The Foundry

View of the Foundry lobby from Rogers Street

View of the Foundry lobby from Rogers Street

What's New

Foundry Community Art Event: Jukebox and I WISH THIS WAS

Friday, October 25, 2019

8:00 - 11:00 am

8:00 AM: Breakfast at Multicultural Art Center, 41 Second Street

9:30 AM: Walk to the Foundry (meet at 180 Bent St) to post "I WISH THIS WAS..." stickers

Presented by Lesley University for the Foundry Consortium, in partnership with Lemelson-MIT, Cambridge Arts, City of Cambridge and the Cambridge Redevelopment Authority.

Have you seen the latest building designs? Do you know about the community input on programming collected to date?

Take a look at the slide show from the October 2019 public meeting.

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.

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

CoUrbanize Foundry page: We deactivated our CoUrbanize site on September 30th, 2019 as we no longer needed its online surveying functionality. The site remains online, so you can scroll through comments and review updates from 2017 - 2019.

CRA’s Foundry related email announcements: To receive these CRA’s announcements, email:

Other Foundry pages on the CRA’s website:

Community Outreach and Input - Foundry related community meetings, including meeting notes and presentations

Foundry Advisory Committee - Meetings of the FAC, including meeting notes and presentations

Document Library - Formal agreements and other documents and presentations relating to the project

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:

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

An early sketch showing the building design.

An early sketch showing 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. 

The space will include:

  • Multi-purpose rooms for community meetings and other programs

  • Flexible performance space

  • Maker Workshops

  • Artist studios

  • Cafe and demonstration kitchen for cooking classes

  • Community Hall & Gallery

  • Office Space, including for nonprofit tenants

On January 19th, 2018, The City of Cambridge announced that Cambridge Seven Associates, Inc. was 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