You are here

Bunker Hill Community College

-A A +A
1971–1973, Shepley, Bulfinch, Richardson and Abbott. 250 New Rutherford Ave.

Built on the site of the state prison designed by Charles Bulfinch in 1802 (demolished 1951), the Bunker Hill Community College retains somewhat of a penitentiary-like appearance in its defensive use of vertically ribbed concrete blocks and small horizontal windows. An example of the international experiment labeled the New Brutalism, the college strongly asserts control of the former industrial landscape between Charlestown and Cambridge. Despite the formidable character of its exterior, certain welcoming elements are noteworthy. The path from the subway station to nearby sections of Charlestown passes through the campus, making it an important part of the the local scene. A loose conglomeration of five separate sections, the campus is organized along a second-level pathway that lacks clarity of purpose. Despite the wish to block out the noise and chaos of the surrounding highways and industrial activities, the campus needs to connect more fully, visually and physically, with its surrounding environment. When the new North Point Development on forty-seven acres nearby in Cambridge is completed from 2008 on, the neighborhood for Bunker Hill Community College will become residential and commercial in a way that was never expected when this complex was built.

Writing Credits

Keith N. Morgan



  • 1971


What's Nearby


Keith N. Morgan, "Bunker Hill Community College", [Boston, Massachusetts], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Massachusetts

Buildings of Massachusetts: Metropolitan Boston, Keith N. Morgan, with Richard M. Candee, Naomi Miller, Roger G. Reed, and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2009, 209-210.

If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.

SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.

, ,