward F. Loring Skating Arena, located near Farm Pond at the corner of Fountain and Dudley Roads, is a municipal skating arena for area groups on a rental basis and public skating and stick time is available September through April.

Places of worship

Sister cities

Images for kids


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