Tag Archives: Amy DalCanton

Hidden Gem: Charlestown’s Potato Shed Memorial

potato shed memorial

In homage to the starch that brought us tater tots, French fries, and hash browns comes a cast stone tribute under Boston’s I-93 overpass.

All partial to potatoes take note: our latest hidden gem is Boston’s little-known memorial to a beloved tuber.

Technically the Potato Shed Memorial isn’t just dedicated to the idea of spuds, but a part of Boston life going back to the Antebellum era. At this time in the mid-nineteenth century the city was still working on land reclamation, or filling in the waterfront for further acreage. What is land now used to hold the Millers River, which had previously divided Cambridge from Charlestown. As a staple of travel and commerce, storage sheds lined the banks of the Millers with goods for the locals. They came to be known for storing potatoes, coming into its own as a popular destination for residents with plenty of taters for sale.

Interestingly, the popularity of the potato sheds corresponds with a massive influx of Irish immigrants streaming into Boston and Charlestown, starting in the mid-1840s. By 1850 Boston’s Irish population would swell to 35,000 strong, and their descendants (including the Kennedy family) would go on heavy influence local politics.

For roughly a century these potato sheds were a cherished part of the community, where locals would greet each other on their weekly trek for delicious tubers. Others worked in the potato sheds and corresponding railyards, and where mischievous children could sneak in and steal potatoes from any number of hefty piles in the warehouses.

This all changed in the early 1960s (or mid-1930s, according to the memorial plaque) when the potato sheds burned down and were never rebuilt. Millions of pounds of food were lost in the fire, which were bound for other cities along the East Coast. Rumor has it that Charlestown smelled like baked potatoes for weeks as a haunting last hurrah from these bygone spud sheds.

Today this industrial area looks decidedly more pedestrian. Millers River has been filled in as part of the land reclamation efforts, and this area now plays host to walkways and parks beneath the Zakim Bridge. But the great potato sheds of yesteryear are not forgotten, cast forever in a grand Potato Shed Memorial of an even grander vegetable.

boston potatoes



Maybe our nickname should change from Beantown to Tatertown, no?

Source: Wikipedia, boston.com
Image Credit: Andy Woodruff

Newton Celebrates Halloween with Annual Window Painting Contest

newton halloweennewton window painting

Businesses throughout Newton are getting a Halloween makeover, thanks to the budding young artists of the Newton community.

Newton’s annual Halloween Window Painting Contest kicked off on Saturday, October 28th. 180 merchants throughout six villages had their windows painted by Newton’s schoolchildren. Students from grades 3-8 excitedly created their art on a sunny Saturday morning. From the humorous to the spooky, all the Halloween-themed masterpieces brighten Newton’s numerous business districts.

newton halloween

In our windows at 767 Beacon Street we have three dazzling Halloween paintings. Congratulations to Emily Sant, whose painting won third place for her grade! To celebrate, feel free to stop by our office for some Halloween candy and treats.

Special thanks to our agent Krystyn Elek for snapping the above photos of our office in Newton Centre.

Spooky Hidden Gem: Boston Light

Boston Light haunted

As one of the oldest cities in America, Boston has more than its fair share of spooky history. An often overlooked location for this is Boston Light; it is both the first lighthouse to be built in the United States and the home to multiple chilling catastrophes.

Located on Little Brewster Island in the Boston Harbor, Boston Light was first lit in September of 1716. Its first keeper, George Worthylake, had a starting salary of £50 guiding all vessels bound for the Hub. It wasn’t long after this humble beginning that disaster struck. In 1718, when returning from a visit to Boston, Worthylake drowned with his wife and daughter when their boat unexpectedly capsized. The tragedy inspired a ballad written by a young Benjamin Franklin, who sold the “wretched” poem as a printer’s teenage apprentice.

