Charles Square

Cambridge MA

Carpenter & Company is the developer of Charles Square, a mixed-use project located between the Charles River and Harvard Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  Charles Square is situated on a four-acre site that at one time was proposed as the location for the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library.  Concerned about the traffic that the Presidential Library might generate, the local community objected to the development, and the library proposal was withdrawn.  The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, which owned the site, then issued a Request for Proposals for the development of what by that time had become a highly controversial location.

Carpenter was selected as developer after proposing a sensitive design that provided for the site to be developed for a mix of uses compatible with the existing Harvard Square environment.  Charles Square is an 800,000 square-foot project that includes the 293-guestroom Charles Hotel, as well as 86 residential condominium units, 110,000 square feet of office space, a retail component, and a below-grade 700-space parking garage.

In designing and building Charles Square, Carpenter worked carefully with the City of Cambridge, Harvard University and the local community. The project has been an enormous success in large part because of Carpenter’s willingness to creatively respond to the desires of the City, the University and their various constituencies.  Charles Square is a model of successful public, private, and institutional cooperation.


  • World’s Top 500 Hotels (Charles Hotel), Travel + Leisure
  • Gold List (Charles Hotel), Conde Nast Traveler
  • World’s Best Business Hotels (Charles Hotel), Travel + Leisure
  • Best Business Hotels (Charles Hotel), New York Daily News
  • Best Hotel Bar (Noir), Boston Phoenix
  • 50 Best Restaurants (Rialto), Boston Magazine
  • Boston’s Best Jazz Club (Regattabar), Boston Magazine