Spring Hill, Somerville, MA
Spring Hill is the name of a ridge in the central part of the city of Somerville, Massachusetts, first developed in 1843 by George O. Brastow, an influential businessman who later became the first mayor of Somerville. He lotted one of Somerville’s first residential subdivisions on the hill’s south side between Central and Belmont Streets. Several original houses from this development remain on Atherton Street and off Harvard Street. The well-known Boston surveyor Alexander Wadsworth helped Brastow successfully lay out this subdivision to attract substantial homes on country estates for privileged suburbanites that held proprietary and managerial jobs. In the early 1900s triple-deckers filled in the remaining land.
Spring Hill is home to Somerville Hospital, opened in 1891 on Highland Avenue, the Round House, located on Atherton Street, and the Somerville Museum, located on Central Street. At one time this neighborhood was home to both journalist Howie Carr and Winter Hill Gang leader Howie Winter. They lived one street apart, on Madison Street and Montrose Street, respectively. This was revealed in Carr’s book about Irish mobster James “Whitey” Bulger, “The Brothers Bulger.”
The Armory, located at 191 Highland Avenue, was built in 1903 by George A. Moore to house the Somerville Light Infantry of the Massachusetts Volunteer Militia. For nearly seventy years after that, it also housed the Massachusetts National Guard. It sat vacant until the State of Massachusetts decided to sell the building in 2004.
The historic armory was purchased by Joseph and Nabil Sater, owners of the successful Middle East music club in Central Square. Patrons of the arts, the Sater brothers successfully embarked upon a vision to create a community arts center for the City of Somerville. Arts at the Armory now showcases a wide range of visual arts, dance, theater and musical performances. Check their website at artsatthearmory.org for a full listing of events and exhibits.
Restaurants are popping up everywhere in this popular neighborhood. You will see many people lined up outside waiting for a table at the very popular Highland Kitchen, located on Highland Avenue in the Spring Hill neighborhood. Other favorites include Devlin’s Pub and Grill, Lemon Thai, LP Pizza and Subs, and many more. This neighborhood is a vital part of the continued growth of Somerville and, no doubt, new restaurants and pubs will certainly find their way to this popular neighborhood.
MBTA bus service provides transportation through the Spring Hill neighborhood to both Lechmere and Davis Square, where both of these transportation hubs can then take you to your final destination.