The Foundry

View of the Foundry lobby from Rogers Street

View of the Foundry lobby from Rogers Street

What's New

The City of Cambridge and the CRA are holding a public meeting to allow the public to learn more about latest Foundry designs and construction plans, and to give feedback on programs and other elements.

Foundry Public Meeting

Wednesday, October 2, 2019 from 6:30 - 8:30 pm

Fletcher Maynard Academy Gymnasium, 225 Windsor Street

The Foundry Consortium has been conducting a survey to find out what would bring you to lead a program or participate in a program at the Foundry. Download and complete the survey with your ideas today!

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. This project is guided by the Foundry Demonstration Project Plan.

Stay Up to Date: You can learn more about the Foundry from:

The Foundry Consortium website: They are the Operator of the Foundry and will run the building once it’s open.

CoUrbanize Foundry page: The CRA will keep this project page up to date as the building is being redeveloped.

The Foundry Advisory Committee and Document Library pages on this website

The CRA’s social media pages: We provide updates on the Foundry via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Project Summary

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:

Community Outreach

Foundry Advisory Committee

Document Library

The Foundry Building entrance in 2017

The Foundry Building entrance in 2017

The third floor of the Foundry post interior demolition

The third floor of the Foundry post interior demolition


The CRA issued an Operator RFP on January 25th, 2018 to select a master tenant to occupy, activate, program and maintain The Foundry Building. On April 25th, 2018 the CRA Board unanimously approved The Foundry Consortium to be the operator.

The Operator is expected to perform three major roles: program management and outreach, property management, and sub-tenant recruitment and selection. The Foundry Consortium will ensure the Foundry is self-sustaining and becomes a collaborative and thriving innovative center for visual and performing arts, entrepreneurship, technology and workforce education.

Building DESIGN

One option for the building design.

One option for the building design.

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. 

Ideas for programming include:

  • A community room

  • Multi-purpose rooms

  • Performance space

  • Workshops

  • Art studios

  • Cafe

  • Community Hall & Gallery

  • Office Space

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. Visit the City's website for more information on the Designer RFQ process.


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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.

The Foundry as a Taxi Barn circa mid-1900's

The Foundry as a Taxi Barn circa mid-1900's

The arrow indicates the Foundry Building - Image circa 1910

The arrow indicates the Foundry Building - Image circa 1910

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

Phone:  617-492-6800