Benjamin F. Olken partially financed his MIT engineering degree by swapping or selling secondhand goods. After graduation in the 1930s, Olken began a tiny bicycle rental business – and by the 1970s was catering to a booming market with rentals (tandems extra), sales, maps and touring guidance.
Statues, plaques and memorials across the city commemorate people and events from its nearly 400 years of settlement. But who decides what is worthy of commemoration, and how does the memorial landscape of the city reinforce certain narratives of Cambridge history and exclude others?
Community engagement has appeared in many forms near Central Square – publications, radical businesses, public art, protests, politics and social services. Other parts of the city have also been sites of engagement, but Central Square is an especially interesting site of activism.