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Brattle Square

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1727–present. Brattle St. from Eliot to Hilliard sts.

Brattle Square is named for William Brattle, whose house (c. 1727, NR/NRD/LHD) still stands at 42 Brattle Street, now the home of the Cambridge Center for Adult Education. A Tory, Brattle fled during the Revolution, when George Washington's aide-de-camp Thomas Mifflin used the building, a clap-boarded five-bay, gambrel-roofed residence with a handsome pedimented entrance. East of the Brattle House stands the Brattle Theater, a gambrel-roofed structure (40 Brattle Street, NR/NRD) designed by Longfellow, Alden and Harlow in 1889 to accommodate various theatrical and musical events and is still in use as a movie theater. One block farther west, Dexter Pratt, the village blacksmith immortalized in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem “The Village Blacksmith,” lived at 56 Brattle Street (1808, NR/LL) in a frame hipped-roofed, two-story house now used by a bakery/café and the Cambridge Center for Adult Education. More recent buildings to either side reflect the drastic changes in the Brattle Square/Harvard Square area in recent years.

Writing Credits

Keith N. Morgan


What's Nearby


Keith N. Morgan, "Brattle Square", [Cambridge, Massachusetts], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Massachusetts

Buildings of Massachusetts: Metropolitan Boston, Keith N. Morgan, with Richard M. Candee, Naomi Miller, Roger G. Reed, and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2009, 342-343.

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