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The History of 907 Main

907 Main is an integral part of the unique history of Cambridge, Massachusetts and the Central Square landscape. The area has witnessed several surges of immigration from multiple different cultures. The square’s original population consisted of people of English and Canadian descent, and between 1850 and 1890, it attracted Irish immigrants. Following this, in the late nineteenth century and beyond, the area brought waves of immigration from Europe, the West Indies, South America and Africa. 

907 Main Street began with the Whitney, Lucretia and Henry Building, built by Henry Augustus Whitney in 1870. On the ground floor of the building, which had always been used for commercial space, there were once eight stores. The building was then transformed into townhouses and eventually office spaces. In the 1920s, 907 Main was a part of an area known as “Confectioner’s Row,” placed alongside such businesses as the Necco factory, Nabisco and James O. Welch, now known as Tootsie Roll and the makers of Junior Mints. Throughout the years, tenants of the building were held by various businesses, including Patty Chen’s Dumpling Room, Cinderella’s Pizza, Kinkos, and a telecommunications company. 

Today, 907 Main is boutique hotel that gives a nod to the Transcendentalist Movement, with numerous elements and references to this period spread throughout the building. The movement focused on ideology geared towards self-expression rather than organized religion or government. It promoted free thinking and individuality. Pioneers of the movement included Margaret Fuller, Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson who each met in Cambridge to share ideas on Transcendentalism. The city’s substantial relation to this progressive movement is the reason for the hotel’s inspiration towards it, with experiences and design elements that highlight a sophisticated, 1920s style. 

The Dial, 907 Main’s kitchen and bar, with patio included, gets its name from The Dial, a magazine edited and co-founded by Margaret Fuller and Ralph Waldo Emerson in 1840. The Dial published ideas and conversations of the Transcendentalist Movement, spreading its message across America. The restaurant is a direct ode to this publication, with vibrant colors, playful graphics and textures aimed at paying homage to Cambridge’s progressive roots. At the hotel’s upstairs bar and rooftop terrace, Blue Owl, modern day free thinking is encouraged in an industrial stylistic setting with stunning views of the city. 

907 Main – A Historic Timeline

Building Name Whitney, Lucretia and Henry Building
  • Henry Augustus Whitney
  • His wife was Lucretia Whitney (Fall)
Built 1870
  • Bay Windows were added in 1871
  • There used to be eight stores in the ground floor of the building, which was always commercial space
  • Built as townhouses
  • Converted to Office Spaces
  • After a period, the offices were converted back to residences
  • In the early 20’s the building was part of the area nicknamed “Confectioners Row”
    • Squirrel Brand CO.
    • Daggett Chocolates
    • Necco
    • Nabisco
    • James O. Welch, now Tootsie Roll, makers of Junior Mints
    • Fox Cross Co. known for the Charleston Chew
Previous Tenants
  • Patty Chen’s Dumpling Room
  • Cinderella’s (Pizza)
  • Kinkos
  • A telecom Company
  • 1982 Toscanini’s Ice Cream moved in