Monday, May 18, 2009

Salem Old Town Hall

Today I'm passing on an excellent letter of grattitude from Tom Daniel at the City of Salem regarding the Partners in Preservation vote that has been going on for the past 5 weeks.


Thank you to everyone for your support of Old Town Hall! While we weren’t able to move out of second place, we did have a tremendous amount of support. This is a testament to the importance of Old Town Hall (and historic preservation) to the community. Congratulations to the Paragon Carousel for winning the popular vote.

Although Old Town Hall didn’t win the popular vote, it still may receive Partners in Preservation grant funding. American Express, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and an Advisory Committee made up of civic and preservation leaders in Greater Boston will determine which of the remaining 24 sites will receive funding. They will be announcing their decision on June 16.

We also have some great news to share about Old Town Hall:
  • First, this past Friday we learned that Old Town Hall received a $174,000 grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund. The fund is used to support building projects that increase tourism, create new jobs, leverage private funding, and expand arts and cultural activities in communities across the state. The grant funds will be used to make the building more accessible, repair damaged windows, and replace the heating system.

  • Second, the City is moving forward with repairing the restrooms in the basement. Once the work is completed, the public restrooms will be available whenever Gordon College’s building manager is on site.

The City’s partnership at Old Town Hall with Gordon College has been critical to both the Partners in Preservation and Cultural Facilities Fund grant applications. Gordon College’s regular presence in the building also means the public restrooms will be available more often than they would be otherwise.

And even more good news:

  • Later this month, the City will be putting seven tables and twenty chairs in Derby Square for public use during the day.

  • And last, thanks to Salem Main Streets, there are some great new events coming to Old Town Hall and Derby Square: The Salem Arts Festival will be held June 5-7, 2009. It is a free festival and has a tremendous line up. And the Salem Farmers’ Market starts Thursday, June 25, 2009—375 years after the first market was held.

So, although we didn’t come in first in the Partners in Preservation vote, we have a lot to celebrate—and hopefully even more good news on June 16.

Thank you—and your friends, families, and colleagues—for all of your efforts.


Tom Daniel, AICP
Economic Development Manager
Department of Planning and Community Development
City of Salem

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