Brighton,MA is a north-western neighborhood of Boston. It has several areas, each with its own personality. Neighboring Brookline, Newton, Watertown and it’s sister neighborhood Allston, Brighton is where you find excellent public transportation, fabulous restaurants and lively bars. Often associated with it’s student population, it is also home to a diverse group of immigrants and long time locals in-love with this part of the city. And with new apartment and condominium developments, you find enclaves of luxury.
Brighton is a bright, clean, and well-kept community seated on the shores of the beautiful Charles River. It is close to Boston College, The Everest Institute, and St. John’s Seminary.
This community is growing fast thanks to the Brighton Center Main Streets Program, which has been successful at attracting new businesses to the neighborhood. Many storefronts have been renovated recently, giving Brighton a vibrant look and feel to match its eclectic and lively personality.
The median income in Brighton is $50,291. That means the cost of living in this district is well within the reach of most middle class families. It remains one of Boston’s nicest and most vibrant neighborhoods. Students, professors and health care workers all call Brighton home.
Brighton was settled in 1630, and was once a part of Cambridge. It was known as “Little Cambridge” for many years. In 1874 it officially became known as Brighton. The name references the Brighton Cattle Market, which Jonathan Winship founded in 1776 so that he could feed George Washington’s Continental Army during the Revolutionary War.
The charming, quiet streets in this district are named for prosperous farmers who lived in the area prior to the American Revolution. Several notable figures have called Brighton home at some point, including Michael Bloomberg, Patrick Kennedy, director John Krasinski, writer Dennis Lehane and rapper Mr. Lif.
You can learn a lot about the history of Brighton simply by strolling around here, as numerous signs located throughout the area explain certain landmarks or events which took place here.
Types of Homes
You’ll find a nice mix of homes here in Brighton. There are many condos and townhomes to choose from. If you’re looking for a single family home you’ll find many Colonial style homes, as well as more modern Ranch and raised Ranch style homes. Many of these homes have gleaming hardwood floors, huge windows that offer a ton of natural light, and updated kitchens that you’ll really enjoy.
Neighborhoods in Brighton
Brighton’s Cleveland Circle can be characterized by a vibrant culture of young professionals and a large population of Boston College and Boston University students.The buildings are mostly pre-war with 1-2 bedroom condos. Off of Commonwealth, Chestnut Hill Ave. and Beacon Street, finds you pretty streets lined with the low-rise brownstones that take you away from the hustle and bustle of the restaurants and trains.
Nearby Brighton Center is marked by St. Elizabeth’s hospital on one side and Starbucks on the other. In between Washington Street is lined with great restaurants, bars, and locally owned coffee shops. Residences here are a combination of multi-family homes, condos and single-family houses. You can catch the bus to go downtown or to Cambridge, visit the local branch of the Boston Public Library, or run all your errands in one centralized area. Located minutes from the pike, Watertown and Cambridge, Brighton center is convenient, charming and entertaining.
In Oak Square you’ll find the nicely renovated YMCA, quieter residential streets, and another small branch of the library. Easy access to I-90 on one side of the neighborhood, and the gorgeous views of Boston College on the other side. You will find single family houses with small yards and two family homes which haven’t been sold in generations. The streets are well kept and the locals devoted to the neighborhood.
You’ll be in easy reach of I-90 here, but don’t feel tied to your car. Brighton is served by Boston’s Green Line, which means it offers some of the best public transportation in the Boston area, which puts every part of the city right at your fingertips. Many Brighton residents opt to use public transportation exclusively because the busses and trains are convenient and frequent.
You can view the Boston Spotcrime map here. There is no such thing as a completely crime-free neighborhood. However, Brighton crime rates are still far lower than the national average. Brighton is served by the Boston Police Department, district 14.
Current population approximates 43,000 residents. Michael Bloomberg, Joe Kennedy, John Krasinski, Dennis Lehane and I have all called Brighton home.
Houses of Worship
Major churches in Brighton include St. Ignatius Church, Community of Faith Christian, Abundant Grace Church, The Brighton Allston Congregational Church and the Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church. Synagogues include the Temple Bnai Moshe and the Congregation Kadimah-Toras Moshe. The Yusuf Mosque is located in Brighton, as is the Shin Gum Do Buddhist Temple.
Browse the work of local artists at the Brighton-Allston Heritage Museum. Stop by Community Rowing to take a kayak out on the Charles. The Boston Public Library and the newly-renovated YMCA are both within easy reach. You’ll also find Evergreen Historic Cemetery, a location which routinely draws many history buffs to the area.
Parks in Brighton
Rogers Park is the biggest park in Brighton, and it has a lot to offer. This dog-friendly park has baseball fields, basketball courts, tennis courts and a playground for the kids. It’s a very popular destination whenever the weather is nice.
You’ll find plenty of things to do in Brighton, even after the weather turns cold. First, there’s the Brighton-Allston Heritage Museum located in the Veronica Smith Senior Center, where you can view photographs and articles dating back to pre-Revolutionary war times. There is also a gallery featuring work by local artists there in the same building. There is a branch of the Boston Public Library system over on Academy Hill Road. The library hosts lectures and readings throughout the year.
Pino’s Pizza is a personal favorite of mine; it’s been a neighborhood fixture for over 45 years. Phil, the owner, has won many awards, but he doesn’t much care. His focus continues to be on serving outstanding Italian food day in and day out. Cafenation is a coffee lover’s dream, though when you go you should also try one of their breakfast sandwiches, which are good enough to knock your socks off. Sushi lovers will enjoy Asahi Sushi. It doesn’t open until 4 pm, but the restaurant’s fans usually feel the food is worth the wait.
If baked goods are your thing we’ve got two family owned bakeries to choose from as well. Daniel’s Bakery is the go-to place for eclectic fare. Here, you can try everything from Brazilian sweets to Jewish treats. Athan’s Bakery offers plenty of hot Mediterranean meals in addition to its lovely array of cakes and tarts.
Hospitals in Brighton
There are three major hospitals in Brighton: St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center, Franciscan Hospital for Children, and Kindred Hospital. Franciscan Children’s Hospital has served children with special needs since 1949. St. Elizabeth’s was founded by 5 Franciscan laywomen in 1868 and so has a long and storied history. Today, it’s a full-service, comprehensive care facility. Kindred Hospital is a small transitional care facility that serves medically complex patients as well as people who need extended care and rehabilitation services. You’re in good medical hands here in Brighton!
Why I Love Working in Brighton
I love showing buyers homes in Brighton as I lived many years in the neighborhood and still own property there. Brighton has a vibrant culture. Although often it is associated with rowdy students, it has defied this reputation with quiet side streets and businesses moving in. Growing families, young professionals and serious investors have connected to this convenient and cheerful part of Boston.
Want to Know More?
Brighton has it all, from traditional brownstones to hidden enclaves of luxury. I live in Brighton myself, and I love every minute of it! Contact Ruth Lerner Real Estate today to ask questions or schedule a showing. Brighton is waiting for you!
Zip code: 02135
Below are average prices of condominiums in Brighton, MA sold in 2012
Price range: $35,000 (garage parking space) – $1,440,000
Average Price: $293,000 Median Price: $255,000
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