How To Get Your Own Square In Cambridge

Frank Kramer Square Just about every intersection in the greater Boston area is a “square” of some kind, and many of them are named after one or another hero of the town. There’s a relatively simple process for getting a named square: Be from somewhere near the intersection, fight in World War II, die, and have relatives fill out the paperwork with the city.

But there are a few exceptions. Mark Sandman, the frontman for the band Morphine, has Mark Sandman Square – the intersection of Mass Ave and Brookline Street, right near the Middle East, where he often played. Of course, he still had to be born in Cambridge, contribute mightily to the development of music in Cambridge, and then die to get that honor.

Not a lot of people get squares named after them while they’re alive. Just about nobody. Frank Kramer, owner of the Harvard Bookstore and a founding member of Cambridge Local First, is the only exception I can think of, and he’s there with Mark and Pauline Kramer, who founded the bookstore 75 years ago. So, if you want to get a square while you’re alive, start by becoming a pillar of the community and tirelessly dedicating yourself to promotion and preservation of local businesses. Then, after 75 or so years, if you’re still alive, get a friend to submit a request to city hall. You just might get to attend the dedication ceremony for your very own memorial square, a pleasure I imagine is something like being able to attend your own funeral to see who your real friends are.

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