Walkability, tight-knit community, diversity, history, dog-friendly, gracious older homes – these are some of the reasons that residents say they love West Medford, one of the several distinct neighborhoods of the city of Medford, MA. Only 7 miles from downtown Boston and with the convenience of a commuter rail station (part of the MBTA) right in West Medford Square, this close-in neighborhood has the feel of a quiet, established suburb.
A neighborhood that appreciates its history, West Medford began life as the western part of the plantation granted to Colonial Gov. Matthew Craddock in 1629. On the eve of the American Revolution in 1775, Paul Revere rode his horse out to Concord and Lexington on what is now High Street through West Medford, to warn residents that “the Regulars” were about to march into the countryside seeking ammunition that the colonists had hidden there. Later a small neighborhood was laid out on either side of High Street shortly after the Boston & Lowell Railroad opened in 1835, along with a depot (still there) where the tracks crossed the street. Throughout the 1800s and early 1900s, that neighborhood filled in with residents and merchants and created the community that we know today.
During the past few years, West Medford has grown into a hotspot as buyers recognize its desirable mix of urban and suburban lifestyle. Yet it still offers more living space for the money than neighboring towns. Housing consists of single-family homes and two-family conversions along tree-lined streets. Residents can access the City of Medford’s twelve parks, two beaches, tennis courts and an ice-skating rink. Several of those parks are right in West Medford: Playstead Park is 12 acres with multiple sports fields and climbing structures for kids. In addition, a greenspace runs the Mystic River with easily-accessed walking and running trails, benches and picnic tables.
West Medford retains a sense of community, welcoming newer residents amidst the families that have lived there for generations. It’s even got its own neighborhood post office on High St. As one resident said “It’s like going back in time to the 1950s. Adults go around talking and sharing a beer on the front porch or playing street hockey. We have people putting kayaks on pulleys, walking down the street to go kayaking. They’re out walking their dogs. People are kind and interested.”
For foodies, the acclaimed Bistro 5 in West Medford Square serves up creative Tuscan fare. And for those who love traditional Italian pizza, order early at the popular Joe Pizza, as the line can get long on weekends. Or for coffee and a typical diner breakfast, many rave about Paul Revere restaurant, tucked away on Warren St.
West Medford has a thriving arts community as those who attend the annual (20 years and counting!) West Medford Open Studios can attest. At this popular Spring event, 90 artists in 25 homes and galleries throughout West Medford gather for family-friendly art, dance, music, food, and interactive workshops to celebrate this diverse yet tight-knit community.