The plan on pages 20 and 21 for the center of Norwood is an integral part of the general plan proposed for the Town as a whole. The development of the center cannot be considered separately from the development of the outlying districts as both regions are structurally a part of one another. In the center, by the extension of Market Street across the tracks and Central Street to Washington Street on the south, one of the new north- south through streets described on page 13 is created. East to west through circulation is provided by the extensions of Railroad Avenue, Nahatan Street, and the development of a parkway crossing the westerly half of the Town from Broadway to the heights at the Water Tower and thence to Dover and other towns toward the northwest and southwest. These proposed streets when combined with the existing thoroughfares of Washington and Walpole Streets form a structure of main highways which should meet the needs of the center of the Town for a long time. The proposed main thoroughfares also serve locally to distribute the heavy motor traffic of the Town and to obviate the future costly widenings of downtown streets. Locally, these new and old connections provide better approach to the Railway Station, the Town Hall, the Library, Schools, Churches, Community Center, Hospital, and to all the stores, banks, offices, and industrial plants of the center of the Town. The operation of fire apparatus over a larger area of the Town will be facilitated also by the directness secured by the proposed street connections.

The relocation and extension of Central Street forms an open square of good size and shape between Nahatan and Cottage streets. About the margins of the square many of the important buildings of the Town are now grouped including churches, offices, stores, the Town Building and the Fire Station. To this local point, the extensions of Central Street to Guild Street gives direct connection with both railway stations. The proposed Town Square will provide greater frontage where space for important buildings, including a new Town Hall, is already needed, and it will give an adequate setting for existing public and semi-public buildings which require ample space for approach, for excellent appearance, for perpetual light and air, and for fire protection. Norwood already possesses a main street which is frequently mentioned on account of its ample width, good paving and lighting, and the attractive structures which border it, but the Town lacks a square which would distinguish the street from other “Main Streets” of the district.

An incipient “square” already exists opposite the churches and the Town House where the diagonal line of Market Street meets Washington Street. The small triangular open space created at this junction point bears no agreeable relation to the public buildings in the neighborhood, and the cramped proportions of this small triangle are wholly out of scale with the size and importance of the churches, office buildings, and the future Town House. If this junction point of Market Street were improved, as shown on the plan, many important results would follow. First, an important cross-town street would be created by the junction of Market and Central Streets, as described above; second, the oblique traffic junction of Market and Washington Streets would be transformed to a right angular junction at which traffic control can be carried on automatically without the special attention of a traffic officer; third, an ample and shapely Square would be created at the civic center of the Town; fourth, satisfactory frontage would be secured for future public buildings, new office and store buildings, and for the proposed Town Hall; fifth, opportunities for the extension of the retail district of the Town would be created without interference with the present store district. In reviewing these opportunities the citizens of Norwood should consider improvements of a similar kind which have been carried out in other parts of the district about Boston. The Town of Weston has recently created a new Town Square or Common in connection with a new Town Hall and the improvement of cross-towns thoroughfares. Needham already possesses an exceedingly attractive Town Square upon the margin of which its new Town Hall was built. Framingham has a large Town Square surrounded by its public buildings, churches, and residences. There is hardly a community in the neighborhood which is not considering the development of an adequate “square” as a part of a logical plan of growth.

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Nothing should stand in the way of a public improvement which would yield such valuable returns at such small cost.

The bird’s-eye view above shows the general appearance of the proposed Town Square. The sketch of the Town Hall is merely suggestive and deserves much further study. Most of the buildings shown in the sketch already exist.


Bird’s-eye view of proposed Town Square developments, showing existing churches, fire station, stores and other buildings, together with proposed Town Hall and new stores.

1923 Norwood Planning Board Report


This Day In Norwood History-May 19, 1923-Planning Board Has Done Excellent Work

NORWOOD TOWN NOW BEAUTIFUL NORWOOD, May 19—The marked improvement in the physical appearance of the town of Norwood, since the establishment of a Planning Board, here, as well as the pride and interest which its townspeople have in the civic…



Published and Presented With the Compliments of George F. WillettChairman Town Planning Board1912 – 1923 Report of ARTHUR A. SHURTLEFF, Town Planner SUPPLEMENTARY REPORTS :Zoning, by JOHN P. FOX, ConsultantCivic Center, by HARRY J. CARLSON, ArchitectandLegal Aspects, by FLAVEL SHURTLEFF,…


1923 Planning Board Report-Vicinity of High Bridge

The complicated and dangerous arrangement of roadways, railway tracks for electric and steam cars, in combination with a narrow underpass in the High Bridge district illustrates forcibly the costly results of allowing important road junctions to “happen by chance.” It…

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1923 Planning Board Report-Streets Near Norwood Railroad Station

In the course of the general program of the state for the abolishment of railway grade crossings, the present dangerous crossing at Railroad Avenue will be abolished. This work should be undertaken, however, not only with an eye to the…


1923 Planning Board Report-Proposed Additional East-West Through Streets and Diagonals

In the wide interspaces between the existing east-west thoroughfares there are many local streets already built, and many more contemplated or actually under construction. Gradually, in a long term of years, all these wild lands will be traversed by roads…


1923 Planning Board Report-Existing North-South Through Streets

The existing through streets of Norwood, as shown above, were laid out in times before the construction of the steam railroads, before the large industries were established, and, of course, long before the development of modern housing and the beginnings…


1923 Planning Board Report-Proposed Additional North-South Through Streets and Diagonals

In the outlying districts of the Town where new houses and new streets are springing up, the individual land owners have used and are still using customary skill and foresight in the planning of individual lots to meet the desires…


1923 Planning Board Report-Development of Clark Swamp District

The built-up area of Norwood is gradually approaching the margins of the Clark Swamp district. Under good or bad planning this entire neighborhood is destined to be crossed by streets and built up with dwellings. The cost of this work…

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This Day in Norwood History-January 22, 1948-Norwood 25 Years Ahead Of Dedham In Master Planning

But Many Phases Of Shurcliff Report Never Carried Out Here The neighboring town of Dedham has received the spotlight of publicity since the appearance, four weeks ago, of an Attractive 100-page booklet, profusely illustrated with diagrams, maps, statistical charts, and…


1923 Planning Board Report-Schools, Parks and Playgrounds

On the accompanying map are shown the public schools of Norwood. They are grouped most closely near the center of the Town with scattered buildings on the outskirts. Evidently school locations will follow the centers of new growth, but the…