Welcome to Alarm New England's business and home security page for Cambridge, Massachusetts. This informational page provides important crime data along with additional information for those living in or considering moving to Cambridge.
Population: 110,651 (2016)
Number of Households: 44,345
ZIP Codes: 02138, 02139, 02140, 02141, 02142
Based in New England since 1972, we’ve worked in the Cambridge area for decades. We know the landscape and we have good relationships with local police and fire officials. Our team of dedicated employees live in the communities we serve. Our customers are our neighbors.
According to 2016 FBI crime reports statistics, 1,938 people out of 100,000 people reported a crime in Massachusetts as a whole in 2016. In Cambridge that number is strikingly larger – at 2,398 people out of 100,000. Overall, crime rates in Cambridge are 24 percent higher than the Massachusetts average.
The good news is that violent crime rates in Cambridge remain significantly lower than the state average. However, both burglary and theft rates are higher than the state average. In fact, property crime in Cambridge is 37 percent higher than the Massachusetts average.
Just across a river from Boston lies the city of Cambridge. In 1631, as the first houses sprung up in the area now known as Cambridge, early settlers referred to this nascent town as “the newe towne,” and later “Newtowne.” Newtowne, like many other early Massachusetts settlements, was founded by the original Puritan colonists of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Later, paying homage to the University of Cambridge in England – then deemed a center of Puritan theology – settlers changed the name of Newtowne to “Cambridge.”
The area that is now Harvard Square in Cambridge was the heart of the newly flourishing town. It became a common meeting point for leaders of New England churches. Harvard College (now an undergraduate school of Harvard University), was established in Cambridge in 1636 as a school of theology for young men.
A century later, Cambridge began to play not just an important religious role in New England, but also an important political one. At the beginning of the American Revolution, the first American army camped in the area of Cambridge that is now Cambridge Common. Arriving from Virginia, George Washington took command over these soldiers in July 1775. This moment is often considered the birth of the U.S. Army.
In 1846, the various towns of East Cambridge, Cambridgeport, and Old Cambridge were incorporated into one city. As the city’s commercial center shifted from Harvard Square to Central Square, Cambridge was rapidly becoming a major industrial city in New England.
By the early 1900s, early businesses in Cambridge included Carter’s Ink Company – the world’s largest ink manufacturer at the time – and numerous confectionary and snack manufacturers. The Kennedy Biscuit Factory, the creator of the famous Fig Newton, for instance, resided in Cambridgeport.
The Great Depression hit New England hard, however, and Cambridge lost its industrial base. From then on, Cambridge became known as an intellectual center rather than an industrial one. Harvard University established itself more than ever before as a dominant force in Cambridge’s social, cultural, and intellectual scene. The nearby Radcliffe College was one of the country’s best women’s colleges.
In 1916, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) moved from Boston to Cambridge. These changes solidified Cambridge as a center for intellectual pursuit, research, and innovation.
As two of the most well-known schools in the world, Harvard University and MIT may be worth a visit for first-time visitors of Cambridge. Harvard offers daily tours of its picturesque campus, including a pleasant walk through its tree-topped Harvard Yard.
The university itself is surrounded by internationally-recognized restaurants, bookstores, boutique retail stores and cafes. As this is an area with many pedestrians, don’t be surprised if you see numerous street performers in the area too.
Harvard University also has several art museums affiliated with the intuition, including the Busch-Reisinger Museum, a museum with the only collection of Germanic art in the United States. The Arthur M. Sackler Museum contains an impressive three floors of Middle East and Asian Art, while the Fogg Art Museum hosts a large collection of Western art that date back to the Middle Ages.
Aside from these three art museums, Harvard University also has a world famous archaeology museum and natural history museum. Located right on the campus of Harvard University, the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology is one of the world’s oldest museums. Home to 1.5 million objects and counting, the museum is entirely devoted to anthropology.
The neighboring Harvard Museum of Natural History holds an internationally-renown glass flowers collection crafted by a father and son team of glass artists, and a 42-foot Kronosaurus – the world’s only mounted specimen of the marine dinosaur.
Also housed within the campus of Harvard University is the American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.), once considered one of the top three theaters in the country by Time Magazine. Theater lovers can enjoy new American dramas, classics reinterpreted as well as musicals at this theater founded in 1980.
Fancy a more history-filled afternoon? Visit the Longfellow House, which was built in 1759. Once the home of famous American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and his wife, the house also served as George Washington’s headquarters from 1775 through 1776. The house and garden are now open to visitors every day.
And if you need a breath of fresh air after a day of wandering the many museums the city has to offer, hop on a city bike and bike the bike-friendly streets of Cambridge. Or stop by the Fresh Pond Reservation, a park and reservoir in Cambridge. The perimeter of the 155-acre shallow lake is popular with cyclists, runners, and walkers.
In the mid-19th century, Cambridge was home to some famous poets, including Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, James Russell Lowell and Oliver Wendell Holmes. This group of popular poets was deemed the Fireside Poets, as their longer, often-narrative poems were regularly read aloud by families in front of fireplaces.
Maria Louise Baldwin, a civic leader and the first African-American female principal in the Northeast, was born and raised in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In 1916, when few black women held leadership roles in the entire United States, Baldwin was master of a school in Cambridge, and supervised twelve white teachers as well as five hundred white students.
Thomas Louis “Tom” Magliozzi and his brother Raymond Francis “Ray” Magliozzi, the co-hosts of NPR’s award-winning weekly radio show, Car Talk, were both born and raised in Cambridge. Both also attended MIT.