Category Archives: Public Buildings

Boylston Town Hall (1830)

Town Hall, Boylston

The cornerstone of the old Town Hall of Boylston was laid on August 21, 1830 and the building was completed later that year. Construction of the granite ashlar building was made possible by donations from Ward Nicholas Boylston, a prominent Boston merchant who appreciated that the town had been named for his family in 1786. The first floor of the Town Hall housed a school room, while the upper floor contained a hall for public meetings. The building is now the museum of the Boylston Historical Society.

Share Button
Posted in Boylston, Greek Revival, Public Buildings | Leave a comment

Worcester County Courthouse (1845)

Worcester County Courthouse

Early county courthouses in Worcester were built in 1733, 1751 and 1802. A granite courthouse with six columns, designed in the Greek Revival style by Ammi B. Young, was built between 1843 and 1845. An addition to the southwest corner of the building, designed in a Greek Revival/Victorian style by Stephen C. Earle, was made in 1878. In 1898-1899 a major expansion and remodeling of the building took place. The original courthouse portico was removed and a new facade created on Main Street which incorporated the original six columns and two new ones made to match the originals. The new facade, designed by Andrews, Jaques and Rantoul, features two pavilions (the one on the south is the original courthouse), with two columns each, flanking a central section with four columns. The Courthouse, located at 2 Main Street off Lincoln Square, is currently vacant.

Share Button
Posted in Greek Revival, Neoclassical, Public Buildings, Worcester | Leave a comment

Old Town Hall, Pittsfield (1832)

Old Town Hall, Pittsfield

The Old Town Hall of Pittsfield is a Federal-style brick structure located at 43 East Street. An earlier Town House had stood near here, where St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church stands today. The construction of the church in 1832 had led to the building of what is now the Old Town Hall, as related in J. E. A. Smith’s The History of Pittsfield, (Berkshire County,) Massachusetts, From the year 1800 to the year 1876 (1876):

In December, 1831, the Sun stated that the wardens had already contracted for a building of stone in the Gothic style, to be commenced in the following spring. From what the editors had heard, the Sun was “disposed to think that it would contribute much to the beauty of the village.” A difficulty, however, arose at the very outset. It was the desire of Mr. Newton and his associates, that the church should stand, where it was afterwards built, upon what is now the corner of Park place and School street; and they offered the town five hundred dollars for a lot of sufficient size at that point. But the site was already occupied in part by the town-house, in which the Central school-district claimed an interest by virtue of its occupancy of its lower story for a school-room. For this, and other reasons, Lemuel Pomeroy and other citizens, averse to change in the old order of things, opposed the sale, and the proposition was rejected by the town.

Upon this Mr. Newton announced his determination to erect the church on a portion of the grounds attached to his own residence, and adjoining that of Mr. Pomeroy. And here, in the spring of 1832, the contractors began to collect stone and other material. The danger of a chronic and bitter neighborhood feud was imminent; but it was happily avoided by a compromise offered by Mr. Pomeroy, who proposed that the difficulty should be surmounted by the erection of a new town-hall, and the purchase by St. Stephen’s parish, of the school-district’s interest in the old building.

Lemuel Pomeroy paid for the building of the new Town Hall, reserving the basement for his own use. His heirs sold their rights in the building to the town in 1882. The front and back facades of the Old Town Hall are stuccoed and scored at the corners to resemble quoining (masonry blocks at the corner of a wall). The building served as Town Hall from 1832 to 1891 and then as City Hall until 1968. Municipal offices then moved to the former Post Office building. In 1969-1970 the Old Town Hall was renovated to become a bank branch and offices.

Share Button
Posted in Federal, Pittsfield, Public Buildings | Leave a comment

Stow Town Hall (1848)

After the fourth Congregational meeting house, or church, in Stow burned down in 1847, a new one was constructed. The church had been used for town meetings, but now religious and government functions were separated, so that in addition to a new church, a town hall was also constructed. Both buildings were built with nearly identical Greek Revival facades. The Town Hall was built by Micah Smith, a carpenter and millwright. According to a plaque on the building, it cost $2,559.73. An addition was built on the south side of the Town Hall in 1895.

Share Button
Posted in Greek Revival, Public Buildings, Stow | Leave a comment

Worcester Memorial Auditorium (1932)

Built to honor the 9,000 citizens of Worcester who served in the First World War, the Worcester Memorial Auditorium was constructed in 1931-1932 and is located in Lincoln Square. The Classical Revival building was designed by Lucius W. Briggs of Worcester and Frederick C. Hirons of New York. The exterior features Art Deco-inspired bas-relief ornament. Inside are murals by Leon Kroll, installed in 1941. The interior has a large auditorium and a “Little Theatre” which share a single stage that can be opened up to join the rooms together. Recently used as an auxiliary courthouse, the Auditorium has been the subject of many renovation and redevelopment discussions over the years (see pdf), the city eventually plans to sell the building. (more…)

Share Button
Posted in Art Deco, Neoclassical, Public Buildings, Theaters, Worcester | Leave a comment

Citizens’ Hall (1870)

Citizens’ Hall is a mansard-roofed Second Empire building located in the former industrial village of Curtisville, now called Interlaken, in the town of Stockbridge. Designed by Charles T. Rathburn, Citizens’ Hall was built in 1870 as a district schoolhouse, with a public meeting hall on the second floor. Used less frequently as a meeting place after the town’s district schools were consolidated, the building was restored in the 1970s by Old Curtisville, Inc. (pdf). IS183, a non-profit community art school founded in 1991, leased Citizens’ Hall before merging with Old Curtisville, Inc. in 2005. As the building‘s new owners, IS183 completed exterior repairs in May, 2009.

Share Button
Posted in Public Buildings, Schools, Second Empire, Stockbridge | Tagged | Leave a comment

Hadley Town Hall (1841)

The Greek Revival-style Town Hall of Hadley was built in 1841. It was constructed by William Pratt, a builder who was the father of architect William Fenno Pratt.

Share Button
Posted in Greek Revival, Hadley, Public Buildings | Leave a comment