Beloved longtime landmark sells its last edition
For more than 60 years, it brought news from across the country and the world to the Cambridge community. Now, the iconic newsstand in the heart of Harvard Square is no more.
Last week, Out of Town News shuttered its panels and emptied its stands for good as the 64-year-old business closed to make way for a new visitor information booth. While construction for the booth isn’t set to begin until this spring, Muckey’s Corp., which owned Out of Town News, decided to bow out early and close at the end of October.
The socially conscious communal pop-up CultureHouse will take Out Of Town’s place until construction begins and will host free public events such as live music.
Out of Town News’ departure marks the end of an era. The newsstand has been a staple in the neighborhood it was founded in 1955, and was arguably the Square’s most recognized fixture since it moved from its original location — a nearby adjacent building — to the kiosk in 1984. The shop was known for its wide selection of local, national, and international publications, and in more recent years, as print news became less viable, as a spot to stock up on Harvard souvenirs or book tours of the Yard.
The business was founded by Sheldon Cohen, who became known as the “unofficial mayor of Harvard Square” for founding the beloved newsstand. In 1994, Cohen sold the business to Hudson News and in 2009 it changed hands again to the current owners. In its time, Out of Town News saw clientele like celebrity chef Julia Child, poet Robert Frost, and Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft. In fact, it was there that Allen bought the magazine that inspired him and Bill Gates to start the company.
Construction on the kiosk that housed the newsstand includes a renovation of the elevator that leads to the underground subway station and repairs to its historic structure. In 1978, the kiosk, which was originally the entrance to the Harvard Square T Station, was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
The Daily Gazette
Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news.