In 2014 a downtown area of Beverly extending from 301 Gallery at 301 Cabot St to the Beverly Historical Society and Visitor Center at 171 Cabot St. was officially designated as the Beverly Arts District or B.A.D. The city of Beverly is 1 of only 28 Massachusetts cultural and arts districts. It was a lengthy and committed process to secure this coveted designation, involving Beverly Main Streets, Monserrat College of Art and the city of Beverly. The designation recognizes the city of Beverly’s commitment to driving economic development utilizing the city’s diverse pool of creative talent, business and community.
B.A.D. is comprised of a stretch of real estate with many creative businesses, open studios, Cabot theater and many excellent restaurants. Long awaited A&B Burgers located in the old Bell’s Market is now open. Yes, they do serve a veggie burger as well as good old fashioned beef. The Cabot is refurbished and hailing some great musical talent. Suburb Bohemia on the corner of Railroad Ave and Cabot features home goods from many sources as does Roost and then there is the hub of downtown- The Atomic Cafe.
Twenty five years ago, my husband and I hailed from downtown Boston to Beverly. We were attracted to the downtown for its rich choice of period homes, proximity to the city’s center, commuter rail and the sweet smell of the ocean from our front porch.
Little did we know the gem of an area we stumbled upon. Our neighborhood is stable, multigenerational, and comprised of period homes, some condos and multi-families. We have had many of the same neighbors these past 25 years. The housing stock is 1800’s to 1920. Some of the original business owners of Beverly lived in these very homes. Over the years, we have been part of a tight knit community where we raised our children, renovated our homes, graduated adult children from college, greeted grandchildren. We have been fortunate to enjoy for a generation what we believe is the very best of what Beverly has to offer: a vibrant downtown, a sense of community, beaches and parks as well as an arts and cultural center just steps away.
Area:.957 square miles Population:7682 Median Income Downtown:$64,696 Beverly:$73,168 Average Household Size Downtown:2.2 Beverly:2.4
You likely know that Beverly is a coastal city with a vibrant downtown of restaurants, shops, art studios and theater, located on the commuter rail to Boston and all major commuter routes. The city is made up of many different neighborhoods, each with its own distinctive character. This installment of THE LOCAL will feature the Centerville section of Beverly.
Centerville was originally a farming area, settled in 1680 by a group of farmers from Essex and Beverly. Early in its development there were several civic and church organizations formed. It is still more rural than other areas in Beverly although in the mid 80’s and 90’s much residential development occurred. These new neighborhoods have larger lots and houses but care was taken to preserve the sense of openness and natural beauty of this once farm area. Recently I listed a home in Centerville and in a very short period, the home was under contract. While marketing the home and walking the neighborhood, I was greeted by many of the neighbors and was impressed with their openness. The homes and properties were all well maintained and kids were playing outside. I asked these folks what prompted them to purchase in Centerville over the many areas within the Beverly. The most common response was: the sense of community. To some, the local Centerville school was a factor but not the deciding point. Other reasons were the open space, and public parks, and easy access to Boston. Evidently, the original strong sense of community and spirit in Centerville is still in existence today.
Beverly population : 4,311 people per sq. mile
Centerville population: 1438 per sq. mile 2013
Median income Centerville: $93,642. Beverly: $73,168.
Elementary School: Centerville School
Middle School: Briscoe Middle School