Town Hall Building Changes

In 1902 hardwood floors were installed in Upper Town Hall. The space has been a basketball court, a ballroom, a movie theater, the scene of many weddings, showers, town celebrations and all Town Meetings before the High School was built.

The layout of the inside has changed often to accommodate new administrative needs. The Town’s jail used to be in the basement. (More on the former jail in a future Holliston Reporter article.) There was a store in the space that the Select Board now uses. In the early 2000s, Town Hall was entirely refurbished, and the office spaces in the basement and on the first floor were redesigned.

Fast forward to today.

Shiny new flooring in Upper Town Hall
  • The floor in Upper Town Hall was replaced last fall. It was too worn to be refinished yet again. The room will likely be used for meetings more frequently now that windows have been improved and the Conference Room in the basement has been eliminated.

    The town will resume renting the space for private events soon. Because the septic tank failed – and then COVID hit – Upper Town Hall has not been rented since 2019. The rental fees are being revised to ensure they cover the real costs for repairs, maintenance and security costs. Those fees are maintained in a Revolving Fund.

    Below, just off the main hall, behind the charming old ticket window, there was a storage closet that is now a small meeting space.
  • The septic system has been replaced using a corner of the lawn of the First Congregational Church. The plantings and patio will be replaced in the spring.
Left, Ms. Houle’s office. Right, Ms. Buckley’s office.
  • The Pinecrest Conference Room in the basement has been redesigned to create two small offices for Human Resources staff. The new Assistant Town Administrator/Director of Human Resources, Kathleen Buckley, uses one, and Cheryl Houle, the Human Resources Benefits Specialist, occupies the other. Cheryl was relocated from the Treasurer’s office. The Assistant Town Administrator/HR Director is a redefined position, and Holliston now has its first professional Human Resources person. Since many of the HR conversations are very private in nature, these staff needed actual offices.
  • The windows in the building are original. There were modifications and some storm windows added when the building was rehabbed, but many windows have not worked properly for decades. When COVID came along, it was impossible to open some of them for proper air circulation. Using federal funds, the windows were all retrofitted with new pulleys and weights and now function.

    The new storm windows are better quality and fit the windows including the arches at the tops of the palladium windows. The Town received approval from the Massachusetts Historical Commission to do that work now that energy efficiency is so important.
Storm windows being installed. Just in time for the winter weather.
  • Finally…

    On the outside, when the contractors were installing storm windows, they found some rot in the soffits at the roof line and repaired that damage.

New electronic locks will replace the keys on Town Hall’s exterior doors soon which will enable tracking of the cards. Over the years, the many volunteers on boards were given keys. Too many simply forgot they had them and probably wondered years later what that key went to!

When the pandemic winds down, please stop in to see the many Town Hall upgrades (personnel and facilities) that have taken place in the past couple of years.

Publishers’ Note: Just coincidently, Bobby Blair and Mary Greendale wrote stories this week that reference how the First Congregational Church and the Town have shared property.


Mary Greendale


  1. Robin Turner on January 16, 2022 at 8:31 am

    A truly gorgeous building! Thank you for the update!

  2. Vin Murphy on January 16, 2022 at 2:10 pm

    Mary, thank you for the detailed update.