66 Central Sq
Architecture, Community Planning, Politics Government
Bridgewater Town Center
Massachusetts Historical Commission Report
Architecturally, the Town Hall or Town House and the First Parish Church on School St. are Bridgewater's finest Greek Revival buildings. The Town Hall, along with the New Jerusalem Church, Bridgewater Academy, and Congregational Church, provide a visually strong, architecturally distinguished southern enframement for the Common. The Town Hall's main facade is characterized by robust elements and a high degree of symmetry. Its monumental Corinthian and Doric pilasters divide the flush board covered main facade into three segments. Surmounting its modern metal doors are large wooden panels and bracketed door hood. The main facade's pilasters "support" a heavy classical entablature and a fully enframed attic/pediment which contains a date plaque which reads "1843".
Since 1843, the Town Hall or Town House has been an important center of Bridgewater community life. Completed 3 years before the coming of the Old Colony Railroad to Bridgewater, this solid structure reflects Bridgewater's prosperity at mid century. By the 1840's important Bridgewater industrial concerns included Lazell, Perkins Ironworks, The Eagle Cotton Gin Co., and Bartlett Brothers Tack Factory. The first Town Hall (apparently built during the 1830s) stood on the site of the New Jerusalem Church. According to Hurd's History of Plymouth County (1884) David Bartlett was the Town House's architect. Flora K. Little claims that Solomon K. Eaton, architect of the First Parish Church (1845) and the Congregational Church (1862) designed this building. During the early 1900s silent movies were shown in the Town Hall's second floor hall by Charles Barb and John Cohrane. These enterprising men later relocated to the Princess Theater on Broad St. (no longer existent, formerly adjacent to Larry's restaurant).