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Cambridge Honors Book Store Owners

By Shan Wang, Contributing Writer

Plympton Street now has another landmark—Frank, Mark & Pauline Kramer Square.

Harvard Book Store, a destination for famous authors such as Stephen King and Al Gore ’69, drew a crowd of its own when the intersection of Mass. Ave. and Plympton Street on which it stands was rechristened in honor of the store’s founding family.

The signpost identifying Frank, Mark & Pauline Kramer Square, as it is now officially known, was unveiled Saturday morning.

Carole Horne, the store’s general manager, said the staff decided to celebrate the store’s 75th anniversary and the owners’ accomplishments by persuading Cambridge City Council to rename the intersection in the family’s honor.

She said she spoke to Councillor Brian P. Murphy ’86-’87 and he agreed immediately. The council passed a resolution to dedicate the corner this August.

At Saturday’s ceremony, Frank Kramer, the store’s current owner, said that the tribute is not only a recognition of his family’s hard work but also a sign of the Cambridge community’s continued support for the independent bookstore.

Although he expressed concern at the popularity of online book buying, Kramer said in an interview after the ceremony that his family’s business is going strong.

Kramer said that his father Mark founded the store in 1932 with $300 borrowed from his father. Since then, it has expanded from a 600-square-foot room to a 5,500-square-foot institution.

Frank Kramer has run the store for the past 45 years, taking over the business as a 20-year-old after his father’s unexpected death.

Murphy, who opened the dedication, praised how far the store has come, but also how much Frank Kramer and the store have given back to the community by serving in groups such as the Harvard Square Business Association and sponsoring “Cambridge Reads,” the citywide book club.

Before the sign was unveiled, Joan Kramer, Frank’s wife, announced that to commemorate the anniversary and thank the city of Cambridge, the couple would establish a scholarship for a senior at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School who is about to leave foster care, has lived in housing projects, or has recently been emancipated.

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