HD Map# 43

Overview of Historic District and Source of following text.

43.  Town Hall, 7 Monument Square, 1886.  Contributing building.


Constructed in 1886, the Hollis Town Hall is a distinctive example of Queen Anne civic architecture and one of only a handful of buildings of this era in the district.  Characteristic of its style, the building displays an asymmetrical design and a variety of forms, textures and materials, all of which was originally enhanced by a polychromatic paint scheme.  The first floor of the building is constructed of brick laid in a red mortar with brownstone trim and a continuous corbeled cornice.  A semi-circular brick projection a single story in height is located on the north side.  The second story, including the hundred foot tower at the southwest corner, is sheathed in wood shingles laid in a staggered butt pattern with a cornice of small brackets.  The main block is capped by a steeply-pitched hip roof with slightly lower hip-roofed masses set at right angles projecting from the front and rear.  All of the masses display decorative ridge ornaments including hip rolls.  An elaborate exterior brick chimney, paneled and corbeled, rises along the south wall. 


The off center main entrance is recessed behind two brick semicircular arches decorated by brownstone springblocks.  Each of the wooden double doors displays four horizontal panels and the doors are set in a fluted molding with cornerblocks.  A band of three small rectangular windows with sandstone sills is located on either side of the entrance and are filled with decorative colored glass.  The windows on the second floor of the facade include an arched window filled with colored glass set into a square surround capped by a pediment.  Over the entrance there is a set of five windows set into an incised surround.  Above the windows the recessed horizontal panels are filled with diagonal boards except for the center panel which is filled with vertical boards.  On the south wall there are three sets of windows displaying a half round stained glass window over a paired Queen Anne-style window.  The lower level of brick is punctuated by arched windows containing 1/1 sash.  The section is capped by a frieze of recessed squares.  The north wall is punctuated by a distinctive Queen Anne style window with a border of colored glass and an arched transom. 


At the second floor level, the tower is punctuated by another pedimented window.  Adjacent to the clock faces, the tower is sheathed in vertical board and batten siding, replacing an original sunburst design.  There are three vertical rectangular openings on each side of the belfry.  The frieze above the openings is bracketed and the tower is capped by a steeply-pitched pyramidal asphalt roof with copper weathervane. 


To the south of the original town hall building, a three-bay, single-story  fire station addition was constructed in 1950.  In recent years this was retrofitted for a community room and the bays were filled with windows with brownstone lintels and sills.  The hip roof on the addition is capped by a rectangular ventilator and the building is fronted by a concrete ramp.


An article appearing in the Hollis Times on December 16, 1886 describes in detail the new Town Hall and its dedication.  The building was built by A.L. Robertson of Manchester from plans by Manchester architect William Butterfield.  As originally constructed the building was painted in dark tints to harmonize with the roof which was covered with shingles and painted dark red.  At town meeting in 1902 it was voted to buy a clock and bell for the tower.  The bell, weighing over 1/2 ton, was made in Baltimore.  The clock was made by George M. Stevens of Boston.  In 1950 a three-bay fire station addition was constructed, attached to the south wall of the town hall.  This now serves as a community meeting room.