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Hail to the Chiefs: American Presidents in Greater Boston

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Whether born, educated or buried here (or all of the above), the Greater Boston area has hosted its fair share of the nation's chief executives. So, on Presidents Day, we mark eight prominent spots that have housed 10 prominent presidents—well, several prominent presidents plus Rutherford B. Hayes—before and after their address was 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.


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1. John Adams

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135 Adams Street, Adams National Historical Park
Quincy, MA 02169

The second president was born here in 1735. The so-called saltbox house is part of the Adams National Historical Park operated by the National Park Service. Adams and wife Abigail are interred a few miles away at United First Parish Church.

2. John Quincy Adams

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135 Adams Street, Adams National Historical Park
Quincy, MA 02169

The sixth president was born in 1767, on the same patch of ground as his father (the official spots are separated by several feet). Like John Sr., John Jr. is also interred a few miles away at United First Parish Church in the family crypt.

3. Rutherford B. Hayes

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Massachusetts Avenue & John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138

The 19th president lived off Harvard Square while a law student at Harvard in the early 1840s. His exact residence appears lost to history (as does Hayes, by and large, himself).

4. Calvin Coolidge

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21 Massasoit Street
Northampton, MA 01060

The 30th president did not actually live in the Boston area when he was governor of Massachusetts from 1919 to 1921 (though he did do the commonwealth's business at the State House). Instead, he continued to rent one half of a two-family house in Northampton.

5. Franklin D. Roosevelt

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26 Plympton Street, Harvard University
Cambridge, MA 02138

The 32nd president paid $225.50 a year (before maintenance and utilities) to share a first-floor room in what is now Adams House from 1900 to 1904, while a student at Harvard. (His fifth cousin, Teddy, the 26th president, also lived at Harvard, though 25 years before.)

6. John F. Kennedy

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83 Beals Street
Brookline, MA 02446

The 35th president was born here in 1924. It's now a museum, having been restored to its presidential glory by JFK's mother, Rose, beginning in the late 1960s.

7. George H.W. Bush

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173 Adams Street
Milton, MA 02186

The house in which the 41st president was born in 1924 is still a private residence and not open to the public. Look for the historic marker, however. (His son, George W. Bush, the 43rd president, lived in Cambridge in the early 1970s as a Harvard Business student.)

8. Barack Obama

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365 Broadway
Somerville, MA 02145

The current president leased a basement apartment in Somerville while a student at Harvard Law in the late 1980s. He found the apartment through a newspaper ad (remember doing that?). According to his landlord, who has apparently been happy to talk about his old tenant, Obama always paid the rent on time.

1. John Adams

135 Adams Street, Adams National Historical Park, Quincy, MA 02169

The second president was born here in 1735. The so-called saltbox house is part of the Adams National Historical Park operated by the National Park Service. Adams and wife Abigail are interred a few miles away at United First Parish Church.

135 Adams Street, Adams National Historical Park
Quincy, MA 02169

2. John Quincy Adams

135 Adams Street, Adams National Historical Park, Quincy, MA 02169

The sixth president was born in 1767, on the same patch of ground as his father (the official spots are separated by several feet). Like John Sr., John Jr. is also interred a few miles away at United First Parish Church in the family crypt.

135 Adams Street, Adams National Historical Park
Quincy, MA 02169

3. Rutherford B. Hayes

Massachusetts Avenue & John F. Kennedy Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

The 19th president lived off Harvard Square while a law student at Harvard in the early 1840s. His exact residence appears lost to history (as does Hayes, by and large, himself).

Massachusetts Avenue & John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138

4. Calvin Coolidge

21 Massasoit Street, Northampton, MA 01060

The 30th president did not actually live in the Boston area when he was governor of Massachusetts from 1919 to 1921 (though he did do the commonwealth's business at the State House). Instead, he continued to rent one half of a two-family house in Northampton.

21 Massasoit Street
Northampton, MA 01060

5. Franklin D. Roosevelt

26 Plympton Street, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138

The 32nd president paid $225.50 a year (before maintenance and utilities) to share a first-floor room in what is now Adams House from 1900 to 1904, while a student at Harvard. (His fifth cousin, Teddy, the 26th president, also lived at Harvard, though 25 years before.)

26 Plympton Street, Harvard University
Cambridge, MA 02138

6. John F. Kennedy

83 Beals Street, Brookline, MA 02446

The 35th president was born here in 1924. It's now a museum, having been restored to its presidential glory by JFK's mother, Rose, beginning in the late 1960s.

83 Beals Street
Brookline, MA 02446

7. George H.W. Bush

173 Adams Street, Milton, MA 02186

The house in which the 41st president was born in 1924 is still a private residence and not open to the public. Look for the historic marker, however. (His son, George W. Bush, the 43rd president, lived in Cambridge in the early 1970s as a Harvard Business student.)

173 Adams Street
Milton, MA 02186

8. Barack Obama

365 Broadway, Somerville, MA 02145

The current president leased a basement apartment in Somerville while a student at Harvard Law in the late 1980s. He found the apartment through a newspaper ad (remember doing that?). According to his landlord, who has apparently been happy to talk about his old tenant, Obama always paid the rent on time.

365 Broadway
Somerville, MA 02145