The Old Fire House


The Kendall Hotel is a relatively new hotel, but rich with history. The patch of land where it now stands was originally a salt marsh. In 1830, the land was converted into wharves where local importers placed their retail shops. 40 years later, as the landscape of America was industrializing, the wharf on this land was known for its massive deliveries of fuel and paving materials.

With new businesses, factories, and housing springing up in the Kendall Square area, public amenities and government agencies had to match the rapid growth. Engine 7 Firehouse moved into the location in 1894, and for over 100 years, the firefighters remained in this establishment. They considered themselves the “black sheep” of the Cambridge Fire Department, perhaps due to their love of mischief, perhaps due to their isolation from the rest of Cambridge, or perhaps due to their reliance on their trusty dogs to shepherd them to each fire.

In 1992 the firehouse unfortunately closed. After closing, the building remained unattended for several years. There was even threat of it being demolished. Fortunately, Cambridge locals Gerald Fandetti and Charlotte Forsythe swept in to save the building.

It is now the first and only historic hotel building in Cambridge and part of the National Trust for Historic Preservation in the division of Historic Hotels of America. Paying homage to the firehouse, the hotel restaurant is aptly named “The Black Sheep”. Do not worry, any meat you eat in the restaurant will not be cooked black, and the only sheep present are the ones you might count as you fall asleep!