On Saturday, I was over at 175 Harvey Street in Cambridge, with a couple clients.
The development is called “Cornerstone Village” and it’s unique for several reasons.
As the community’s website describes it:
Cornerstone Village Cohousing is a group of people who began meeting in the summer of 1993 to develop a cohousing community in the northwest inner suburbs of Boston, Massachusetts. Our project in North Cambridge, MA, is composed of 32 private housing units — ranging from one-bedroom flats to townhouses — and common facilities. We are committed to living as a community that promotes sensible sharing of personal, social, and natural resources, provides a safe and stimulating environment for the growth of children and adults, and fosters beneficial relationships with the surrounding community and the world at large.
Our priorities include:
* A balance of privacy and community
* Privately-owned, energy-efficient homes
* Varied home sizes including affordable units
* Knowing our neighbors
* A safe, supportive environment for children
* Facilitation of shared dining, child care, workshops, and recreation events
* Working together to sustain our outdoor spaces, including common gardens and playground
* Wheelchair accessibility
* Resident management
Apparently, this sort of housing is more popular in Europe and other parts of the world. I’m not familiar with any other developments in the Boston area that are set up this way.
While we were there, we saw several people in the kitchen cleaning off tables in the communal kitchen, groups of residents congregating in common areas, socializing, and, I think, several women singing “Shenandoah” while giving each other hair-weaves.
Serendipitously, the Globe had a short article about one of the two units available for sale, this past weekend.
This type of living wouldn’t be for everyone, of course. But, if you enjoy spending time with your neighbors and also building a sense of community, it might be perfect.
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