The Pit


“The Pit” is the nickname given to the area where the Harvard Red Line lets out. It is where street artists drum on buckets, play the saxophone, or make spray paint art.

The Cambridge Savings Bank provides a digital clock that reminds us we are no longer in old Cambridge, but in brand new Harvard Square.

The heart and center of the Harvard Square, the Pit has its own bizarre ecosystem. Every walk of life must enter and exit the Square through the Pit, so Starbucks has three locations within 500 feet. There is a large and varied community of students, artists, businessmen and panhandlers. It teems with life.

The homeless population is also on display in the Pit. Many of these folks are 100% sane and sober, and are often very friendly. Most have stories to share about the Square, as they’ve been out there for too many years.

The defining structure is Out of Town News, the famous newspaper stand started in 1955 by Sheldon Cohen. Everyone knew Sheldon. His voice booming over Harvard Square for most of the second half of the 20th century earned him the nickname “the unofficial mayor of Cambridge.”

Tours will gather in The Pit. Look out for top hats and bustles!