Arsenal Center for the Arts

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Arsenal Center for the Arts

The Arsenal Center for the Arts is a community arts center located in Watertown, Massachusetts, United States, on the former property of the Watertown Arsenal.

The centerpiece of the facility is the Charles Mosesian Theater, a 380-seat proscenium theater. The center also contains a black box theater, classrooms, artist's studios, and gallery space. The center is home to the New Repertory Theatre as well as the Watertown Children's Theatre.


Plans for an art center in Watertown had begun as early as the 1970s, but not enough money was raised and the project was shelved for the time being.[1] The center in its current form is the culmination of years of fund raising efforts which began in 1998 with the formation of Watertown Arts on the Charles, or WATCH.

In 1999, a market feasibility study commissioned by WATCH concluded that Watertown would be an ideal location for a multipurpose art center to service Watertown and the surrounding area.[2] The site ultimately chosen for construction of the facility was building 321 of the former Army Materials Technology Laboratory in Watertown, a Superfund site. O'Neill properties, who bought the Watertown Arsenal property from the town for $24 million in 1998, pledged 15,000 square feet (1,400 m2) of space as well as $1 million towards construction costs.[2]

Initially, the group estimated total construction costs to be in the range of $2.5 million to $4 million,[2] however the final cost for the project ended up being in the area of $7.5 million. The funds for the center were raised mostly through community donations including $1 million from the town and a $1 million donation from local entrepreneur Charles Mosesian, for whom the center's main theater is named.[3]

After years of fundraising and construction, the center finally opened in the Summer of 2005.


  1. ^ Sweeney, Emily. "Harvard Studies Expansion at Arsenal Complex", Boston Globe, March 7, 2002.
  2. ^ a b c Cole, Caroline Louise. "Watertown Arts Facility Gets Support", Boston Globe, September 19, 1999.
  3. ^ Taylor, Denise. "Let the Shows Begin... New Arts Center Aims to Offer Wide Range of Activities, Performances", Boston Globe, September 15, 2005.

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Coordinates: 42°21′46″N 71°09′53″W / 42.36276°N 71.16461°W / 42.36276; -71.16461