Church & State Walking Tour: Town Hall

34 West Main Street

The first Town Hall was built in July of 1839. The Second Meeting House, where the Arcade Building now sits, had been sold in 1837 after church and state were officially separated in Massachusetts. Members of the Congregational Church split from the original congregation and built their own church, but a separate place was still needed to conduct town business. The first town hall was two stories high with a brick basement, and the dome on the top of the building held the town clock. The first floor had town offices on one side and a library on the other. In 1871, the Police Department also set up its headquarters in Town Hall. On the second floor was an auditorium, where people held lectures, dances, plays, and even the high school graduation. The annual town meeting was held there as well.

The Old Town Hall ca. 1900 (Westborough Public Library)
Dedication of the New Town Hall, program, 1929 (Westborough Public Library)

In 1927, the Forbes family donated $85,000 towards building a new town hall, so the old one was torn down. On July 23, 1929 the new town hall was finished, but this time it was made entirely of brick. Yet again, the ground floor was filled with offices, but the Police Department now had its own separate entrance, and court proceedings in an added courtroom were held here until 1972. Many social gatherings and events continued to be held in the upper floor, where an auditorium and memorial hall could be found. Eventually, the Police Department did not have enough room, so in 1981, the town voted to move the Police Department into the Forbes building across the street.

Town Hall

Click here to return to “The Early Development of Westborough through Church and State” walking tour