Harvard Square is a triangular area in central Cambridge, Massachusetts, at the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue, Brattle Street, and John F. Kennedy Street. Adjacent to the historic center of Harvard University and Harvard Yard, the square (as it is called locally) functions as a commercial center for Harvard students and residents of Cambridge and the western suburbs west of Boston.
It is also home to the Harvard station, a major MBTA Bus Red Line subway transportation hub. In a broad sense, the name "Harvard Square" can refer to the entire neighborhood surrounding this intersection for several blocks in each direction. The commune near Cambridge has a large park with a playground, baseball field, and some local landmarks.
Although today a commercial area, the plaza features famous residents of prior periods, as the colonial poet Anne Bradstreet. High pedestrian traffic makes it a gathering place for street musicians, singer-songwriter Tracy Chapman, who attended nearby Tufts University, is known for having played here during their university years.
Until 1984, the Harvard Square stop is the northern terminus of the Red Line, and still functions as an important transfer station between subway, bus, tram and roads. Automobile traffic can be heavy, and parking is difficult. Most bus lines serving the area north and west run through a tunnel adjacent to the subway tunnel. Originally built for the trams (which last ran in 1958) and is still used by highway trucks and buses, the tunnel reduces bus traffic in the center of Harvard Square, and allows buses crossing the plaza without having to face car traffic.
In the center of the plaza is the old subway kiosk in Harvard Square, now a newsstand, Out of Town news, newspapers and magazines worldwide population. A video of how it appears in the transition clips used on CNN. An installation of public art in motion, Lumen Eclipse, has been introduced into the Tourist Information booth to host monthly exhibitions by local artists, national and international.
In the south-west of the square in Mount Auburn St., is the Igor Fokin Memorial. This monument, sculptor Konstantin Simun, pays tribute not only to the late puppeteer "beloved", but all the street artists who are an integral part of the plaza, especially during the summer months.
The black region near the newsstand and the subway entrance is called "the hole". Its field appearance attracts skateboarders and, in general, young people of secondary schools and kids from surrounding neighborhoods that have been associated with the countercultural movements such as punk, hardcore, straight edge, and gothic subcultures. The contrast between the faithful and often older and more conservatively dressed people associated with nearby Harvard University and the businesses in the square occasionally leads to tension. Harvard sports teams and clubs, including the track teams and all male social clubs, are known to make use of this contrast, by encouraging or sometimes require new members to participate in humorous or humiliating performances in "The Pit "As part of these members' initiation into the group.
One block east of the pit, an outdoor cafe tables always have availability for chess players, including Murray Turnbull, with his ever-present "Play", the "sign of Chessmaster.''