East Somerville: Boston’s Transit Steal

ilmcel64.jpg At the time of its construction in 1901, Sullivan Square was one of the most impressive transit structures in the world; an elevated train stop with a trolley loop that ramped up from the street, reducing transfer times to a few steps. But by the 1970s, the station, and the area in general, had seen better days (see photo).

In the 1980s, Mike Dukakis, transit backer and one of the best governors in the history of Massachusetts (so long as you don’t miss happy hour or mind paying taxes) opened a new Sullivan Station under the I-93 overpass. While it’s still technically in Charlestown, the traffic circle at Washington Street and Route 99, along with a massive bus yard and parking lot, keep the new Sullivan far more closely attached to East Somerville.

Thought of largely as an ethnic enclave of Brazilian and Portuguese immigrants, East Somerville boasts an astounding variety of services, from hands-on pottery workshops at Mudflat Studio, to the Boston area’s most critically acclaimed taqueria, the sublime Taco Loco, to the best-priced lobster in Massachusetts at the Mt. Vernon Restaurant.

From a real estate standpoint, East Somerville has some of the best prices anywhere this close to downtown. Gut-refurbed colonials and three-deckers from the turn of the century dot quiet, wandering side streets, all but devoid of the traffic that’s churning Washington Street into dust.

It’s a safe bet you won’t find a home with three off-street parking spots minutes from I-93, and a single T-stop displaced from downtown, for under $250/sq. ft. anywhere else in the country, let alone in the still-climbing Boston market.

6 Austin St
Somerville, MA 02145

3 beds, 2 baths
1,526 sq. ft.
$380,000

4 George St #1
Somerville, MA 02145

2 beds, 1 bath
970 sq. ft.
$279,900

78 Mount Vernon St #3
Somerville, MA 02145

2 beds, 2 bath
1,033 sq. ft.
$365,000

Hitting the Links
Boston Sweet Digs Home

  • alyk

    I love old pics of the city; even the nice neighborhoods looked rough.

  • John K

    I missed out on being “legal” TWICE due to him!