North Brookfield Town House
North Brookfield, MA
- Friends of North Brookfield Town House
- Long View Studios
AHF’s consulting services have helped the Friends of the North Brookfield Town House better position themselves to undertake the restoration of their iconic downtown municipal building. The Town House structure dates to 1864 and was known as “the center of everything” to generations of North Brookfield residents. General stores and a jail occupied the lower levels, while the upper floors, used for town meetings, Election Day polling, school dances, and performances, contained municipal offices and the Great Hall. The “Emperor of Broadway,” George M. Cohan, began his acting career on the Great Hall stage with his vaudeville family and, remembering his roots, returned to the Town House later in life to perform.
AHF has advised the Friends regarding project management, organizational capacity, visioning, and project visibility. Under our guidance, the Friends repositioned the Town House as a regional asset and found a strategic partner in Long View Farm Studios, a local music recording company. The Friends plan to redevelop the Town House as a regional arts and performance center operated by ROAR, which builds creative economies and fosters connection in rural communities through historic preservation and the arts. The ROAR project aims to serve as a replicable model for rural communities across the country. With Historic Tax Credits and state funding in hand and the town advancing a cohesive downtown development strategy, the Friends have made concrete headway towards the realization of their vision.