Town of Braintree
|Mayor||Joseph C. Sullivan|
|Total||14.5 sq mi (37.6 km2)|
|Land||13.9 sq mi (36.0 km2)|
|Water||0.6 sq mi (1.6 km2)|
|Elevation||90 ft (27 m)|
|Density||2,571.5/sq mi (992.9/km2)|
|Time zone||Eastern (UTC-5)|
|Summer (DST)||Eastern (UTC-4)|
|ZIP code||02184/02185 (Braintree Highlands)|
|Area code(s)||339 / 781|
|GNIS feature ID||0618316|
The Town of Braintree is a suburban city in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States. Although officially known as a town, Braintree adopted a municipal charter, effective 2008, with a mayor-council form of government and is considered a city under Massachusetts law. The population was 35,744 at the 2010 census. The town is part of the Greater Boston area with access to the MBTA Red Line and is a member of the Metropolitan Area Planning Commission's South Shore Coalition. The first and current mayor of Braintree is Joe Sullivan.
The town of Braintree was incorporated in 1640 and named after the English town of Braintree. It comprised land that was later split into Randolph, Holbrook, and Quincy, as well as parts of Weymouth and Milton, Massachusetts. The town of Braintree was the birthplace of presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams, as well as statesman John Hancock. General Sylvanus Thayer, the "Father of West Point" was also born in Braintree in the section of town now known as Braintree Highlands.
Braintree's population grew by over 50% during the 1920s.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town had a total area of 14.5 square miles (37.6 km ). 13.9 square miles (36.0 km ) of it was land and 1.6 km (0.6 sq mi/4.34%) of it was water. This includes Pond Meadow Park and Sunset Lake.
|* = population estimate. |
Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data.
As of the census of 2000, there were 33,828 people, 12,652 households, and 8,907 families residing in the town. The population density was 2,434.4 people per square mile (939.6/km ). There were 12,973 housing units at an average density of 933.6 per square mile (360.4/km ). The racial makeup of the town was 93.96% White, 1.18% Black or African American, 0.11% Native American, 3.14% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.64% from other races, and 0.95% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.16% of the population.
There were 12,652 households out of which 29.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.4% were married couples living together, 11.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.6% were non-families. 24.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.61 and the average family size was 3.16.
In the town the population was spread out with 22.5% under the age of 18, 6.5% from 18 to 24, 28.9% from 25 to 44, 24.0% from 45 to 64, and 18.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 89.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.4 males.
The median income for a household in the town is $115,590, and the median income for a family is $90,590 as of a 2007 estimate). Males had a median income of $89,607 versus $36,034 for females. The per capita income for the town was $28,683. About 2.1% of families and 3.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.6% of those under age 18 and 3.3% of those age 65 or over.
Braintree is situated in the Greater Boston Area, which has excellent rail, air, and highway facilities. State Route 128 and Interstate 95 divide the region into inner and outer zones, which are connected by numerous "spokes" providing direct access to the airport, port, and intermodal facilities of Boston.
From 1948 to 1968, the town was the home of Braintree Airport, a general aviation airport located near Great Pond that was used by civil defense officials and private pilots. The airport featured a 2,800 foot dirt runway and offered flight training. Residential development, proximity to the town's water supply, and a number of accidents led to its closure in 1968. 
Principal highways in Braintree are Interstate 93 (which runs concurrently with U.S. 1) and Route 3, as well as 37, and 53. Entering Braintree from the north, I-93, Route 1, and Route 3 all run concurrently as the Southeast Expressway from Boston; in Braintree they diverge, with Route 3 heading south toward Cape Cod as the Pilgrims Highway, and I-93 and Route 1 heading west toward Route 128.
Commuter rail service to South Station, Boston, is available on the Middleboro & Plymouth lines from the Rail Station located on Union Street. The CapeFLYER rail service from Boston to Hyannis as well as Buzzards Bay stations also stops at the Braintree commuter rail station. The MBTA Red Line is also accessible at the same location. Weekday rail service on the Greenbush Line started up in late 2007 and is accessible from the Weymouth Landing/East Braintree located on Quincy Avenue.
Braintree is a member of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) which provides fixed route service to Quincy Adams, Quincy Center, Braintree, and Ashmont stations. The MBTA also provides THE RIDE, a paratransit service for the elderly and disabled.
From 1964 to 1991 Braintree was the home of a Valle's Steak House restaurant. The chain was an East Coast landmark that stretched from Maine to Florida. The 30,000 square foot Braintree restaurant was the largest in the chain when it opened and featured a dining room that sat 600 customers, banquet rooms that accommodated 1,000; parking for 700 cars, and two kitchens, one of which was used exclusively for banquets. The restaurant had over 150 employees. Max Bodner of Quincy was the original manager. One of the chain's busiest locations, it was capable of serving over 5,000 customers per day. The restaurant changed names several times after the Valle's corporation closed in 1991 and was eventually razed to make way for a Toyota dealership. Among the notable moments in the restaurant's history was in 1980 when then presidential candidate Ronald Reagan made a campaign speech at a South Shore Chamber of Commerce luncheon.
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