QUINCY, MA – Nauset Construction recently completed the historic restoration and renovation of Old City Hall in Quincy, one of the oldest functioning City Halls in the nation. Built in 1844 and designed by Solomon Willard, the architect for the Bunker Hill Monument, the building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The restoration project included preserving the building’s granite façade, the addition of a structure connecting old city hall to the new city hall, restoring the second floor to its original design and adding meeting rooms and exhibition space.
Nauset was selected as construction manager in 2013 and broke ground shortly thereafter. Working closely with the Quincy architectural firm of Holmes & Edwards Inc. and the Massachusetts Historical Commission, many of the building features were restored to their original design, most notably the Great Hall, which had once served as the primary public meeting space for City residents and the City Council.
The Hall was painstakingly recreated to reflect its original magnificence, and now accommodates 200 persons for events such as the recent mayoral inauguration. New meeting space was also created for the City’s boards and commissions, along with exhibition space to display historic artifacts – including letters from John Adams, John Quincy Adams and John Hancock. In addition to the full restoration of the building’s granite façade, new windows and a new slate roof were installed as well as the entire mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems.
In addition to the extensive renovation work, the connecting structure between the Old City Hall and the new City Hall was demolished and rebuilt with a combination of steel and metal decking that incorporated a Pilkington framed glass system, and included a new traction elevator.
Nauset also converted the area in front of the new City Hall into a green space and installed an underground 20,000 gallon concrete vault located adjacent to the Historic Hancock Cemetery. The vault and associated equipment will serve a future water feature to be located near Quincy City Hall. The project also encountered some unforeseen challenges during the construction process which were resolved. Approximately one year into the renovations, a fire caused significant damage, destroying interior work and damaging areas of the granite masonry. Additionally, significant structural problems were discovered, which required extensive repairs.
“To see the transformation of the building from its deteriorated state to its former grandeur is amazing,” said Anthony Papantonis, President of Nauset Construction. “It’s a testament to all who worked on it, from the architect, to the historical commission to the subcontractors, who provided such beautiful work.”