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You’d Hear A Lot If This (Cambridgeport) House Could Talk

If This House Could Talk
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Imagine if your house could talk. Or if your neighborhoods streets or parks could talk. It sounds weird, but these things that we just pass by could tell you so much, about the past and about the way your city has changed over the years.

That’s the idea behind a project called If This House Could Talk. It’s part of History Day in the Cambridgeport neighborhood of Cambridge. It invites residents to do a bit of research about their houses and then post home-made signs — like museum plaques — in front of their homes, offering neighbors a brief glimpse into the past.

Cathie Zusy organized the first If This House Could Talk project in 2009. Back then, there were about 70 signs telling stories about the past. This year, she says, there are more than 120.

Charles Sullivan, director of the Cambridge Historical Commission, knows a lot about Cambridgeport. He says it used to be known for soap factories, among other industries. And he says Cambridgeport came very close to being obliterated by urban planners and the automobile.

We ask Cambridgeport to talk.


The If This House Could Talk project runs through Oct. 9 in Cambridgeport.

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  • giantartmonster

    If This House Could Talk is a hugely popular event.  This year there was also a program of history vignettes acted out in several locations around Cambridgeport.

  • Kit

    Thank you, BUR, for bringing attention to this interesting program! Just a note — “If this house could talk” is part of a larger, annual event, Cambridgeport History Day, which highlights the rich, diverse history of the entire neighborhood. This year’s event included a walking tour of Magazine Street, photo mysteries to solve, a history treasure hunt around Dana Park, an exhibit on Cambridge’s first volunteer unit mustered for the Civil War, and–new this year–actors bringing to life real people from the neighborhood’s past. For details on the programs, as well as information about participating organizations and sponsors, visit http://www.cambridgehistory.org/cambridgeport. Look for us again in 2012!   Kit Rawlins, Cambridge Historical Commission

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