BL1The misfortune surrounding the island, however, continued to affect those working in and around the lighthouse. When held by British forces during the American Revolution, the redcoats sustained “heavy losses” after an ambush by the colonists. Ever since reconstruction in 1783, it has witnessed the deaths of both light keepers and sailors alike. From Confederate prisoners to shipwreck victims, Boston Light has seen the demise of countless individuals on and near her shores.

Are the spirits of Boston Light’s dead still haunting the lighthouse and the island it sits on?

BL2Members of the Coast Guard, after taking over management in the 1930s, have reported numerous sightings and events that aren’t easily explained. Sometimes a man in an old-fashioned uniform is spotted in the lantern room; others times it has been a woman in a white gown, both disappearing before others could enter and investigate. Visitors and workers have also heard ghostly sounds, including “horrible maniacal laughter” and a little girl crying for a long-passed slave.

Whatever noises that the dead may make has no effect on the “Ghost Walk,” an area nearby that no sound can pierce. This part of the sea spooked even the most seasoned mariners, as neither the lighthouse bell nor its powerful cannon could be heard within it. Not even a team of MIT students, who studied the phenomenon in 1893, could crack the mystery. The silence of the Ghost Walk remains an unsolved anomaly to this day; an ominous counterpart to the haunted Boston Light.

Source Credit: New England Lighthouses
Photo Credit: Boston Harbor Beacon and New England Lighthouses

Unlimited Sotheby’s International Realty Welcomes Deirdre O’Connor

Welcome Dierdre O'Connor

Unlimited Sotheby’s International Realty, a locally owned and operated real estate brokerage with three strategically located offices in Brookline, Jamaica Plain and Newton, is pleased to announce the hire of real estate professional Deirdre O’Connor. Deirdre will be working out of the company’s Newton office at 767 Beacon Street in the heart of Newton Centre.

Deirdre began her real estate career in 2003, striving to make the real estate experience rewarding for buyers and sellers whilst exceeding expectations with her honest approach and relentless commitment. She had formerly worked in contract management for over 10 years. Combined with a Masters of International Management, she brings a unique blend of business, analytical and cross-cultural experience to her Greater Boston clients.

As a Newton resident with children in the Newton Public School system, Deirdre has a vast knowledge of the city and all it has to offer. Interested in buying, selling, or just curious about real estate? Contact Deirdre today, and let her experience work for you.

Deirdre O’Connor

cell 781.249.6120
office 617.332.1400
email doc@unlimitedsir.com

2018 Niche School Rankings for Local Schools in Massachusetts

massachusetts schools

Niche, a website for researching schools, recently released the 2018 rankings for the top schools in America*. There is no shortage of great schools in the state, with many of the best schools clustered in and around the Greater Boston area.

The cities with the most representation at the top include Cambridge, Newton, Brookline, and Wellesley – all of which have the additional bonus of close proximity to the attractions and learning opportunities of downtown Boston.

As a state known for its education, many other Massachusetts school districts have ranked highly in the US. We’ve broken down the numbers to highlight the best schools in in the state:

  • 2018 Best Public School Districts: The Wellesley, Lexington, Newton, Westford, Cambridge, Belmont, Weston, Brookline, and Wayland School Districts make up the top ten. All top ten MA public high schools rank in the top 100 on a national scale.
  • 2018 Top 10 Best Public High Schools: Massachusetts Academy of Math & Science, Lexington, Wellesley, Newton North, Boston Latin, Newton South, Brookline, Belmont, Weston, and the Advanced Math & Science Academy Charter High Schools make up the top ten.
  • 2018 Top 10 Best Public Middle Schools: Edward W. Brooke Charter (East Boston), Brooke Charter (Roslindale), William Diamond (Lexington), Jonas Clarke (Lexington), Blanchard (Westford), Wayland, Winthrop L. Chenery (Belmont), F.A. Day (Newton), Wellesley, and Heath (Brookline) Middle Schools make up the top ten.
  • 2018 Top 10 Best Public Elementary Schools: Edward W. Brooke Charter (East Boston), Brooke Charter (Roslindale), Maria Hastings (Lexington), Schofield (Wellesley), Mason Rice (Newton), Bowman (Lexington), Ward (Newton), Joseph Estabrook (Lexington), Heath (Brookline), and Day (Westford) Elementary Schools make up the top ten.

