Trolley Square Park

Trolley Square Park

The City of Cambridge Community Development Department, in collaboration with neighborhood residents, created a public park as part of the redevelopment of the former MBTA trolley yard site located on Massachusetts Avenue and Cameron Avenue in North Cambridge.

The park is approximately 3,600 square feet in size and located at the corner of Massachusetts Avenue and Cameron Avenue. The site is adjacent to the existing Linear Park, as well as housing, retail and community space. A portion of the park includes a public art installation.

 


Two community meetings were held in May and October of 2006, to discuss the new park at Trolley Square. These meetings were an opportunity for residents and future users of the park to provide information on neighborhood open space needs and design preferences for the park.

During the process staff also presented some of the design criteria that are considered in planning a public open space such as this one:

  • A successful park design creates a gathering place for community activities (not just a path to somewhere else)
  • The new park should feel open and welcoming; accessible to everyone; a public space.
  • The new park should be an urban oasis in an otherwise very active location.
  • The new park should be unique to itself and yet feel like a logical extension of the existing park (Linear).
  • The existing park (Linear) has it’s own visual character or “language” that needs to be respected.
  • Introduce naturalizing materials and plantings to create calming, tranquil and peaceful surroundings.
  • The new park should be dynamic, interesting, stimulating, and beautiful.

The new park features a plaza area, trees, plantings, a flower garden, lighting, and benches and tables. Improvements to the open space also include a landscaped pedestrian link to Linear Park and improvements at the connection to Linear Park. The pedestrian link contains new lighting, trees, benches and plantings. The Linear Park improvements also include similar features, as well as bike racks, an authentic trolley wheels display with historic panel, and an innovative piece of play equipment that can function as a warm-up station for exercisers.

  • Trolley Square Park
  • Trolley Square Park
  • Trolley Square Park
  • Trolley Square Park
  • Trolley wheel at Trolley Square Park

Located north of Porter Square on Massachusetts Avenue, Trolley Square has provided a location for the storage and repair of trackless trolleys since the earliest streetcars came to Cambridge. In 2001 the City acquired title to a site in Trolley Square previously owned by the MBTA. The future of this site, located at the intersection of Linear Park, Massachusetts and Cameron Avenue, was the focus of the Trolley Square Committee's work in 2002.

Trolley Square Committee Meeting Notes

 

For more information please contact Stuart Dash, Director of Community Planning, at 617/349-4640 or email at sdash@cambridgema.gov.