New Home for the Cambridge Housing Authority

Bringing fresh air, daylight, and artwork to this former police headquarters

Alice K. Wolf Center

City of Cambridge
Cambridge, Massachusetts

Finegold Alexander worked with the City of Cambridge to transform the historic Cambridge Police Headquarters into an open, collaborative environment for three distinct community service agencies: the Cambridge Housing Authority, the Multi-Service Center and the Community Learning Center. The 1933 building—with its near original mechanical systems and low ceiling heights—had stood empty since 2008. The exterior was completely restored, including original copper roof details. All spaces were made accessible. Natural daylight and ventilation were provided for all the occupants, providing a calming environment for the building’s service providers as well as the community members they serve.

(Photo credit: Neil Alexander Photography)

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62,575 SF
Renovation, Restoration, Adaptive Reuse
Central Gathering Spaces, Offices, Meeting Rooms, Classrooms
2014 Preservation Award, Cambridge Historical Commission
2015 AGC Build New England Award
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“It’s a win-win-win-win”
Richard Rossi, former Cambridge City Manager
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The design removed the existing boiler stack at the core of the building and included the installation of all-new highly efficient mechanical and lighting systems. Designed to achieve a 43% energy savings over Code, with a focus on occupant comfort and daylighting, the project achieved LEED Gold. Exterior walls and roof were restored and insulated and new high performance, historically appropriate windows were installed.

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“We were able to remain in Central Square which is a benefit [to our clients and staff], and that’s a big thing because we could not duplicate this anywhere else in Central Square in today’s market.”  
Greg Russ, former Executive Director, Cambridge Housing Authority