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Chelmsford to vote on use of old town halls


Old town hall North Chelmsford, MA

We will all be asked to vote on two very important Warrant Articles at our upcoming Town Meeting. Those two articles concern the Restoration of our Old Town Halls…one in the center of Chelmsford, and one in the center of North Chelmsford.

Both of these buildings are important historical structures. The North Town Hall is 157 years old and the Old Center Town Hall is approximately 130 years old.

We have financial resources in our town’s Community Preservation Fund which are supposed to be used for historical preservation projects such as these two old town halls. They both are an important part of our town’s history and character.

They are the iconic images of our town, which artists and photographers have been using to depict our town for decades. I have personally created many pieces of art depicting the Old Town Hall, and they hang throughout my home. I’m sure many of you have similar types of pictures in your own homes.

These old Town Halls should be preserved for future generations. Rest assured, however, that they will not just be two pretty buildings that we can look at and admire once they are fully restored.

The Old Center Town Hall will continue to be a vibrant part of our Arts community and an important gathering place for town events, celebrations and shows. During the past year, our community came out and packed this venue on many occasions. We will be able to do that even more often once the building is completely restored and handicapped accessible.

The Old North Town Hall will be used as a Community Center for the entire town to enjoy. Some of the activities which are planned for the refurbished Old North Town Hall are as follows, as expressed in a recent preservation committee mailing:

“The emphasis will be to provide a location to foster town, community and family relationships as a “Chelmsford Community Center”.

Activities would include but are not be limited to:

Afterschool program for Middle School students
Volunteer tutors, WiFi capabilities, games, arts & crafts, music, etc.
Rental space for community based organizations
Rental space for private functions
Rental space for small business owners
Space available for arts & crafts, fitness and hobby groups
North Chelmsford Historical Exhibits
Lecture Series
Family Movie & Game Nights
Community Holiday Events
Children’s Theme Parties
MacKay Library Programs and Concerts
Fitness Programs
Men’s & Women’s Clubs
Community Dinners
Historical Programs and Displays
Dances for All Ages
Recycling Events
Girl Scout and Boy Scout Events
Hobby Clubs and Classes “

As you can clearly see upon reading the above list, there are many uses for the Old North Town Hall which will enrich the lives of all of our citizens.

It is well worth the investment of our Community “Preservation” Funds to actually “PRESERVE” both of these historic town buildings.

“Let the Children Guard what the Sires have Won” should not be an empty slogan. Let’s all vote next week to do exactly that…preserve what previous generations have won for us…so that we can do the same for those who follow in our footsteps.

Tom Christiano
Town Meeting Representative

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