260 Commercial Street

Town Hall Exterior

This great Victorian-era confection from 1886, the center of town life in so many ways, has emerged from a basement-to-rooftop renovation more resplendent than it’s been since — well, since the days of Victoria. The new pale green exterior, framed by cream-colored highlights, echoes the original paint job and gives the building, designed by John A. Fox, a welcome articulation. There was some grumbling at first about the ambitious scale of the renovation in the middle of an economic crisis, but as the hall emerged from its construction cocoon, its newfound dignity spoke for itself. What compelled the project was an engineer’s finding in early 2008 that the hall was “dangerously overstressed.”

Town officials first closed the auditorium — the scene of countless Town Meetings, concerts, performances, exhibits, lectures, dances and costume balls — and then closed the building entirely, moving operations into a trailer complex to make way for a two-phase renovation, designed by McGinley Kalsow & Associates.



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