Pelham to take stock of historic Town Hall

  • Consultants will report Tuesday about the preservation of the interior of the historic Pelham Town Hall. PELHAM HISTORICAL COMMISSION

Managing Editor
Published: 9/16/2016 11:54:38 AM

PELHAM — The Historical Commission will hold a public meeting Tuesday to hear two consultants present a summary of their findings and recommendations on the proper care, preservation and protection of the interior of Pelham’s historic Town Hall.

The session begins at 7 p.m. at Town Hall, which was built in 1743 at the corner of Amherst Road and Route 202. The structure is on the National Register of Historic Places and is the oldest Town Hall in continuous use in the United States. It was featured in the events of Shays Rebellion in 1786-1787, according to the commission.

Using Community Preservation Act funds, the commission hired consultants Mark Almeda of Walpole and Sarah Chase of Lexington to document the age of the interior surfaces in Town Hall, and to make recommendations on the proper cleaning, painting, repair and restoration of the interiors of the building’s two floors.

“We have a thorough understanding of what’s original to 1743 and the uniqueness of recent changes to the building,” Joseph S. Larson, chairman of the Pelham Historical Commission, said of the consultants’ review. “I think the most important thing is they’ve told us what not to do and the right way to do cleaning and painting.”

Almeda is a professional architect with experience in preservation of historic structures. Chase is a national expert on historic paints who used advanced infrared and microscope technology to identify the location of hidden timber frames of the building and to document, for the first time, the age of interior paint layers.

The study documents original sections of both the ground and upper floors to 1743 and other features to the mid-1800s and later periods, according to the commission. 

At Tuesday’s meeting, Almeda, Chase and commission members are expected to summarize the findings and recommendations and take questions from the public. The event concludes with a brief tour of the building. 

Dan Crowley can be reached at dcrowley@gazettenet.com.




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