You are here
Massachusetts Correctional Institution (Massachusetts State Prison)
Opened in 1878, the Massachusetts State Prison at Concord was built to replace its outdated and overcrowded Charlestown predecessor designed by Charles Bulfinch in 1805.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.
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.