Hills of Somerville Walking Map

Hills of Somerville Walking Map

Like an east coast San Francisco, Somerville’s street grid is imposed on its hills without regard to steep grades. Architects have capitalized on the city’s dramatic views with two- and three-family houses densely built in straight rows climbing the hills.

The city’s glacial hills and deep valleys were first settled by colonial farmers. Their roads—which followed crests or valleys—still exist in the form of modern-day Broadway, Somerville Avenue, Elm Street, Main Street, Washington Street, and others. The crosstown streets were once paths between farmers’ lands. The curious street grid may have helped guide the later grid layout of Midwestern and Western cities.

Early development followed the colonial roads; the unpaved range-ways were too hilly for horses. In the 19th century railroads, thoroughfares, and streetcars were all laid out, allowing Somerville to become both an industrial center and, at one point, the most densely populated city in the country.

Click for “Hills of Somerville Walking Map” on Google Maps

Comments are closed.