Plans to Convert the Malden Courthouse into the Malden Center for Arts and Culture

While the Malden Courthouse has been closed for a while, first for construction and then from COVID-19, the city now had bigger plans for this building. The building previously housing the courthouse will now be transformed into the Malden Center for Arts and Culture. The space will be used for dancing, music, and theater performances. It will also host art exhibits and classes.  

In late 2019, the Courthouse located on Summer Street in Malden underwent extensive renovations. Due to the renovations interrupting the daily life at the courthouse, they packed up and moved in with the Cambridge District Courthouse on Mystic Valley Parkway in Medford.

The former courthouse. Photo taken by Liam O'Toole

This idea, originally proposed back in 2012 as part of Mayor Gary Christenson's “long-range strategic plans,” is still in its beginning stages. While the building is currently unoccupied, the city is still looking to “successfully convey the building to the city at a price [they] can afford” said Christenson. 

When the City Council heard the rumor that the courthouse had planned on relocating as opposed to moving back into the building after construction, the city moved fast and began contacting their local legislative delegations, and began the process of obtaining the space. Legislation to “start the conveyance to the city” was filed back in February of 2021 and has not yet been delayed due to the ongoing Coronavirus.

Christenson’s hopes for this to truly “become the Malden Center for Arts and Culture” (MCAC). There are committees centered around what the community wants. Christenson imagines that the center will be more focused on culture and the arts for “all kinds of artistic expressions that residents can utilize.” As a community center, Christenson can  envision it “becoming a home for community education classes,” as well as a “space where Maldonians can come together to celebrate [their] community.” 

Christenson added that this center will be an “economic driver,” since the center would be so close to the train station and Malden Center, it would bring attention to the local shops and restaurants nearby. 

Although the plan has been slightly delayed, there are still many steps to be taken in order to open this center for arts and culture, such as successfully conveying the building to the city at an affordable price. The city will also need to figure out the design to repurpose the previous courtrooms and offices to accommodate the new usage. Lastly, the city will need to figure out how they are going to pay for everything and how the center can operate as a self-sustaining organization. There is no set date for when the center would be open and functional as it is a multi-year process to reach the finish line.

Courtney Fitzgerald

Courtney Fitzgerald is a 16 year-old junior at Malden High School. She was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts but has Irish origins. Fitzgerald is a dancer and her favorite song is “Soldier” by Gavin Degraw. She speaks English and has some knowledge of Sign Language which she is learning in her free time. Her favorite food is chicken fingers and her favorite media to spend her time on is Instagram. Fitzgerald’s favorite brands are Nike and Converse and her favorite season is fall.

3 Replies to “Plans to Convert the Malden Courthouse into the Malden Center for Arts and Culture

  1. So funny I just asked someone today if they knew the scoop on the courthouse and I found your article! Very informative. Thanks again!

    PS

    Well written, too ! 🙂

  2. It will be curious to see how the cells literally in the basement of the courthouse are either abolished or utilized. When I was growing up, we all knew there was a “dungeon” under the courthouse and the treatment was pretty draconian.

    Hopefully, a new positive history can be created which will ameliorate some of the dubious treatment and difficult times people have spent there.

    I like the idea! Interesting!

  3. It will be curious to see how the cells literally in the basement of the courthouse are either abolished or utilized. When I was growing up, we all knew there was a “dungeon” under the courthouse and the treatment was pretty draconian.

    Hopefully, a new positive history can be created which will ameliorate some of the dubious treatment and difficult times people have spent there.

    I like the idea! Interesting!

    For the author: perhaps an article about Converse— which has some roots in Malden? Shakespeare at the courthouse would be surreal too! 🙂

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