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Firehouse to become a hotel

In a few weeks, the old firehouse at 350 Main St. in Kendall Square will begin its transformation into a hotel.

The Cambridge City Council agreed to sell the firehouse to developers Charlotte Forsythe and Gerald Fandetti, owners of the Mary Prentiss Inn in Cambridge.

The building, which was built during the early 1800s, will include the restored firehouse and a seven-story extension. It also will include a first-floor cafe/restaurant and an underground parking complex.

The 65-room hotel, scheduled to open in summer 2001,will be known as the Kendall Hotel, not the Firehouse Inn as previously reported. The room rate is expected to be around $180 per night.

The first step in the 14-month construction project will be erecting a fence around the site and jacking up the firehouse, which will ultimately be relocated closer to Main Street. During construction of the new foundation and underground parking, it will either be moved to the rear of the site or suspended on jacks while the work is done below it.

Academic and administrative offices in Buildings E25, E23 and E19 may be affected by construction noise. Those who park in the E19 lot should be aware that the east side of the lot will be adjacent to an active construction area. Access to the Medical Department via Dock Street may also be disrupted from time to time.

There may also be occasional interruptions in access to the Main Street sidewalk. The city's Traffic Department has required the developer to install mirrors at the exit of the loading area and garage as a safety precaution along Dock Street.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on March 15, 2000.

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