Area T - Concord Avenue

 Traversing the southern part of town, near the Waltham border, what is now Concord Avenue was originally the Cambridge-Concord Turnpike, built in 1804.  This was one of many such turnpikes built across the state and New England during the early 19th century.  This particular route had two tollgates, one in Cambridge and one in Lincoln.  The amount of toll paid was determined by the type of vehicle and size of team or the number of animals driven.  The straight but hilly route made it less than ideal and by 1828 the original stockholders petitioned to make it a county road.

272 Concord Road
272 Concord Avenue

The section of Concord Avenue from Spring Street east to the Belmont town line retains a number of the farmhouses that were built along the highway in its early years.  Adding to the sense of an historic roadway are numerous stone walls. Among the farmhouses located along the former Cambridge-Concord Turnpike are three Federal-style houses with brick ends.  Two of these, at 272 and 177 Concord Avenue were constructed for members of the Wellington family; the third is located at 503 Concord Avenue.  In the late 19th century 177 and 503 Concord Avenue were occupied by prominent dairymen who transported milk into Boston for sale. 

The Concord Avenue neighborhood was also home to Captain John Parker, commander of the Minutemen in the historic confrontation with the British on the Lexington Green on April 19, 1775 and his grandson, Theodore, a noted transcendentalist, reformer and abolitionist.  The historic homestead was taken down in 1843 and replaced by the current house at 187 Spring Street.  The foundation of the original homestead is under the monument marking this as the birthplace of Theodore Parker.

The Old Cutler House

The old Cutler House, later owned by Capt. John Parker, torn down in 1843
Source:  Worthen, Tracing the Past

At the turn of the twentieth century the old turnpike still retained much of its historic character.  In 1903 the Concord Turnpike was described as "one of the loveliest and most retired in our town, richly beautiful in natural scenery, abounding in fine, noble trees and lovely wild-flowers; much used for pleasure driving in the summer and fall" (Historical Society Proceedings, vol. 3, p. 116).

177 Concord Avenue

177 Concord Avenue

But the twentieth century brought various changes to the old turnpike.  The house at 177 Concord Avenue served as the clubhouse of the Minute Man Golf Club from 1928 to 1952 at which time it was remodeled into a residence.  Increasingly the former farmland was used for new housing developments.  After World War II, the former Cutler farmland at 503 Concord Avenue was also sold off for residential development and became what are now Woodhaven, Benjamin Road and Five Fields. 

503 Concord Avenue

503 Concord Avenue

Since World War II Concord Avenue has been widened and built up, as evidenced by the numerous Ranch and Cape Cod dwellings set back from the roadway.    The section from Spring Street west has unfortunately been irretrievably altered multiple times in the 20th century - by the construction of the Cambridge Reservoir in 1897, Route 2 in 1933, Route 128 in 1951 and the rebuilding of Route 2 in the early 1960s. 

A number of the historic homes which remain have seen extensive alterations including 321, 353 and 461 Concord Avenue.  Set behind historic stone walls near Field Road and Barberry Road contemporary-style dwellings were constructed as part of the Five Fields development. 

510 & 516 Concord Avenue

510 & 516 Concord Avenue

More recently, in the 1980s nationally-prominent architect Robert A.M. Stern designed a number of large Shingle Style houses in the Hampton Road subdivision, located off Concord Avenue and west of Waltham Street.

   6 Hampton Road

6 Hampton Road