Many of our sales professionals work and live in the area and many of them have had or have children in the Massachusetts school systems. Looking to buy in this town? Contact us to learn more.

*The ranking is based on rigorous analysis of key statistics and millions of reviews from students and parents using data from the U.S. Department of Education. Ranking factors include state test scores, college readiness, graduation rates, SAT/ACT scores, teacher quality, public school district ratings, and more. 

8 Impressive Doorways throughout Greater Boston

The first impression guests have of a home is established before they even reach the interior. The front door to a house or residence hints at what lies beyond – the architectural detail, thoughtful design, and overall layout of the entryway all play a part in determining the character of the house. From opulent decoration to contemporary character, our most eye-catching homes have the entryways to match.

6 Elba Street – Brookline001-Front_View-4194250-small

5 Bedrooms, 3 Full and 3 Half Bathrooms
Offered at $2,390,000

This Greek-Revival, brick Colonial home has been lovingly maintained with modern comforts between Coolidge Corner and Boston University. The front door artfully blends classic detail with circling windows and a geometric framework.

1008 Beacon Street – Newton1008 Beacon Street, Newton MA

6 Bedrooms, 4.5 Bathrooms
Offered at $1,739,000

The wide stone archway precedes the dark rustic double doorway with this Victorian beauty near Crystal Lake. Elegance abounds with original architectural features, starting with its elegant walkup.

244 Dudley Road – Newton71-nightshot

7 Bedrooms, 4 Full and 2 Half Bathrooms
Offered at $5,250,000

The Dudley Estate, stationed at the end of a long private drive, greets its guests with incomparable grandeur and palatial elegance. Its entryway includes a superb arch and thoughtfully-designed windows, making it an inviting beauty on one of Newton’s most coveted streets.

1272 Beacon Street, Unit 1 – Brookline1272Beacon6

4 Bedrooms, 2.5 Bathrooms
Offered at $1,665,000

With Corinthian-inspired pillars flanking the opulent gated doors, this rarely available Manhattan style condominium home has it all in the heart of Coolidge Corner.

321 Commonwealth Avenue, Unit 10B – Boston Back Bayexterior_1

2 Bedrooms, 1.5 Bathrooms
Offered at $1,149,000

Extraordinary charm draws the eye to the distinct features of this quintessential Back Bay duplex brownstone. The wood detail on the double doors invite visitors to enter, where elegance further awaits.

16 Keefe Avenue, Unit B – Newton16keefeb

3 Bedrooms, 2.5 Bathrooms
Offered at $1,774,900

As a residence custom designed for modern living and entertaining, this newly constructed townhouse uses stone accents and bursts of color for a warm and welcoming entrance.

7 Durham Street, Unit 2 – Boston South EndFront3

2 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms
Offered at $1,500,000

Cherry wood doors greet you with an overhead brick arch, with granite steps leading up to a coveted home between Back Bay and the South End.

219 Chestnut Street – Newton008-Twilight_Front_View-4388661-small

6 Bedrooms, 4 Full and 2 Half Bathrooms
Offered at $6,900,000

The eye-catching circular driveway and extensive grounds precede the stately, iron-gated entryway, where guests are welcomed into the grand foyer with its double staircase and splendid domed ceiling.

Every detail counts when it comes to your future home. Find more information about these properties and others at unlimitedsir.com.

Tall Ships Coming to Boston

tall ships

Calling all history buffs and nautical fans – the Tall Ships are on their way to Boston!

The Tall Ships will be docking in Boston Harbor now through next Thursday. This massive event is part of the Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta, a transatlantic race over 7,000 miles of the Atlantic Ocean. With Boston’s extensive ties to all things maritime, it may come as no surprise that it’s the only American port part of the Regatta this year. The festivities began earlier today during the opening ceremony at noon, and family-friendly events will continue throughout next week, including sunset salutes, parades, and much more.

