Saving Historic Resources While Building for the Future

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Two Municipal Projects in Massachusetts that Saved Historic Resources While Building for the Future:

Two municipalities in Massachusetts were recently faced with similar challenges. Each had a significant historic resource in the center of its downtown area and each needed a new town hall. In one case the historic buildings had been abandoned and in the other there had been a fire. In both cases, returning city or town functions to the heart of the community was very important.

In Plymouth, DBVW restored an 1820 Courthouse and designed a large new addition to accommodate a new Town Hall. By moving municipal functions back to the center of historic Plymouth, the Town was able to save a very significant historic building while re-invigorating the center of town where several buildings had previously sat vacant and deteriorating.

In Taunton, the historic City Hall suffered a devastating fire which forced the municipal government to move to a vacant elementary school in a residential neighborhood. By restoring the 1898 granite building and designing a large new addition, DBVW Architects is assisting the City with rejuvenating the historic downtown area of Taunton and creating a municipal building that will last well into the future.

Ticket price is $10; Food and drinks provided.

These events are being recorded and photographed. By attending, you give your consent to be photographed, filmed, taped, and/or recorded.


Martha Werenfels

Principal, DBVW Architects

Martha is a nationally-recognized expert in the field of historic preservation. She has directed multiple phases of important preservation projects at some of the region’s most treasured landmark buildings. As an advisor to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Martha served on a national Sustainability Task Force focused on strengthening the important relationship between sustainability and historic preservation. Martha serves on the boards of GrowSmart RI and the Historic Preservation Education Foundation. She is a Governor-appointed member of the Capital Center Commission, a member of the RIHPHC review board, and a past-President of AIA/Rhode Island. When Martha is not climbing up steeples or through abandoned buildings, she can be found playing tennis or kayaking on the Narragansett Bay.