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Massachusetts Correctional Institution (Massachusetts State Prison)

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Massachusetts State Prison
1878, George Ropes; 1967–1973, Masiello and Healy. 965 Elm St.

Opened in 1878, the Massachusetts State Prison at Concord was built to replace its outdated and overcrowded Charlestown predecessor designed by Charles Bulfinch in 1805. The extra-urban location in West Concord was unprecedented in Massachusetts and raised concerns about prisoner control and fire safety. The site's proximity to new railway lines, however, promised ease in transporting prisoners and the goods they produced. The Dr. John Cuming House (NR), an extant wood-frame farmhouse (c. 1754) on Reformatory Circle, used as the warden's house, suggests the agricultural nature of the prison site. Beset with fires, revolts, shootings, and poor management, the Concord state prison was transformed into a reformatory after just six years. Now known as the Massachusetts Correctional Institution (MCI-Concord), the complex includes the original Second Empire brick Superintendent's House fronting a massive new cellblock complex built in stages between 1967 and 1973.

Writing Credits

Keith N. Morgan


What's Nearby


Keith N. Morgan, "Massachusetts Correctional Institution (Massachusetts State Prison)", [Concord, 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, 457-457.

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