Sail Boston’s main event will be the Grand Parade of Sail tomorrow from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM. The tall ships will sail into the Harbor’s main channel and along the waterfront before turning to Charlestown and settling in to their berthing areas. Furthermore, over a million people will come to enjoy Sail Boston’s festivities and watch the tall ships, with popular spots including Castle Island and the Charlestown Navy Yard for front-row views of the ships.

After the Grand Parade wraps up and the tall ships are docked at their designated piers, it’s your chance to board the ships free of charge! If you can’t board a ship on Saturday between 4 and 10 PM, they are also open to the public on Sunday from 10 AM to 10 PM.

This is also a perfect outing during Father’s Day Weekend, with fun for the whole family as part of Sail Boston. For a schedule of events and more information, visit Sail Boston’s website here.

Photo Credit: Sail Boston

New Developments Along the Massachusetts Turnpike


Land along the Massachusetts Turnpike is seeing a surge in new developments, especially within the Allston-Brighton area.

A major catalyst for the accelerating new construction is New Balance, the $40 billion shoe company that’s been at the forefront since the beginning. New Balance has been part of the Boston area since its founding in 1906 and the Allston-Brighton neighborhood since the 1980s. They submitted proposals in March 2012 for building a massive new complex on the same street as their old one, with over 250,000 square feet making up their corporate headquarters and 650,000 for additional office space along the Mass Pike. However, construction plans with New Balance didn’t stop with their HQ opening day in 2015; their new offices were only the beginning of a grand revitalization project that would see much more come to the area.

One of the most anticipated projects for Boston sports fans was the opening of the Warrior Ice Arena, a facility for the Boston Bruins to call home in the city. It serves as the training and practice facility for the Bruins and as a complex for college, high school, youth and amateur level hockey. When there isn’t a game scheduled, there’s skating, drop-in, and ice times open and available to the public, with over 600 spectator seats and parking to boot. Plans to build the Celtics training facility over the turnpike are already well on their way as well.

Both the new headquarters and ice arena are part of the bold Boston Landing project on Guest Street. Other impressive additions include a 175-room hotel over the Mass Pike, holding air rights over the highway that could make it similar to the overhanging Star Market in Newtonville. Although the Boston Landing Hotel has yet to be built, it could signal an overhaul of the neighborhoods alongside the Pike.

Already the city is taking note, adding infrastructure improvements to the neighborhoods best known for their diversity and high student populations. The new Boston Landing commuter rail stop on the Framingham/Worcester line opened last month, which is a service that this community has lacked since the 1960s when three rail stations had closed. This stop offers another option for commuting or otherwise getting into downtown Boston with ease.

The transportation development enables more residential development, an initiative sorely needed in Boston’s current housing shortage. Besides the Residences at Boston Landing, which will add almost 300 luxury apartment units, there are plans from The Michaels Organization to build a 262-unit residential complex nearby the new Boston Landing commuter rail stop. Closer to the city center are plans to build over the pike in Back Bay, which will potentially add another 300 or more,  condos and/or apartments. More towers are coming in Fenway and Back Bay, with hundreds more business and residential units in the works.

The success of Boston Landing could see a ripple effect in development throughout Boston in the coming years. Some very exciting growth is unfolding within the Hub.


New Development Spotlight: 54 Harvard Avenue – Brookline

Showcasing the height of luxury in new construction in Brookline and Greater Boston, let’s explore an exclusive new development from our local network.

new construction brookline

54 Harvard Avenue is a new condo development being built between Coolidge Corner and Brookline Village. This association will consist of three turnkey homes each featuring 4+ beds, 3 full and 1 half baths with direct unit elevator access from the 2 car garage. The state of the art Chef’s kitchens will feature high-end appliances and finishes and an oversized island. The open living room and dining room layouts are very spacious, perfect for relaxing or entertaining.

