Author: Corinne Espinoza, Interim Executive Director
I write to celebrate a major capital improvement in our building and to thank our donors for the support that made this happen.
A bit of history first: the Cambridge Community Center has been a neighborhood anchor for nearly a century. Our main building dates back to the late 1800s when it was the Tarbell School. The CCC took ownership of the building in 1929. As you can imagine, our floors are worn by 85 years of little feet stomping through hallways, big feet pounding the basketball court and the feet of an army of volunteers serving Thanksgiving dinners, teaching children and more. These sturdy walls bear witness to history - they’ve seen Shirley Chisholm speak, watched the landscape of the City change and served as a backdrop over the years.
So, for me, this old building is beautiful, but to new eyes, I’m sure the wear and tear is viewed differently. We’ve raised money to do exterior repairs and we’re making good progress. Today I am basking in the light of our latest work - we replaced all of our gym windows, which were 70 years old! The windows had become milky with age. One was broken years ago and our routine was to mop up rain from our gym floor every time the skies opened up. In the winter, the gym was cold, because the frigid air just came in wherever it pleased. Now, our windows are clear, pristine, fresh. They improve the look of the outside of our building and they improve the light inside our walls. We’ll be more energy efficient, which will help us keep our doors open for another century.
This project has been funded by over 400 individuals and organizations to date, including many residents of the Riverside neighborhood, in amounts ranging from $1 to $150,000. We thank our generous community: our children, neighbors, Harvard University, The Amelia Peabody Charitable Fund, the Cambridge Historical Commission, Cabot Family Charitable Trust and generous individual donors. This renovation is truly a community effort.
We continue to fundraise for our exterior renovation, and we always need support for operations. Harvard employees can select the Cambridge Community Center as the recipient of Harvard Community Gifts here. Other supporters can participate here.
For the beautiful things happening on the inside and outside of our building, thank you, CCC family.