New Hampshire Town Meetinghouses
Bradford Town Meetinghouse
Bradford, New Hampshire
Bradford was incorporated in 1787. In 1796 monies were appropriated and a site chosen for a new Meetinghouse. In 1797, the original Meetinghouse (now the Town Hall) was built at Bradford Center (several miles from the current downtown). The Bradford Town Hall was reconstructed on West Main Street, using timbers from the dismantled 1797 Meetinghouse from Bradford Center, in 1863.
Today the Town Hall is a two and one-half story frame building with five bays and three chimneys. The three central bays form a pavilion with 9/6 sash windows on the first story and 9/9 sash windows on the second.. The front entrance consists of two six-paneled doors flanked by pilasters and surmounted by a later applied pediment that conceals the original entablature.
Changes to the building include an addition that included a stage area in 1906, two exterior fire escapes added to the east and west ends in 1929, the addition of new windows throughout and the installation of rest rooms and kitchen facilities in 1965, and recent interior renovations to create office space.
In 1980, Town Hall was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. An architecturally prominent feature on Main Street, Town Hall is part of the core of the village with Brown Memorial Library opposite and First Baptist Church diagonally opposite, Bradford Fire Department on the Town Hall side complete the public core of the west end of Main Street.
For several years, codes deficiencies (e.g. the lack of fire sprinklers and handicapped access) have restricted the public use of the second floor.
The challenge is to preserve Town Hall and build a comprehensive plan to restore public functions while helping the town meet current required codes and regulations so that the building can be passed on to future generations in better shape than currently exists for the public’s benefit.
R. Wendell Philips AIA Architect
Consultants:Nick Cricenti Fire Safety Engineer
WV Engineering Associates Mechanical
Verne Verne G. Norman Associates, Inc. Electrical Engineer
Springfield, New Hampshire
Client: Town of Springfield
Architect: R. Wendell Phillips and Associates
Frank Forcer, Stantec Engineering structural
William Hoffman, Landscape Architect
Paul F. Padua, Mechanical Engineer
The Project: The Meeting house was 205 years when it was renovated in order to eliminate the deterioration of the main level due to surface ground water running under the building. The building was moved to the present site on Four Corners Road in 1851 with the aid of horses for and aft.
The building was raised and a new foundation was built. The new basement and crawl space houses the furnace and oil tank which was located on the first floor. The relocation permitted the kitchen enlargement
The first floor has a stage and multi-purpose room for town meetings. The second floor is a former church.
All exterior and interior finished were restored.
The site was re-graded and landscaped.