Melrose

Melrose (02176) is a 4.8-square-mile city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts and is part of the Greater Boston area. It’s generally regarded as a great place to live due to its vibrant community, its proximity to Boston, and its great public schools.

Mayor:

Paul Brodeur

Population:

28,903

Founded:

1850

County:

Middlesex


About Melrose, MA

Melrose (02176) is a 4.8-square-mile city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts and is part of the Greater Boston area. It’s generally regarded as a great place to live due to its vibrant community, its proximity to Boston, and its great public schools. 

There are 5 public elementary schools in Melrose (Winthrop, Roosevelt, Lincoln, Horace Mann, and Hoover) as well as a middle school (Melrose Veterans Memorial), a high school (Melrose High School), and an early education school (Franklin). 

Although Melrose is a city, there are plenty of green spaces. The city nudges up against the Middlesex Falls Reservation, and there are multiple ponds and public parks. 

If you’re a photography enthusiast, living in Melrose will put you in proximity to a Hunt’s Photo and Video location that hosts regular photographer meetups. During the warmer months, you can visit the Melrose Farmer’s Market every Thursday to stock up on fresh food produced by local farmers, bakers, and other food producers.

There’s also plenty of history to be found in Melrose. You can visit the Phineas Upham House, which is over 300 years old and a great example of pre-Revolutionary War history. The historic Beebe Estate, which is owned by the city, has an art gallery and hosts cultural events.

If you really want to get a feel for the Revolutionary War period, you should stop in for a bite to eat at The Rising Eagle Publick House. Named after a tavern that was an unofficial hub of the American independence movement, you’ll enjoy traditional American fare in a warm and inviting atmosphere here. They even have a function room for special events.

Melrose is more thickly settled than other suburban towns in the state, but there’s a good mix of homes and rental properties in the area, including some beautiful historic colonial houses. 

Although Melrose is a city, there are plenty of green spaces. The city nudges up against the Middlesex Falls Reservation, and there are multiple ponds and public parks. 

In the 2016 presidential election, Melrose voted:

Republican: 4,791

Democrat: 10,548

The residential Tax Rate in Melrose is on the low/medium side at $11.05 per thousand with an average home tax bill of $7,015 (annual tax on homes range from $4K to $15K in eastern Massachusetts).

The MBTA Commuter Rail has 3 stops in Melrose. If you’re traveling away from Boston, the first is Wyoming Hill, then the Melrose Cedar Park stop followed by the Melrose Highlands stop. All three are on the Haverhill line and have parking lots, but only the Melrose Highlands stop (currently) has a mini high-level platform to provide wheelchair access to trains.

Two highways — US-1 and I-93 — wrap around Melrose and provide access to Boston. You can expect heavy traffic on both routes during rush hour. If you drive into Boston on a Monday morning, each route should take you about 30 mins.

If you’re a cyclist, it is possible to bike into Boston from Melrose. One group of cyclists from Melrose, Malden, and Everett even made a point of commuting via bicycle to raise awareness in 2015.

You’ll likely need to cross the Mystic and Charles rivers to do this, however, so be sure to check that bridge routes are available to cyclists before attempting it.

Melrose is well within the Boston coverage maps for Uber and Lyft. Based on the population density of Melrose and its proximity to Boston, you can expect a substantial number of rideshare drivers to be operating in the area.

The closest Zipcar lots are south of Melrose in nearby Malden, but they are just over the city line. If you go further south, you’ll find even more Zipcar options.

Melrose invested $46.1 million in teachers and schools through its annual budget in 2018. Melrose High School received significant renovations to its Learning Commons in 2016, including the installation of state-of-the-art technology:

(Source: Trappe Architects)

The MCAS Tests from the most recent year shows that Melrose’s performance is above the state average for the Proficient, Advanced, and Proficient or Higher categories and below the state average for the Needs Improvement, Warning/Failing categories.

Please note “Advanced” and “Proficient” are both subsets of “Proficient or Higher”. The numbers are percentages of Melrose students in each testing result category.

Melrose was originally part of Malden (it was known as “North Malden”) and was a lightly populated farming community. When the Boston & Maine Railroad installed three train stops in the area in 1845 workers began moving in and commuting to Boston. These eventually became the 3 commuter rail stops you’ll find there today. Melrose is still mostly residential, although some 600 businesses operate there.

Most of the people who live in Melrose own their homes, but about one-third of the properties in the city are rentals. The housing market is competitive because of its proximity to Boston and the excellent schools, so median housing prices are well above both the state and national medians.

Melrose has more nightlife activities than smaller communities, but it caters more to families than it does to bar-hoppers and club-goers. Most people who live in Melrose likely defer to Boston to go to shows or nightclubs. That said, there are enough bars and restaurants in the area to keep most people occupied on the weekend.

All the major cellular networks (Sprint, Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile) have excellent 4G LTE coverage in Melrose. You might get a weaker signal if you live in an area of Melrose that isn’t as thickly settled as downtown, but you should almost always have cell phone reception.

Melrose doesn’t host any national or minor league sports teams, but Melrose High School does have a strong athletics program. Students at Melrose high school compete in baseball, basketball, football, ice hockey, cross country, wrestling, volleyball, and more.

(Source: The Boston Globe)

If you live in or around downtown Melrose or in the Wyoming or Cedar Park neighborhoods, you should be able to walk to almost everywhere you need to. But if you live in an area that isn’t as dense, you’ll likely need to drive. Walkscore.com gives Melrose a score of 60, which means it’s “somewhat walkable.”