Mission: The Foundry is an adaptive reuse project to build a self-sustaining center for creativity and collaboration for the Cambridge community. At the intersection of the Kendall Square Innovation District and the East Cambridge neighborhood, the Foundry building will provide space and programs for the visual and performing arts, entrepreneurship, technology, and workforce education within its historic, industrial setting. The Foundry will also help facilitate access for residents, especially underrepresented communities and adjacent neighborhoods, to the dynamic working and learning environment of Kendall Square.
The Foundry, a brick and timber frame industrial building, built in 1890, will be repurposed into a creative, innovative and collaborative multipurpose center. When completed, it will provide public community space and programming for art, entrepreneurship, technology and workforce education.
The building will be accessible and inclusive to Cambridge residents of all ages and backgrounds, and its location on the border of Kendall Square and East Cambridge provides an ideal opportunity to connect residents to some of the world's most visible companies in life sciences, technology and innovation.
To deliver a high quality community space that achieves the community's vision, the City and the CRA have agreed to undertake the rehabilitation of the Foundry as a publicly funded capital project. Once redeveloped, the building will be self-sustaining operationally, supported through rents paid by the building’s tenants. It is estimated that this strategy allows for 60% of the building’s programmatic space to be reserved for dedicated community uses.
The vision and programming for the Foundry has been informed through numerous community and stakeholder meetings and workshops, and public hearings, with oversight provided by the Foundry Advisory Committee (FAC). The CRA and the City will utilize the FAC to inform the selection of the Operator. The CRA and the FAC will remain active stewards of the building to assure the operations remain faithful to the mission and to adjust the management goals over time to reflect evolving community needs and interests.
The links below provide additional information on community events and the public process, the Foundry Advisory Board (FAC), and additional resources found in the document library:
The CRA issued an Operator RFP on January 25th, 2018 to select a master tenant to occupy, activate, program and maintain The Foundry Building. Through the RFP process, the CRA seeks an Operator and master tenant with experience, creativity, and capability to manage the Foundry as a self-sustaining, collaborative and thriving innovative center, providing programming and space for visual and performing arts, entrepreneurship, technology and workforce education.
The Operator is expected to perform three major roles: program management and outreach, property management, and sub-tenant recruitment and selection.
Submissions for the Operator RFP are due March 8th, 2018.
The building will be repurposed with an array of flexible spaces that can accommodate anchor organizations, artists and community uses, as well as host shorter-term events and activities in shared spaces. The design will reflect the building's industrial past, with high quality, big-volume spaces that will be durable and accessible. Over time, the building’s uses may adapt to meet evolving community demand.
On January 19th, 2018, The City of Cambridge announced that Cambridge Seven Associates, Inc. has been selected as the firm for design services for the Foundry Building. Cambridge Seven was selected by a Designer Selection Committee, which included city staff and members of the CRA. In their proposal, it was clear that Cambridge Seven understood the Foundry's vision and goals, has experience with complicated public construction projects, and has successfully implemented other flexible building designs. The City is now in contract negotiations, and will have the design firm starting soon, to allow for collaboration with the selected building Operator. Visit the City's website for more information on the Designer RFQ process.
History of the Foundry Building
The original building at 101 Rogers Street is masonry exterior over a heavy timber frame structure. The main building was built in 1890 with side wings added in 1910. At that time the building was used as a foundry, all on one floor, at ground level. L.H. Gager of Palmer, Massachusetts, designed the original structure with an unusual truss system that accommodated large cranes to support iron production. This truss system had reinforced double wood trusses that rise up within the clerestory to support the beams on which the crane ran.
The Foundry processed up to 50 tons of iron per day. the Foundry was originally part of a larger industrial complex for the Blake & Knowles Steam Pump Company. The complex, including the Foundry, was once a nationally recognized manufacturing facility and supplied 90% of pump supplies to the U.S. Navy in the 1930s. In the 1960s and 1970s, the building was used as a taxi barn. For more information, see the Cambridge Historical Commission's Landmark Designation Study on the Foundry, or view the presentation to the FAC on the history of the Foundry.
CONTACT & Location
All inquiries concerning the Foundry may be addressed to:
Thomas Evans, Executive Director,
Cambridge Redevelopment Authority
255 Main Street, 8th floor, Cambridge, MA 02142