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Old Town Hall Restoration

Old Town Hall West Stockbridge MA

The History of the Old Town Hall

The West Stockbridge Old Town Hall is the oldest public building in the community. For over a century and a half it’s been at the heart of the town’s civic and social life. It was built in 1854, housing commercial space and town offices on the first floor and providing a beautiful high-ceilinged community meeting room on the floor above. Nineteenth-century commercial tenants included a general store with a barber and surgeon, a bank, law offices, and a jeweler. By the end of the century, the town offices and library occupied the first floor, as well.

Working on the Renovation of The Old Town Hall West Stockbridge MA

From 1854 to 1975, the auditorium was actively used for town meetings, as a gym for the school, as a social center for adult games, dancing, and events, and for religious services. The police station took up residence downstairs in 1982, the same year that the town offices expanded to the second floor.

In 2004, West Stockbridge moved the police station, town offices, and library into what had been the elementary school. The Old Town Hall stood empty and the town’s selectmen proposed to sell it to the highest bidder or to have it demolished. A group of concerned residents formed a committee to look into alternatives, and over 300 people signed a petition to save the Old Town Hall. In 2008, the selectmen put the building out to bid for sale and a revitalized West Stockbridge Historical Society was able to purchase the building in 2009 for $1. The joke at the time was that the Society had seriously overpaid for the privilege.

The building, with its functional layout, dignified siting, and elegant proportions, retained its original form and much of the woodwork and decorative features. In spite of deferred maintenance and varied uses, it was in relatively good shape. As the largest structure prominently positioned on Main Street, this imposing Greek Revival building visually established West Stockbridge as a classic small New England town. It was placed on the National Register of Historical Places in 2008, and the campaign to restore it began.

Since the Campaign to Restore the Old Town Hall was launched in 2009, the West Stockbridge Historical Society has raised over $820,000 through private donations, benefit concerts, competitive matching state grants, and private foundations. We’re deeply grateful that over 40%  of the total has come from our large, devoted, and generous membership, especially our ‘Life Members’ who make up our major donor base.

All proceeds have gone into the restoration and upgrading of the building. Over a eight-year period of construction, we’ve completed key phases of the restoration, including a new rear extension and the installation of the ADA-compliant elevator—by far the most costly and critical part of the plan. Thanks to a $80,000 matching grant from Massachusetts Cultural Council, we recently finished replacing the building’s 1914 metal roof, restoring the bell and cupola, and fixing the broken and leaking doors and windows.

From the beginning, we’ve approached the restoration in a carefully managed, step-by-step way. Working from a master blueprint by our architect Jim Harwood, we’ve financed each phase of construction with matching grants from major state agencies, private foundations, and member donations. As we’ve successfully completed each phase, our relationships with funding sources have strengthened. We’re confident that our future plans can be accomplished through the same approach: applying for grants from state foundations that know us well and trust our stewardship and raising matching funds from our large and loyal community of supporters.

What You Can Do to Help


Become a member today — add your name to our growing list of supporters. Get the chance to purchase advance tickets to the always sold-out West Stockbridge Chamber Players concerts and receive our periodic e-newsletters.

Volunteer to help — join the dedicated group of friends and neighbors who help produce our concerts, organize receptions and events, and help keep our Old Town Hall looking beautiful inside and out.
Make a major contribution — become a Life Member (contribute $500 or more) and join our loyal group of major donors who are the heart of our organization. You’ll be honored at our annual Life Member Reception.
Become a super donor with naming privileges — We are grateful that several individuals have made substantial contributions to the campaign, including matching gifts that double the donation’s impact. We offer naming opportunities for those who wish to have their generosity remembered for generations to come.