Site Plan_LL

In addition, Units 1 and 2 will both have step down family rooms and private patios. Unit 1 will have a private fenced-in yard as well. Each unit will also have a 2 story wall of windows allowing natural light to flow throughout. An additional outdoor parking space, central air, gas fireplace, laundry hookups, private storage and state-of-the-art construction are just a few other reasons to call 54 Harvard Avenue home.


Harvard Avenue’s new construction in Brookline is strategically located and thoughfully designed. Boston’s urban amenities and appeal are close at hand, while the home itself is tucked away on a tranquil, picturesque avenue. Please call for the two finish options and highlights sheet, as there are too many to mention here. Available for occupancy in fall of 2017!

About life in Brookline:

The charming town of Brookline is hard to beat with its amenities, character and close proximity to Boston. From popular villages with great restaurants and shopping to grand homes in the shadow of The Country Club Brookline makes for a great place to live.

Listing Agent: Scott Goldsmith, 617.529.2434, scott.goldsmith@unlimitedsir.com

View more information on 54 Harvard Avenue here or visit unlimitedsir.com for more available homes.

Canal Park One of Boston’s Best Connected Buildings


WiredScore, a building certification program, has just awarded over 80 building in and around Boston for their digital connectivity – one of which being Canal Park in Cambridge, which Biznow dubs “the ideal spot for STEM tenants seeking a range of services”.

The WiredScore survey reported that the single most important consideration for a good office space is a reliable Internet connection. Despite the crucial hold the online market has on businesses, many commercial buildings struggle to implement a dependable digital infrastructure and connection. With more than 75% of respondents ranking Internet access as “critically important,” it’s clear that offices must update and upgrade their technological prowess for the Digital Age.

1, 2, and 10 Canal Park in particular houses over 150 life science and technology companies, making homes close by an attractive choice for engineers and strategists. Looking for high-speed Internet connections and easy access to the Innovation Hub? Look no further than the properties available at 4-6 Canal Park, with skyline views, concierge services, and more to draw you in.

What is it like to live at Canal Park? Agent and Canal Park resident, Donrutai (Amy) Henderson, explains, “Right on the water overlooking Lechmere Canal with breathtaking views of the Boston skyline for units on higher floors (see the above photo). All units come with an outdoor space, either a balcony (or 2 in some units) or a large patio for first level units. Units on higher floors offer the perfect spot to watch the 4th of July fireworks! There is dedicated guest parking and garage parking for most units which is rare perk for city living! Gas cooking with outside venting which is desirable for those who like to cook. Adjacent to Boston for an easy commute to downtown! There are 3 T Stations (Green Line Lechmere across street, Red Line Kendall Square and Orange Line Bunker Hill Community College) nearby and you are just moments to major highways. If the patio or balcony isn’t enough the building backs up to the canal which is perfect for strolls on a nice day, shopping (CambridgeSide Galleria) and numerous options for dining (Cheesecake Factory. P.F. Chang’s, World of Beer, Dante, Bambara, etc). This well established community has many long time residents (10-20+ years), a 24 hour concierge, and on-site Management. Canal Park is city living at its finest!”


6 Canal Park #606, Cambridge
Offered at $1,250,000

Waterfront home in Cambridge at Thomas Graves’ Landing Condominium. This beautifully renovated 2 bed, 2 bath condo on a high floor features a Private balcony and spectacular views of Boston skyline, Charles River and Lechmere Canal. This is the perfect spot for your next 4th of July party as you’ll have firework views! This floor through style home has 2 exposures: southwest and northeast.





There are plenty of rentals available in the area as well:

4 Canal Park #511

4 Canal Park #702

6 Canal Park #308

If you’d like to see any of the units for sale or rent please reach out to the listing agent:
Donrutai (Amy) Henderson at 617.519.1627 or donrutai.amy.henderson@unlimitedsir.com