Rehabilitation & Restoration
Constructed in 1834, the Sandwich Town Hall was one of the first town halls built in the Commonwealth, following an amendment to Article III of the Bill of Rights of the Constitution of the Commonwealth, which ensured the separation of church and state. Prior to the amendment, most town gatherings took place in meetinghouses built for both religious and civic purposes. The Greek Revival-style building has served as the seat of local government for over 176 years, and is a contributing element of the Town Hall Square National Register Historic District.
The project to rehabilitate and restore the town hall began in 2009, after several years of research and planning, and was completed in October of 2010. The first-floor corridor and office ceiling beams were preserved and remain exposed, as they have been since 1834. During the preservation of the entrance doors, it was discovered that they are the town hall's original doors and are signed by Solomon Howland, son of the building's master builder, Ellis Howland. The project also restored the original exterior paint colors, the 1870s stenciled ceiling of the Meeting Hall, and the 1914 Meeting Hall stage and building extension, the walls and ceiling of which had been extensively damaged over the years by water infiltration. New supporting piers and foundations replaced inadequate wood and brick piers in the cellar, where water intrusion was channeled and suppressed to mitigate a long-term, building-threatening condition. Sensitive changes for accessibility and functional use included elevating the entrance portico and installing an energy-efficient elevator, as well as installing additional restroom facilities and multi-zoned heating and air conditioning.