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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Friday, April 19, 2024

T Time: Kendall/MIT

With its futuristic architecture and proximity to the Charles, Kendall Square should absolutely be on your list of places to visit.

graphic for Jeremy Gramson's "T Time" column
Graphic by Emma Selesnick

Over the weekend, I had a friend’s birthday dinner in the vicinity of Kendall Square and thought it would be a perfect time to review the station. For those interested in visiting the station and the area, it is located on the Red Line of the  MBTA. It took me about 20 minutes to get there from the Davis station (the Red Line, unfortunately, does not put the “rapid” in “rapid transit”).

Before we dive into the Kendall Square area, let's discuss the history of the station itself. Originally known as just Kendall,” the station opened its doors to the public in 1912, representing an expansion of the MBTA to areas across the Charles River.

Fun fact: My favorite stretch of track on the T is when the Red Line crosses the Charles River on the Harvard Bridge aboveground. While I did not get to travel on this portion of the track on my most recent trip, it features incredible views of the river and Boston's skyline.

Getting back to the station, Kendall was built alongside the Harvard, Central and Park Street stations, representing the creation of what would eventually become the Red Line. At the time, these four stations were envisioned as an extension of the Orange Line. Kendall became Kendall/MIT in the late 1970s, and the name has stuck to this day.

When the station first opened, Kendall was an industrial hub and was home to several factories. The area has changed since then, and today, Kendall Square is a massive technology, biotech and pharmacology hub due, in no small part, to MIT’s proximity. Industry leaders, including Amazon, Facebook, Biogen and the Koch Institute, are all present in the area.

The existence of these institutions has earned Kendall the title of “the most innovative square mile on earth,” according to Boston Consulting Group. The architecture of the neighborhood reflects its modern and innovative nature. Walking out of the station, you are greeted by a street lined with tall glass buildings and angular architecture. The area around Kendall/MIT feels like a city of the future.

I dined at Mex Taqueria & Bar, about an eight-minute walk around the station. However, Kendall Square is packed with other restaurants and stores.

The area is also home to The Garment District, a two-story thrift store with a massive clothing and costume collection, and while it is more expensive than what you might find at Goodwill or Salvation Army, it is far cheaper than a retail store.

With its futuristic architecture, plethora of businesses and proximity to the Charles, Kendall Square should absolutely be on your list of places to visit in Boston.