United Shoe Machinery Co. (a.k.a. The Cummings Center)

United Shoe Machinery Co. (a.k.a. The Cummings Center)
181 Elliott Street
Beverly, MA 01915
978-922-9000

Built in 1903-06, using the revolutionary design of engineer Ernest L. Ransome, "The Shoe" was the largest reinforced concrete structure in the world until 1937. The building has been ranked among architectural historians as one of the most significant industrial landmarks in the country. As one of the largest factories in the world, The Shoe was the livelihood of thousands of workers and their families. For more than 70 years, it dominated the economic life of Beverly and its surrounding communities. Whole neighborhoods were developed to house the workers, and the residents thrived on an industry of manufacturing the machinery which made shoes. The United Shoe Machinery Corporation building was recently restored and refurbished by Cummings Properties, and now contains a total of more than 32 acres of totally restored interior space. It has been referred to as one of the largest recycling projects in the United States. Pulitizer Prize winning architecture critic Ada Louise Huxtable wrote in The Wall Street Journal, "For (Cummings Center) it has been a miraculous rebirth. For those who prize an architecture still invisible to many and treated expendable by most, this is more than a success story; it is a dream come true."

Driving Directions: 

Route I-95 North/Route 128 North. When I-95 and Route 128 split, stay left on Route 128 North toward Gloucester. Shortly after passing two large shopping malls on your left, take Exit 22E onto Route 62 East. Follow Route 62 East for less than two miles to Cummings Center on your left, across from Stop & Shop.

Categories: 

  • Historic Resources
  • Industrial Theme Trail

Property Owner/Organization: 

Cummings Properties
Essex Coastal Scenic Byway
Rail Trail
Rail Trail Trailhead