Monday, April 25, 2011

Underrated Downtown Districts in the Boston Suburbs

Articles and photos by Eric H.
There's an interesting discussion forum going on right now at City entitled, "What is the prettiest suburban downtown in Greater Boston?" Participants have been offering some great comments, mostly focusing on obvious choices like Concord, Hingham, Newburyport, Marblehead, Salem and Rockport. Each and every one of these communities deserves to be mentioned for their great downtown districts.

Although the question begs for specificity (how do you define a pretty downtown?), the detailed, thoughtful feedback amongst participants was enough to make up for the perhaps overly general inquiry.

I regard a pretty downtown as having a pleasing-to-the-eyes town common, a well-defined business district, big old homes, churches with tall white steeples and historic municipal buildings. What really makes a downtown pretty, however, is seeing it be utilized with events and community gatherings -- this showcases the vibrancy of a community. The combination of all these things create a classic New England look.

I would like to add several south-of-Boston downtown districts that might not be obvious choices, but that are able to exhibit the aforementioned criteria that make up a pretty downtown. I'll let the pictures do the talking from this point on in regards to these underrated downtown districts in the Boston suburbs (and slightly beyond):

Bridgewater, Mass.
Wrentham, Mass.
Taunton, Mass.
Dedham, Mass. 
Fairhaven, Mass.

Walpole, Mass.
North Attleboro, Mass.

Norwood, Mass.

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