Chestnut Hill is situated in the most eastward area of Newton, and it was established around 1665 by a family known as the Hammonds. Located just a few miles west of Boston, Chestnut Hill is nestled between Interstate 90 and the I-9 freeway. Parts of the Webster Conservation area crosses its borders, and Boston College, the Carroll School of Management and Boston College Graduate School of Social Work are well within reach of all the area's residents. These educational facilities are next to the large Chestnut Hill Reservoir and the Reilly Memorial Recreation Center.
This area was one of the last villages to be developed in the vicinity of Newton. The establishment of the railroad lines running from Boston to Brookline during the 1850s heavily contributed to the interest in the development of this land. The descendants of the original Hammond family contributed to the development of the community by proposing a planned community for country estates. They continued to be active in the area for several generations, and this gave rise to the naming conventions associated with the Hammond Pond, the Hammond Woods as well as Hammond Street.
Local History and Amenities
Like most Massachusetts areas, Chestnut Hill is steeped in historical buildings dating back to the late 1800s. It has entire areas that qualify as historical districts, and this designation qualifies them for protection by the National Register of Historic Places. In addition, there are many archaic buildings from the early colonial period still standing today. Residents can catch glimpses of Victorian, Italianate, Gothic or Tudor Revival architectural modes on any given day.
The English Perpendicular style is prevalent in one of the oldest churches in the area. The distinctive Gothic architecture has remarkable levels of detail in the large windows, elongated pinnacles and rough stone construction. The Mission Revival architectural style is displayed in the Houghton House on Suffolk Road. The Tudor Revival style is displayed within the Suffolk Road building. It has stucco on the outside, and the steep roofing and timber décor attest to its intricate style. The walking tour is designed to allow the public to view many of these buildings from a distance, and only a few of them are available for public access.
The modern areas of Chestnut Hill provide amenities and convenience to residents. Major shopping centers include the Cleveland Circle and the Chestnut Hill Square shopping plaza. The public transportation system in Chestnut Hill allows commuters and visitors alike a chance to escape the stress of driving. The area is served by Boston's light rail, and there are stations at Chestnut Hill Avenue, Cleveland Circle and Reservoir. For golf enthusiasts, the large Robert T. Lynch Municipal Golf Course is a couple of miles south of the I-9 freeway, which runs east and west.
The neighborhood's layout encourages walking, and many residents opt for this healthy alternative, which also saves on gasoline expenses. There are many different kinds of professionals, managers, executives and working people who live within the boundaries of Chestnut Hill. The most active industries include the computer fields, government, clerical, fast food and real estate. Overall, this area has a higher income than almost 98 percent of the rest of the country, which also lowers the average poverty rate.
The historic homes of this area are accessible to the public through a walking tour, but the interiors are not available for viewing in general. These homes have been preserved by the city's efforts, and many different styles of architecture are on display, which lends a unique atmosphere to the community. Examples of the architecture in this area include the Colonial Revival, Queen Anne, Georgian and Shingle styles. The current median price for real estate is higher than most of the comparable neighborhoods within the entire United States.