East of its neighbor Harvard Square, Kendall Square has only just recently come into its own. Like much of Cambridge in the early 1700s, Kendall Square was a salt marsh. Things started to change for the area when the West Boston Bridge was built in 1793. It was the first bridge to provide a direct wagon route (yes, think horse and carriage) between Boston and Cambridge. Believe us, it was nothing like the Oregon Trail…
In the 19th and 20th centuries, with mass industrialization starting to spread throughout the United States, Kendall Square became an East Coast industrial hub. Distilleries, Woven rubber hose manufacturers, power plants, and a slew of candy factories moved in. Of note, the Kendall Boiler and Tank Company called Kendall home in the late 1800s. The square is named after the owner, Edward Kendall!
In the middle of the 20th century, major changes were supposed to come to Kendall Square. NASA was poised to put its headquarters in Kendall Square until the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963. When President Lyndon B. Johnson took over, NASA moved its headquarters to the new POTUS’ home state of Texas. “Cambridge, we have a problem,” could easily have been the phrase heard from outer space, but alas, Houston got the honor, instead, thanks to LBJ.
With the loss of NASA, Kendall Square remained a ghost town. All the land had been set aside for the aerospace agency. In the 1980s, this all changed. Big business were lured to the area, and today some of the biggest powerhouses in the world (coughGooglecough) call Kendall their home.
Every year, Kendall Square is bustling with more new hotels, restaurants, bars, farmers markets, and all around good fun. Check out The Friendly Toast for some of the best breakfast in Massachusetts, or The Blue Room for the most incredible brunch buffet this side of the Atlantic. We’re totally objective, we swear.