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UP TO YOU: Take self-guided tour of Arlington Cultural District

Arlington Commission for Arts and Cultural logo

UPDATED May 26: An expansive, new self-guided digital audio tour for mobile devices provides visitors and locals with a personalized deep-dive into a wealth of historic, artistic and architectural assets throughout the Arlington Cultural District >>

You have three options:

Gordon narrates

Ed Gordon, who guides tours in several neighboring towns and manages Arlington's historic Old Schwamb Mill, narrates the tour. It comprises audio accounts of key historical events, influential residents, town lore, and architectural and cultural features concentrated in an area along Arlington's Mass. Ave. "cultural corridor," Spy Pond Park and the Minuteman Bikeway.

The tour's modular audio descriptions allow users to tour at their own pace, streaming site-specific details. These include Revolutionary War battle sites, Gilded Age architectural samples; tidbits on classic town figures, such as sculptor Cyrus Dallin, composer Alan Hovhaness, native son Samuel “Uncle Sam” Wilson; vibrant contemporary public art and trail-side narratives along Spy Pond and the Minuteman Bikeway.

Along the way, visitors will also discover stores and galleries, dining and nightlife establishments, theaters and parks, community centers and recreational areas they'll want to return to and explore.

A live preview of the tour took place May 7, starting at the Dallin Museum.

Who's behind this

The audio tour is a project of the Arlington Cultural District Managing Partnership, a part of the town's Commission for Arts & Culture, developed with the Loop Lab with support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. The partnership is a collaboration of Robbins Library, the Department of Planning and Community Development, Arlington Chamber of Commerce, Arlington Center for the Arts, the East Arlington Business Cooperative, and Arlington Commission for Arts & Culture.

The mission of the Arlington Cultural District is to support the artistic, creative and cultural assets within the designated district and the town, and to promote the same to surrounding communities and the region.

Designated by the Mass. Cultural Council in 2017, the cultural district extends from Jason Russell House, a "witness house" from April 19, 1775, to Za Restaurant on East Arlington's Milton Street, whose colorful, building-sized wildlife mural by James Weinberg welcomes visitors entering town from Somerville and Cambridge.

April 5, 2016: Arlington's culture draws a map: Can it draw dollars?


This news announcement was published Wednesday, April 27, 2022, and updated May 26.

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