History of Porter Square a Neighborhood in Cambridge, MA

Porter Square is a neighborhood in Cambridge MA. It can be found on the north side of Massachusetts Avenue, west of Harvard Square and east of MIT’s campus.

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The first documented use of this name is from 1859 when it was used to describe an area south-east of what would later become Memorial Drive; that portion has since been renamed Kenmore Square as part of city planning efforts to recognize Arlington Street running northwest out into Boston as its main artery, not for being at the confluence with two rivers like nearby Charles River where Shawmut Avenue now meets Beacon Hill Park. One theory about Porter Square’s namesake holds that John W. Porter owned much property in this region after moving here during his apprenticeship years before becoming one of the city’s leading masters of building construction.

Today, Porter Square is a bustling collection of retail, office space and residences.