Knafel Center, Cambridge


The Knafel Center was designed by the renowned architectural firm of McKim, Meade and White, and was built in 1898.  The old gymnasium is located in the historic Radcliffe Yard in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  It is a three story brick building with stone and wood trim, as well a prominent slate roof, with a distinctive cupola used for natural ventilation.  In 2005, after the College was incorporated into Harvard University and became the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies, extensive interior renovations converted the building’s use from a gymnasium to special events, office and a prominent “walk and talk” track on the third floor.


Before CBI was involved, minimal exterior renovations were made to the building.  Windows were drafty, the roof was leaking, and the wood was showing signs of deterioration.  CBI was engaged to recommend and design exterior envelope improvements which included roof replacement, window refurbishment, flashing replacement, brick repointing and replacement, and wood repair, stripping and repointing.