Cornerstone Cohousing, Cambridge’s second
co-housing community, has completed its first
phase of construction and the first occupants
moved in during Thanksgiving week and the
Three buildings with 19 living units will be
occupied by December, with the fourth building of
13 units scheduled for completion in February
2002. Two units still remain available for
" We’re happy to finally be moving in after a
long time of planning, " said Jeb Mays, who as one
of the founding members has been active in the
planning process since 1994, " and we will invite
our neighbors to come visit as soon as we’re
settled in. "
Cohousing focuses on cooperative planning,
design and maintenance by community members.
Cornerstone Cohousing calls itself " an
intentional, collaborative community which fosters
a less consumer-oriented lifestyle and encourages
spontaneous interaction " between members.
Cornerstone includes a central common house for
shared dinners and other community activities.
Each household also occupies a complete home with
a full kitchen, so members can opt for privacy or
sociability as desired.
The construction on Harvey Street in North
Cambridge began in October 2000 and will continue
through the winter. The site occupies one and half
acres at the intersection of Harvey Street, the
Linear Park, and Russell Field.
Cornerstone’s cross-town compatriot is
Cambridge Cohousing, a 41-household community
which formed several years ago. Their community,
on Richdale Avenue near Porter Square, was the
first urban cohousing community in the eastern
United States. There is also a cohousing community
in Acton and three more forming in Eastern
Massachusetts, plus several in Western
Massachusetts and on Martha’s Vineyard. Across the
U.S., there are currently over 90 cohousing
communities and several dozen more in the planning
The construction process for Cornerstone
involved the site’s neighbors regularly, and many
have come to Cornerstone’s Open Houses to see how
the project turned out.
" We’re planning to invite all of our neighbors
for a morning coffee once we have a space
available, maybe in early spring, " said Rosemary
Kennedy, another long-time member. " Being active
in our extended community will be very important
to us. The opportunity to move into such an alive,
active community is one of the things that
attracted me to Cornerstone. "
— Cornerstone resident Jesse Gordon, an
environmental planner for the Environmental
Protection Agency, is pleased his new home borders
the bicycle path, so residents can walk to Alewife
without crossing any streets.