Athenaeum Community Hall

Colors Before Restoration Restoration to Original Colors in 2007

Athenaeum Community Hall is a 19th century Saxonville historical landmark. Built in the 1840’s, it has served the town well over its many years. During its storied past it had many uses, including hospital, jail, newspaper press room for The Saxonville Mirror, polling place and school. It was also used as a community hall for dances, lectures, plays, religious services, sporting events, veterans' meetings and wedding receptions.

Friends of Saxonville is actively working with the City of Framingham to restore the building and return it to active commercial and community use.

Background:
It is currently owned by the City of Framingham. In 1995, the Town of Framingham closed the Athenaeum for some badly needed repairs. At the time, the building was being used as a meeting hall by various Veterans groups to hold their monthly or weekly meetings. This was the most common use of the building over the years. The Town’s administration made a promise to them at that time, that once the repairs were completed, they could return and again use the Athenaeum as their meeting place, as before. The heat and water were turned off, and the building was closed for work to begin.
The Town made structural repairs to the building, bracing it and repairing the roof, replacing some windows and repairing the columns. However, the funding was not sufficient for the full work needed to bring the building back to use, so the building has never re-opened.

Over the subsequent years, Framingham’s Town Meeting expressed its desire for the building to be restored and returned to its intended use as a Community Hall for all of Framingham. Friends of Saxonville has strongly encouraged and supported this effort.

Finally, in 2014, the Town funded construction plans for a full restoration.

The new restored Athenaeum Community Hall would provide modern meeting spaces for small to large groups. An elevator and ADA compliant features would allow the building to be used by everyone. Energy saving features will be incorporated to keep operating costs as low as possible.

Friends of Saxonville has committed to support the cost of restoration by providing 10% of the total cost of the restoration, or $360,000. Your support can help us reach this goal. Please consider making a donation to the Athenaeum Restoration Fund.

For more information:
Contact Jan Harrington at (508) 877-0520 or giftbk@aol.com.