Narrative provided by the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development.
Melrose is a small city located approximately seven miles north of Boston with a geographic area of 4.76 square miles and a population of 28,150 people. Since its settlement in the middle of the 18th century, Melrose has offered its residents a desirable compromise between the crowded metropolis of Boston and the frontier of rural exurbia. Melrose is predominantly residential with exquisite Victorian homes dating from the late 1800s, but beyond being a city of homes, Melrose has a long-standing tradition of being self-sufficient, to support residents' housing, education, employment, health, shopping, entertainment, recreation and leisure needs.
Melrose is proud of its excellent schools, its cultural facilities, including the 83-year old Melrose Symphony Orchestra, Melrose Massachusetts Television, the very active local cable channel, and its Victorian downtown area which is supported by a Chamber of Commerce and dates back to 1900. Another vital component of the quality of life in Melrose is its varied open space and recreation facilities. Ell Pond is a large natural feature in Melrose's center, trees line Melrose streets and parks and open spaces are dispersed through and around the city. Melrose is the true implementation of the notion of a garden city with a commercial/institutional downtown surrounded by housing of varied densities. In addition, the city is ringed by a "green belt" which includes the Middlesex Fells Reservation to the west, and this belt buffers it from surrounding communities. Melrose's recreational facilities include two golf courses, Pine Banks Park and Morelli field, a state-of-the-art baseball facility.