Union Square, Somerville, MA
Union Square was Somerville’s earliest commercial district to develop when it was still a part of Charlestown. Early trade routes passed through the Square and a tavern was built there as early as 1770. It was during the American Revolution that Union Square took center stage. Because of its location and height providing panoramic views and control of Charlestown, Somerville, and Cambridge, Prospect Hill had great strategic importance in the Revolutionary War and became known as the “Citadel”. The castle, dedicated in 1903, is a monument commemorating the fortifications atop the hill during that war.
Union Square’s location, at the juncture of East Somerville and the city’s western sections, has made it the focal point of changing demographics. More upscale cafes, bars, and restaurants continue to open, bringing gentrification deeper into Somerville. There is a Saturday morning farmers’ market and landscaped community garden with regularly scheduled concerts and artistic events sits just outside Union Square at the site of an old school.
Did you know that the first bottle of Marshmallow Fluff to be sold in stores was produced in Union Square in 1917? To commemorate this event, Union Square has been hosting, since 2006, the annual Fluff Festival during the early fall season. We all need to attend this fun event and bring along our jars of peanut butter!
There are many great, new drinking and dining locations to explore in Union Square. Some favorites include The Independent, Bronwyn, Sally O’Brien’s, Brass Union and the great Backbar. Try any one of these Union Square favorites or explore the many new, hidden gems that continue to make their way into this end of Somerville.
As an added bonus, Union Square Station is being built just south of the square as part of the Green Line Extension project. In September 2013, the state secured funding and signed a 51-month $393 million contract that will allow Union Square station, along with the new Washington Street station and relocated Lechmere station, to open in the next few years. Union Square is a minor hub for MBTA Bus service, with 5 routes passing through, taking you to Kendall Square, Cleveland Circle, Arlington Center, Sullivan Station and Ruggles Station via MIT.
I really enjoy this part of Somerville, filled with diverse restaurants, people and architecture. Please call me at 646-620-9173 or email me at [email protected] so I can show you how to make Union Square your new home.