The Old Town Hall Restoration Campaign Major Donors and Grantors Through December 2023 

​Over $50,000
Jane & Jack Fitzpatrick Trust
Estate of Christine & Ed McKenna
Massachusetts Cultural Council    
Massachusetts Historical Commission
$20,000 to $49,999
Zina Greene
William Loeb    
Diane & Darryl Mallah
Robert Salerno & Margaret Skaggs    
Richard M. Ziter, M.D. & Larry Vaber
$10,000 to $19,999
Liza & William Bennett 
Jerri & Dan Buehler 
C.C. Cave & Peter Rothstein
Constance Eagan 
Susan B. Fisher & Gary Schieneman 
Robert & Irma Gal 
Carol & Stuart Kuller 
$5,000 to $9,999
Birgit & Charles Blyth 
The Feigenbaum Foundation
Dale Flecker & Jaylyn Olivo 
Dr. David & Lea Finck 
William Goessel 
Jeanne S. Kangas & Robin Lazarow 
Marion Loeb Trust
Sybil Pollet
Martine & William B. Reed
Anne & Joseph Roy, Jr. 
Naomi & Ernest Von Simson 
$2,000 to $4,999
Aegon Transamerica Foundation 
Alison & Marshall Ash 
Berkshire Bank
Eric & Cheryl Beall 
Sandra Burnett & Worth Auxier 
David & Maria Carls 
William Cavanagh & Ricki Gardner
Joe & Marge F. Engelberger 
Ronald Feldman & Elizabeth Morse
William & Sandra Flannery
Ruth Fraley
Denise Glasser 
Andi & Jeff Goodman 
Lee & Elizabeth Guittar 

Felicia & John Hendrix
Joyce Hergenhan 
Andrew & Lorrin Krouss
Michael & Victoria Maclennan 
Peter Metz 
Rich Moffatt 
Dr. Edmund & Elizabeth Parnes
Irving & Sharon Picard 
R. Eric Reimer 
Dr. Judith & Ernst Rosenberger 
Harry & Eileen Weinstein 
Carter White 
William & Jeannie Zox          

​$1,000 to $1,999
Bermil Foundation, Inc. 
Gene Dellea 
Roland & Regina Dudney 
Nancy Fitzpatrick & Lincoln Russell
Jane Harte 
Walter & Nancy Howell 
The Lassor & Fanny Agoos Charity Fund
Jill Pixley 
Abby Pratt 
Janine & William Reid
Dennis W. Rocheleau 
Steve & Erika Sautman 
Sheila & Randy Thunfors 
Nancy & Louis Trionfo
Ruth Tucker
Turn Park Art Space 
$500 to $999
Robert & Lucy Bellville 
Bruce & Susan Berger 
Helene Berger 
Phyllis & Paul Berz
Vicki Bonnington
David & Annie Boughton 
Hillary & Jay Cohen 
Sue & Jim Coxon 
Jackie Del Rossi & Lew Friedman
Barbara & Emma Dowling 
Diane Ducat 
Michael & Carolyn Friedman 
The GE Foundation 
Vicki Grayson & Alan Thiel
Heller & Robbins
Ellin & Stuart Hirsch
Lucy Holland & Charles Schulze 
David & Jennie Jadow
Kelly & William Kaiser
Rita J. & Stanley H. Kaplan Family Fnd
Joan & Paul Kopperl 
Rozann Kraus & Dan Epstein
Murray & Patricia Liebowitz 
Madeline & Martin Lizt 
Christine & Angelo Merola
Richard & Beth Milstein 
Pittsfield Cooperative Bank
Ellen Hart Mulvey 
Alexander & Judith Nardacci 
Judy & Stuart Nevins
Doane Perry & Karen Carmean
Prudential Financial 
Jordan Ruboy 
Ronald & Susan Schain 
Geraldine & James Schlueter 
Joan & Tingey Sewall 
Shaker Mill Books
Liz & Sol Shalit 
Arthur & Mary Ann Siskind 
Six Depot Roastery & Cafe 
Joanne Yurman & Thomas Walsh


​With Special Thanks to Our Restoration Campaign Construction Partners
J. Harwood Architect
Bill Nappo and Grayhouse Partners
A-1 Security
The Floor Store

Town Hall History
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