History of Kendall Square a Neighborhood in Cambridge, MA

Kendall Square is a neighborhood in Cambridge, MA. The area has grown tremendously since the 1950’s when MIT first started to build its campus. Kendall Square was originally an empty lot that was turned into a square by the railroad company in 1838 and named after John J. Kendall who served as the president of Boston & Maine Railroad between 1880 and 1898.

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The transformation from empty land to one of America’s most vibrant neighborhoods began with the construction of several buildings for industrial use beginning at around 1850: Trinity Church (1861), Central Station (1911) and Sears Headquarters Building on 400 Broadway Street (1950). It continued when MIT built its own facilities which included laboratories, dormitories, classrooms, libraries, offices, and a cafeteria.

This was the beginning of Kendall Square’s transformation from an empty lot to America’s most vibrant neighborhood with more than 25,000 jobs and over $500 billion in economic output annually (2016).

The future for Kendall is very bright as it has become one of Cambridge’s major commercial centers. The city intends on ensuring that this revitalization would entail new housing, office space, open spaces, transit connections, energy efficiencies and environmental stewardship while still preserving its history.