Municipal

Francestown Town Hall

Francestown, NH

History
Built in 1847, Francestown’s Town Hall began as a civic and religious meeting place, and later became a prominent New England academy (1800-1921) that graduated the 14th President of the United States. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Assumption
Villages not only rely on community spaces for vital civic and social gatherings, but also for revenue generated by the renting of the space.

Approach
In 2012, the Town Hall was declared condemned. In order to restore this essential structure, a complete rehabilitation project was necessary. MPA designed a preservation plan that included foundation shoring, second floor structure replacement, ADA accessibility upgrades, and an addition to house an egress stair.

Alchemy
Today, Francestown’s Town Hall retains its quintessential New England charm while functioning as a safe and pleasant gathering place for Town Meeting, civic engagements, dances, concerts, and a host of private functions.

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Jaffrey Meeting House

Jaffrey, NH

History
According to historians, the Jaffrey Meeting House was raised on June 17, 1775, the very day of the Battle of Bunker Hill, and sounds of cannonade could be heard by builders. A bell tower was added in 1822, complete with a bell cast by the Paul Revere Foundry. Considered Jaffrey’s “dearest treasure,” the Meeting House has long been the architectural pillar of this community. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Assumption
Jaffrey’s Meeting House is the pinnacle of its historic district and a source of great pride within the community. Revenue is generated through concerts, forums, and private rentals.

Approach
One of the few Meetinghouses in New Hampshire with a wood shingle roof, the MPA team designed and oversaw an historic wood shingle roof replacement. Recently, MPA was retained to complete a Historic Building Assessment which was used to obtain a NH LCHIP Historic Resource Grant to fund the tower rehabilitation – a project MPA is currently working on.

Alchemy
The ultimate outcome to this historic restoration is that the building retains its visual purity.

Whitcomb Hall

Swanzey, NH

History
Built in 1916 after being commissioned by a local industrialist, Whitcomb Hall served as a community gathering place until it was shuttered in 1988. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Assumption
The much-needed revitalization of this small village depends on revenue from private events, many of which can be accommodated within this village hall.

Approach
The historic wood frame of this building required a sprinkler system, an elevator, and code compliant means of egress. MPA also designed updated finishes including new lighting.

Alchemy
This historic building retains its original tin ceiling after repair and restoration, and the space now accommodates 175 people within its second floor auditorium.

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I did not yet receive images for this project

 

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George Holmes Bixby Memorial Library

Francestown, NH

History
This historic library was begun, in concept, in 1805, with the purchase of 5,000 books by the Proprietors of the Social Library. Housed in the residence of a local lawyer, the books and structure were destroyed by fire 50 years later. In 1873, new books were housed in a small shed on Main Street, and the town hired its first librarian. The formal library was built in 1932.

Assumption
Libraries continue to be multi-use buildings where children can play or study, adults can read the local paper and select weekly reading material, and meetings can be held. Growth is inevitable, but historic vernacular is imperative.

Approach
Design an addition that worked seamlessly with the structures along an historic Main Street. Rehabilitate the second floor of the library to bear the weight of additional books. Create an addition that would allow for the expansion of youth reading spaces, as well as provide meeting space for the community. Add an elevator to meet ADA requirements, and utilize geothermal technology to provide maximum energy efficiency.

Alchemy
The addition resembles a small farmhouse, blending perfectly with the New England landscape.

Southwest NH Fire Mutual Aid SWNHFMA

Keene, NH

History
The dispatch center for Southwest New Hampshire serves 76 communities for fire and emergency services.

Assumption
All response organizations now need to meet Department of Homeland Security building requirements.

Approach
Originally the site of the Keene, New Hampshire central fire station, this historic building was in need of a reuse plan that would take into account the requirements for post-9/11 emergency centers.

Alchemy
MPA created an adaptive reuse plan to include bulletproof steel, windows, and glazing while remaining true to the historic aesthetic of the building and surrounding neighborhood.

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Wheelock Park Concession Stand and Restrooms

Keene, NH

History
In 1866, George Wheelock donated 25 acres of land in Keene, New Hampshire for conservation purposes which later became a park. A lawyer, naturalist, and landscape architect, Wheelock played an important role in the protection of the Ashuelot valley.

Assumption
The visitor experience is significantly enhanced by clean, accessible services within public parks.

Approach
Durability was the main priority of this project. With a nod to the updated National Park style of concession and restroom construction, MPA used timbers and fiber cement siding to achieve a natural aesthetic.

Alchemy
The new and inviting concession kitchen is easy to clean and maintain, promoting the return of vendors each year to rent out this space. Restrooms are streamlined, clean, and easily accessible.

Mont Vernon Town Hall

History
Incorporated in 1803, Mont Vernon still reflects traditional, New England living with historic buildings framing its community center.

Assumption
In order to repurpose this historic building to make room for consolidated town offices, a keen eye was needed to preserve as much as possible while transforming the space into a hub for town government.

Approach
An adaptive reuse plan was designed for the second floor that includes a mix of interior walls with windows within them, and full glass walls to the tray ceiling. The historic stage was glassed in to create a conference room.

Alchemy
Modern functionality pairs with historic charm in this quintessential New England town hall.

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