Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Framingham

Framingham is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 68,318 as of the United States 2010 Census. Founded in 1700, Framingham was placed at # 36 on 'Best Places to Live in US' by CNN Funds journal in 2012.

History

Framingham, sited on the ancient trail known as the Old Connecticut Path, was first settled when John Stone settled on the west bank of the Sudbury River in 1647. In 1660, Thomas Danforth, an official of the Bay Colony, formerly of Framlingham, Suffolk, received a grant of land at "Danforth's Farms" and began to accumulate over 15,000 acres (100 km2). He strenuously resisted petitions for incorporation of the town, which was officially incorporated in 1700, following his death the previous year. Why the "L" was dropped from the new town's name is not known. The first church was organized in 1701, the first teacher was hired in 1706, and the first permanent schoolhouse in 1716.

On February 22, 1775, the British general Thomas Gage sent two officers and an enlisted man out of Boston to survey the route to Worcester, Massachusetts. In Framingham those spies stopped at Buckminster's Tavern. They watched the town militia muster outside the building, impressed with the men's numbers but not their discipline. Though "the whole company" came into the tavern after their drill, the officers managed to remain undetected and continued on their mission the next day.[4] Gage did not order a march along that route, instead ordering troops to Concord, Massachusetts on April 18–19. Framingham sent two militia companies totaling about 130 men into the Battles of Lexington and Concord that followed; one of those men was wounded.[5]

In the years prior to the American Civil War, Framingham was an annual gathering-spot for members of the abolitionist movement. Each Independence Day from 1854 to 1865, the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society held a rally in a picnic area called Harmony Grove near what is now downtown Framingham. At the 1854 rally, William Lloyd Garrison burned copies of the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850, judicial decisions enforcing it, and the United States Constitution. Other prominent abolitionists present that day included William Cooper Nell, Sojourner Truth, Wendell Phillips, Lucy Stone, and Henry David Thoreau.[6]

Geography

Framingham is located at 42°17′59″N 71°25′35″W (42.299795, −71.426627).[7]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 26.4 square miles (68.5 km²). 25.1 square miles (65.1 km²) of it is land and 1.3 square miles (3.4 km²) of it (4.99%) is water.[7]

Framingham is located in eastern Massachusetts, 20 miles (32 km) west of Boston, mid-way between Boston and Worcester. It is bordered by Southborough and Marlborough on the west; Sherborn and Ashland on the south; Natick on the east; Wayland on the northeast; and Sudbury on the north.

The town of Framingham is divided by Route 9, which passes east-to-west through the middle of the town. South Framingham includes Downtown Framingham (the town government seat), and the villages of Coburnville, Lokerville, and Salem End Road. North Framingham includes the villages of Nobscot, Pinefield, Ridgefield, and Saxonville plus Framingham Center (the physical center of town, featuring the town commons).

Demographics

As of the census of 2010,[18] there were 68,318 people, 27,529 households, and 16,573 families residing in the town. The population density was 2,663.6 people per square mile (1,028.4/km²). There were 26,734 housing units at an average density of 2,728.6 per square mile (410.9/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 65.3% White, 5.8% Black, 0.8% Native American, 6.3% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 6.27% from other races, and 3.38% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 13.4% of the population (4.7% Puerto Rican, 1.8% Guatemalan, 1.5% Salvadoran, 1.1% Dominican, 0.9% Mexican, 0.6% Colombian, 0.3% Peruvian). (Source: 2010 Census Quickfacts)

There were 26,153 households, out of which 29.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.0% were married couples living together, 10.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.6% were non-families. 28.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 3.02.

In the town the population was spread out with 21.4% under the age of 18, 9.0% from 18 to 24, 34.5% from 25 to 44, 22.1% from 45 to 64, and 13.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 91.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.6 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $54,288, and the median income for a family was $67,420. Males had a median income of $46,122 versus $35,941 for females. The per capita income for the town was $27,758. About 8.0% of families and 16.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.4% of those under age 18 and 6.1% of those age 65 or over. Brazilian immigrants have a major presence in Framingham.[19][20][21][22] Since the 1980s, a large segment of the Brazilian population has come from the single city of Governador Valadares.

