Calendar of Events

Throughout the month of May and a bit into June, the Somerville Historic Preservation Commission (SHPC) partners with other local organizations to host events honoring Somerville’s history and historic assets. All events are open to the public and free unless otherwise noted.

 Saturday, May 3rd, 10am – noon. The SHPC, in concert with the Cambridge Historical Commission staff, is sponsoring a “Jane’s Walk” to honor urban activist and writer, Jane Jacobs. A world-wide event, this year’s walk will explore the Orchard Street neighborhood north of Porter Square. The cities of Cambridge and Somerville have been studying the area for possible nomination to the National Register of Historic Places. It will end in time for lunch in the Square and visits to various Somerville Open Art Studios from noon to 6pm. Rain or shine. Meet at Porter Square Plaza along Somerville Ave. across from the T station. For more information about this Jane’s Walk see janejacobswalk2014

 Tuesday, May 13th, 6:00-8:00pm. Launching of “Milk Row Cemetery Public Openings.” The Docent Program started two years ago begins anew with an early evening opening to the public of this fragile burial ground. Dressed in period clothing Barbara Mangum, Objects Conservator and President of Historic Somerville, Inc. will lead an informative tour from 6:30-7:30pm, about this historic and very compact cemetery founded in 1804 by Samuel Tufts on farmland once part of Charlestown. Come find out about whose buried here, the extraordinary monument dedicated to Somerville soldiers fallen during the Civil War, and recent municipal enhancements. Time for browsing and light refreshments happen both before and after the tour. Meet at the front gate at 439 Somerville Avenue, next to Demoulas’ Market Basket. Rain or shine. Other public openings with docents will happen once a month from June-October at different times.

 Sunday, May 18th, 2:00-4:30pm. Walking Tour of East Somerville: “Identifying Architectural Gems From Gilman Square to East Somerville.” Edward Gordon, President of the New England Chapter of the Victorian Society in America, will lead a lively and informative tour exploring Gilman Square, a once vibrant commercial area nestled between Central and Winter Hills, Walnut Street, and eastward along Broadway. Sponsored in collaboration with East Somerville Main Streets, the walk begins at the Somerville Central Library at 81 Highland Avenue and concludes with complimentary appetizers at the East End Grille on Broadway. Rain or shine.

 Tuesday, May 20th, 9:30-10:30am. A Talk with Somerville Veterans: “An Historical Overview of The Somerville Story.” Talk will include a PowerPoint presentation prepared by Lawrence Willwerth, a proud veteran himself, as well as a local history buff. SHPC Director Brandon Wilson will offer more current historical remarks and respond to questions. Talk at Tufts Administration Building, 169 Holland St., conference room.

 Thursday, May 22nd, 6:30-9:00pm. Historic Preservation Awards Ceremony. A reception, with light refreshments, will be followed by a ceremony to honor 12 Somerville owners for their award-winning preservation work on the exterior of their properties. The properties include both historically designated homes as well as older buildings in the City. SHS students will present their original drawings of each property to the owners. The event takes place in the historically unique space within the Somerville Armory, 191 Highland Avenue.

 Sunday, May 25th: Memorial Day Parade. Join the Historic Somerville contingent! Dress up in period clothing. Begins at City Hall and ends at Clarendon Hill. For more information contact Rain or shine.

 Wednesday, May 28th, 7-8:30pm. A talk “Researching the History of Your House and Your Family,” will be given by 3 key resources — Kristi Chase, Preservation Planner for the SHPC, Kevin Kelley, Reference Librarian for the SPL, and Nadia Dixon, City’s Archivist. Find out how each of these resources can help you research the histories of your house and family. Mini tour of genealogy resources at the library and beyond, as well as tips for getting started. Somerville Central Library, 79 Highland Avenue.

 Sunday, Sun., June 8th, 2-5pm. The 13th Annual Historic Bike Tour “Somerville Leads the Way.”
Co-sponsored with the Somerville Bike Committee. This year’s theme takes us from one end of the City to the other, learning about Somerville’s continuing foray into new and historic frontiers with innovative businesses, buildings and products. The guided ride, escorted by the Somerville Police, is designed for all ages and riding levels, and includes a couple of rest stops and an interior tour. Starts at City Hall at 2:00 pm and ends around 4:30pm, with light refreshments. $3.00 donation appreciated.

For more information, contact SHPC Executive Director Brandon Wilson at 617-625-6600 x2532 or via or visit for updates, flyers, and photos. ​​​​
Joseph A. Curtatone, Mayor

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