Provincetown History Snippets: How Did They Renovate Town Hall?
During the mid-to-late 1800s, towns in Massachusetts started building municipal halls complete with auditoriums as a way to end the practice of meeting in churches (to officially separate “church and state”) and Provincetown Town Hall was built with a large auditorium used for town meetings and a plethora of other activities, including roller skating, basketball games, dances, concerts, costume balls, wrestling matches, and the first Art Association show. By 2008, however, the hall was “dangerously overstressed” and renovation was critical. Town offices moved into a trailer complex on Jerome Smith Road until the building could re-open in 2010.
Outstanding renovation features include exposed former jail cells in the basement, lighting to show off the town’s multimillion-dollar art collection, and a historically accurate chandelier in the 600-person auditorium. The walls are painted Victorian-era colors and new architectural moldings define the ceiling, plastered with materials to improve acoustics.
History is just a renovation away: when sanders refinished the auditorium’s floor during the renovation, they uncovered the old basketball court markings!