City Council Approves CPA Recommendation to Allocate $100,000 to the Powder Magazine

17 Sep

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Last night the Cambridge City Council unanimously approved the CPA Committee’s recommendation to allocate $100,000 towards repair of the 1818 Powder Magazine at Magazine Beach. Stabilizing this building—restoring the roof, re-pointing the masonry, restoring the windows and doors, and adding security lighting—are essential next steps to prepare the building for its next use. In 1818 it was erected to store gunpowder safely, a half mile from settlement. In 1899 the Olmsted Brothers converted it into a bathhouse when bathers flocked to the Charles River to swim. Ideas for its next use include it becoming a concession and meeting area that is welcoming, celebrates Cambridge’s diversity, and that sells healthy, affordable food.

Cambridge Historical Commission Ex. Director Charles Sullivan said, “This is a major win for historic preservation in Cambridge.  The powder magazine is one of the oldest buildings on the Charles River Basin and, for decades, has begged for attention.”

In a June 20, 2013 letter to the CPA Committee, new DCR Commissioner Jack Murray, proposed to share the cost of stabilizing the structure with Cambridge. If the City contributed $100,000 towards this work, he promised to “provide the balance of funding” which is estimated at about $125,000.

This is huge news and will make the revitalization of Magazine Beach Park possible. Thanks to all of you who have contributed to this effort! For further information, see:

The Powder Magazine as it could be. Rendering by Max  Moore, Architect

The Powder Magazine as it could be. Rendering by Max Moore, Architect

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