Download as PDF


Phone: (617) 548-1418
Contact: Jonathan Glancy

City of Cambridge to stand up for the arts?

Cambridge, MA 02139, April 14, 2018. The EMF Community—comprised of over 200 musicians, artists, and business owners—is fighting immediate eviction from the EMF building at 110-120 Brookline Street in Cambridge, MA. The EMF Community seeks long-term solutions to sustain the EMF building as workspace for artists and musical ecosystem.

On Monday, April 2, the Cambridge City Council heard nearly two and a half hours of public comment on the significance of the EMF building, as it regards to Policy Order #101 sponsored by Councilors Zondervan, Carlone and Vice Mayor Devereux. The amended order, which requested the City Manager solicit additional time for the artists to occupy the building, as well as assess feasibility of purchasing the building to preserve it as an artist space, was passed 8-1, with Councilor Toomey dissenting and Councilor Simmons abstaining.

Following that meeting, the building owner John DiGiovanni engaged in discussion with Mayor McGovern, Councilor Mallon, and City Manager Louie DePasquale. On April 6, Mayor McGovern announced DiGiovanni’s agreement to allow the tenants an additional month in the building, pushing the eviction date back to May 31st. The City of Cambridge will use the additional time to assess the building and investigate options for maintaining it as a workspace for the existing musician, artist, and business owner tenants.

The EMF building—previously the location for an electrical supply company—was reopened as a music and art space in 2006, and houses 60 music rehearsal rooms, three professional recording studios, and a visual arts workshop. Prior to, and following, its reopening in 2006, the building underwent extensive renovations to make it suitable for studio and music rehearsals, as well as zone it appropriately. John DiGiovanni of Trinity Property Management purchased the building in 2016. Tenants of the building received notices to quit dated February 26, 2018, with an eviction date of April 30, 2018; said notices were signed by John P. DiGiovanni, of Trinity Property Management, Inc., as agent for Ledgemoor, LLC, Landlord.

The EMF Community’s goal is to save and maintain the EMF building as an affordable space for musicians and artists. The building tenants provide numerous economic benefits to Cambridge, and beyond, through paid and donated music performances, paid and donated music lessons, music engineering services, a pipeline of musical talent for local music venues, restaurants, and record stores, patronage to local businesses, and rents and homeownership tax from musicians who also reside in Cambridge. The EMF Community also richly contributes to the culture of Cambridge and the entire region, through creativity, public service, demonstration of work ethic against great odds, and community building and reflection. This community is a critical resource for the continuing development of local musicians and artists, and through them, a critical resource to the cities they serve.

Cambridge Mayor Marc McGovern:
Cambridge City Council:

Press Coverage

Cambridge Day
April 9: “Officials to examine EMF Building conditions before potential long-term lease for arts use”
April 6: “As talks over EMF Building continue, tenants get another month, mayor says”
April 3: “EMF Building buyer will talk with tenants, and city will ask about buying it from him”
March 27: “Evictions from Central Square EMF Building provide somber background for arts district”
Boston Globe
April 7: “In Cambridge’s Central Square, a potential artistic exodus”
WBUR, The ARTery
April 2: “Uproar Over Closing Of EMF Building Prompts Cambridge To Seek Solutions to Artist Displacement”
Wicked Local, Cambridge
April 3: “Cambridge to look into buying EMF building or working with owner to extend tenant’s stay”
March 27: “With the closure of EMF, councilors look at ways to protect Cambridge artists”

April 10: “More Than 200 Artists Being Evicted From Cambridge Building”

WMBR 88.1 FM, “What’s Left” hosted by Linda Pinkow

EMF Goes to City Hall


If you would like more information about this topic, please call Jonathan Glancy at 617-548 1418, or email