Explore the Framingham Centre Common Cultural District
by using this easy-to-use directory & map. The following are descriptions of some of the district’s most vital assets and interesting features.
Click and drag the mouse around and use the + and – to help navigate the map zoom level and click on each icon to learn more!
The site of many religious and civic institutions in Framingham since the early 18th century, this tree-lined green space offers a peaceful respite for walkers and hosts frequent events throughout the year, ranging from summer concerts, festivals, and farmer’s markets, to caroling during the Christmas season.
Framingham History Center
With the mission to preserve and share Framingham’s history and encourage connection to the community, the Framingham History Center is headquartered in the Edgell Memorial Library, a Victorian Gothic building constructed in 1872. In addition to offering regularly changing exhibits and frequent programs, the center also maintains a permanent exhibit in the nearby Old Academy, a Greek Revival temple-style building dating back to 1837. Click to view more on their website
Village Hall On The Common
Managed and operated by the Framingham History Center, this dramatic Greek Revival building from 1834, the former Framingham town hall, is now an event venue with all the modern conveniences that hosts weddings, bar mitvahs, business receptions, and other gatherings for up to 180 guests. Click to view more on their website
Danforth Art Museum
Housed in the historic Jonathan Maynard building, the museum merged with Framingham State University in 2018. Its permanent collection focuses on American art from the 19th century to the present day, and its art school, part of Framingham State University’s Department of Continuing Education, offers studio art classes and workshops for all ages and levels of ability. Click to view more on their website
Framingham State University
The creation of a State Normal School, now Framingham State University, on Bare Hill just south of the Boston-Worcester Turnpike in 1853, also contributed to the growth of the area in the 19th century. The university was the first women’s public college in the United States and was the alma mater of Challenger space shuttle astronaut Christa McAuliffe. Framingham State University has been ranked as one of the top 100 public colleges in the United States, and one of the top five public colleges in New England. Click to view more on their website
First Parish Church
The current church is the fifth meeting house that First Parish, which dates back to 1701, has had in Framingham. Its façade was styled after the London church St.Martin-in-the-Fields and the building was completed in 1927 after a lightning strike and subsequent fire destroyed the previous meeting house. Its spire is 117 feet tall and the tower bell is made of recast iron from the Paul Revere foundry Click to view more on their website
Plymouth Church was formed in 1701 after there was a split of members from First Parish. The present building was built in 1968 to replace the previous 1830 wooden structure. The famous patriotic song The Battle Hymn of the Republic by abolitionist Julia Ward Howe was first sung in public at this church in 1862. Click to view more on their website
Edgell Grove Cemetery
Consecrated in 1848, Edgell Grove Cemetery is part of the history of the revolutionary American movement of the rural cemetery. Inspired by English gardens, the design weaves the beauty of the land with its rolling hills and the celebration of life to create a park-like atmosphere, rather than the traditional churchyard cemetery.Click to view more on their website
The Sudbury River, which is identified as such on maps going back to 1775, meanders north through the district. A short nature trail follows the river from a trailhead on Central Street, and nearby, on the opposite bank, there is a canoe/kayak launch that can be used for paddling excursions up or down the river.
The Learning Center for the Deaf
Founded in 1970, The Learning Center for the Deaf is an internationally-recognized leader in educational, therapeutic, and community services for deaf and hard of hearing children and adults and their families. It is the largest provider of these services in New England. Its Deaf Cultural Center, housed in the historic Kellogg home, showcases curated artifacts of Deaf history throughout the ages. The center features a Deaf History Mural, developed by renowned Deaf artist Chuck Baird, which offers a stunning visual chronology of Deaf history. Tours are available to offer a rich glimpse into Deaf history throughout the years. Click to view more on their website