Master Planning recommends demolition of town hall

Not a late April Fools joke, rather one of the recommendations from the 1964 Master Plan, that I am reviewing as part of work on the current Townwide Master Planning  Committee.  120 citizens participated on 9 subcommittees.

Other recommendations included:

  • moving both Routes 109 and 27.  Rte 109 was alternately recommended to follow either what we now call the Bay Colony Rail line or to go through Noon Hill.  Rte 27 was in fact built later where we know it, so as to bypass the heart of the downtown.
  • building a Waste Water Treatment Plant so as to avoid more of the bad odors from the town sewer beds as occurred in the summer of 1963.

1964 Vision for Downtown

Downtown - from Master Plan Study Report No. 8 - 1964

See the typed 1964 Master Plan Study Report and a trove of historic planning documents that Sarah Raposa has put on-line at


Tear down this town hall – from the 1964 report:

Town Buildings and Lands

The town owns an excellent fire station and public
library but its other buildings (town hall, police station
and equipment garage) are in a poor condition. The refuse
disposal area is a subject of constant controversy.
As indicated by Fig. 12, we recommend the conversion
of North Street School to town offices and either the demolition
or sale of the present town hall. A new equipment
garage should be built in the vicinity of the existing sewage
beds. The police station should be first combined with the
town offices in the North Street building and at a later date
added as a wing to the present fire station. A second story
for use as a firemen’s dormitory will be needed on the fire
station when full-time personnel are required. An additional
fire station will be needed after 1975 in the southern portion
of the town. The present refuse disposal area should be converted
into a sanitary land fill operation, but consideration
should be given to moving the facility at a later date to a
site near the Charles River. The Kingsbury House area combined
with the Rhodendron Reservation presents a unique potential
opportunity for the town to create an Historical Center comparable
to either Sturbridge, Massachusetts, or Williamsburg,

2 responses to “Master Planning recommends demolition of town hall

  1. Colleen Sullivan

    Pete, This is priceless!!!  Great to see what the residents and town governments had in mind 50+ years ago.Thanks,Colleen


  2. The plan is so vintage mid-1960s… the kind of mindset that destroyed so many towns in the name of…. progress? I am thrilled it got shelved, but glad it has been re-discovered so as to be an object lesson for another era. Thank you for posting it.