Athenaeum Press

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Athenæum Press
View of the Athenaeum Press in 2009.
View of the Athenaeum Press in 2009.
Athenaeum Press is located in Massachusetts
Athenaeum Press
Athenaeum Press is located in the United States
Athenaeum Press
Location215 First Street
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02142
Coordinates42°21′51″N 71°04′45″W / 42.364200°N 71.0793°W / 42.364200; -71.0793Coordinates: 42°21′51″N 71°04′45″W / 42.364200°N 71.0793°W / 42.364200; -71.0793
ArchitectLockwood, Greene, and Company
MPSCambridge MRA
NRHP reference No.82001917[1]
Added to NRHPApril 13, 1982

Athenæum Press is an historic building located at 215 First Street in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The structure occupies the entire block between First Street, Second Street, Athenæum Street, and Linskey Way, which was formerly known as Munroe Street. Topped by a statue of Athena sculpted by Adio diBiccari, the building is visible from the nearby Charles River and the Longfellow Bridge.


View of the sculpture of Athena.
View of the sculpture of Athena atop the Press.

The Athenæum Press was designed by the architecture firm, Lockwood, Greene, and Company, with tile vaults designed by the Guastavino Company. The building was completed in 1895.[2] The structure was built for Edwin Ginn and Ginn & Company, owners of The Athenæum Press, to house its printing operations, and was built using principles of late nineteenth-century textile mill construction. Due to its highly visible location, the building was given a number of stylistic embellishments, including a large sculpture of Athena designed by Adio diBiccari.[3] The front of the building resembles an Ancient Greek temple implemented in brick, patinated copper, and glass. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. The building was the third major printing house built in Cambridge (after those of Harvard University Press and Riverside Press), and one of the first major industrial sites on Cambridge's riverfront.[3]

The building has 380,000 square feet (35,000 m2) of floor space and was renovated circa 2005. The facility was used for many years to print textbooks.[4] Ginn & Company later became part of the Penguin Group.

As of 2019, occupants include the Cambridge Athletic Club, Partners HealthCare Innovation, the Lean Enterprise Institute, SAGE Therapeutics, Constellation Pharmaceuticals and several other small businesses.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. April 15, 2008.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-09-27. Retrieved 2011-08-15.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ a b "NRHP nomination for Athenaeum Press". Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Retrieved 2015-05-22.
  4. ^ "Silent Beauties: Ginn and Company (Athenaeum Press) - 1925". 12 August 2011.

External links[edit]

  • Souvenir of the Athenaeum Press by Ginn and Company, 1903. A 24-page book with descriptions and photographs, available for free download.
  • Silent movie showcasing printing activities in the building in 1925. Moviecraft archive.