In 1884 the people of Middlebury erected their first town hall. Located on a prominent site overlooking the town green, the handsome building was punctuated by a soaring tower that housed the town bell. Town offices occupied the basement, and on the main floor a majestic 600-seat theater gave the community a place for plays, concerts, dances, speeches and town meeting - and eventually, that new-fangled invention called moving pictures.
For nearly 75 years, the Town Hall was the heart of community life in Middlebury.
In the 1950's, the town offices moved to the old high school, and the building was sold to private owners. The ornate stage and curved balcony were ripped out. Exquisite stained-glass windows were covered with brick. Over time, lack of maintenance caused multiple cracks to appear in the masonry walls. The walls were tilting at dangerous angles, and rain trickled through holes in the slate roof.
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