Known for being one of Newton’s oldest villages, West Newton is bordered by Waltham, Auburndale, Newton Lower Falls, Newtonville, and Waban. Over the course of the village’s history, a considerable portion of its older buildings and sites were torn down or reduced in size during the construction of the Mass Pike. These changes effected local spots such as the West Newton Boston and Albany Railroad station, Lincoln Park, the West Newton Fire House, and much of the Curve Street neighborhood where freed slaves once resided. Notable figures that have lived in West Newton have included neuroscientist and Provost of Harvard University Steven Hyman, actor Matt Damon, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Harvard professor and LSD researched Timothy Leary, author Morrie Schwartz, and renowned author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin Harriet Beecher Stowe.
The West Newton community supports a slew of shops, historic sites on the National Register of Historic Places, local restaurants such as the popular Blue Ribbon Bar-B-Q and Coney Island Ice Cream Café, and an independent movie theater called West Newton Cinema. A sampling of some of the older sections listed on the National Register include the Arthur F. Luke House, West Newton Historic District, Webster Park Historic District, West Parish Burying Ground, Windsor Road Historic Ground, Railroad Hotel, and the Nathaniel Topliff Allen Homestead. Nearby recreational areas are Brunen Brook, Dolan Pond Wetland, and the West Newton Playground. In terms of education, there are a variety of local schools such as the Fessenden School, which is a boarding and day school for boys, the Franklin Elementary School, the Clearway School for students with education handicaps, the Second Church Nursery School, and finally the Temple Shalom of Newton, which is a Jewish education based institution. One can reach West Newton by way of the MBTA commuter rail, the Green Line “ D” branch, MBTA buses, Routes 16,30, and 128, Interstate 95, and by the Mass Pike.