Education

The Framingham School Department can trace its roots back to 1706 when the town hired its first school master, Deacon Joshua Hemenway. While Framingham had its first school master, it did not get its own public school building until 1716. The first high school, the Framingham Academy, opened its doors in 1792; however this school was eventually closed due to financing issues and the legality of the town providing funds for a private school. The first town operated high school opened in 1852 and has been in operation continuously in numerous location throughout the town.[34]

Framingham has 13 public schools which are part of the Framingham Public School District.[35] This includes Framingham High School, three middle schools (Walsh, Fuller, and Cameron), eight elementary schools (Barberi, Brophy, Dunning, Hemenway, McCarthy, Potter Road, Stapleton, Woodrow Wilson), and the Blocks Pre-School.[35] The school district's main offices are located in the Fuller Administration Building on Flagg Drive[36] with additional offices at the King School on Water Street. The town also has a regional vocational high school[37] and one regional charter school.[38] Framingham is also home to several private schools, including Summit Montessori School, the Sudbury Valley School, three parochial schools, including Marian High School, one Jewish day school, and several specialty schools.

Since 1998, when Framingham began upgrading its schools, it has performed major renovations to Cameron, Wilson, McCarthy, and Framingham High School. Two public school buildings that were mothballed due to financial issues or population drops have been leased to the Metrowest Jewish Day School (at the former Juniper Hill Elementary) and Mass Bay Community College (at the former Farley Middle school). Several schools that were no longer being used were sold off, including Lincoln, Roosevelt, and Washington.

Framingham has three colleges, including Framingham State University and Massachusetts Bay Community College's Framingham Campus.

Economy

Framingham's economy is predominantly derived from retail and office complexes. There are scatterings of small manufacturing facilities and commercial services such as plumbing, mechanical and electrical expected to be found in communities of its size. Framingham has three major business districts within the town, The "Golden Triangle," Downtown/South Framingham, and West Framingham. Additionally, there are several smaller business hubs in the villages of Framingham Center, Saxonville, Nobscot, and along the Route 9 corridor.

Golden Triangle

The Golden Triangle was originally a three square mile district on the eastern side of Framingham, bordered by Worcester Rd. (Route 9), Cochituate Rd. (Route 30), and Speen Street in Natick. In 1993, the area began to expand beyond the borders of the triangle with construction of a BJ's Wholesale Club and a Super Stop & Shop just north of Route 30.[49] It now includes the original area plus parts of Old Connecticut Path., Concord St. (Route 126), and Speen St. north of Route 30. Because of the size and complexity of this area, Framingham and Natick cooperatively operate it as a single distinct district with similar zoning. The area is one of the largest shopping districts in New England.

The area was formed with the construction of Shoppers World in 1951. Shoppers' World was a large open air shopping mall, the second in the US and the first east of the Mississippi River.[50] The mall drew many other retail construction projects to the area, including Marshalls (1961, rebuilt as Bed, Bath and Beyond 1997),[51] Caldor (1966, Rebuilt as Wal-Mart in 2002),[52] Bradlees (1960s, rebuilt as Kohl's in 2002),[53] the Route 30 Mall (1970),[54] an AMC Framingham 15, the Framingham Mall (1978, rebuilt 2000),[55] and Lowe's (formerly the Verizon Building, 2006).[56] Complementary developments in Natick include the Natick Mall (1966, rebuilt in 1991, expanded 2007 & renamed Natick Collection),[57] Sherwood Plaza (1960),[58] Cloverleaf Marketplace (1978),[59] and the Home Depot. In 1994, Shoppers' World was demolished and replaced with a strip mall named Shoppers World.[60] There are also seven hotels and two car dealerships located within the Triangle.

Healthcare

  • Hospitals: MetroWest Medical Center (formerly Framingham Union Hospital, also includes Leonard Morse Hospital campus in Natick)
  • Nursing homes: St. Patrick's