Fitchburg, MA – Boston-based ICON Architecture has announced the recent completion of a major renovation of Fitchburg’s historic City Hall building.
The project is part of an ongoing renaissance of the city of Fitchburg with the artist and innovation economies at the forefront. In addition to City Hall, ICON is working on the former BF Brown School, as well as the Game Design Studio and Idea Lab in conjunction with Fitchburg State University as part of Phase I of the Main Street Theater Block, a restoration of a 1,200-seat performing arts center.
The City Hall building was built in 1853 and is a local historic landmark. ICON was challenged with balancing a legacy Greek Revival building with a modern work environment that could bring the city’s departments back together under one roof. A main goal was, by bringing City Hall back to Main Street, to create a “City Hall for All” that was accessible and functional for all departments and residents of Fitchburg.
Today, the 38,000sf renovation project is complete. The 1853 exterior has been fully restored, with the brownstone and terracotta details carefully repaired or replaced. The original entry has been reestablished as the building’s primary and fully accessible public entry.
The interior was wholly redesigned to accommodate 14 administrative departments including the office of the mayor. Straightforward wayfinding was an important design consideration.
“One of the most interesting elements we tasked ourselves with was bringing daylight into the building. Every office has access to daylight and views,” said Ned Collier, principal at ICON.
In addition to the City Hall building, an adjacent mid-1980’s building (formerly a bank), was converted into the legislative building, housing the city council chambers. The coffered high-ceilinged banking hall was ideal for the chamber with sufficient space for the 15-member council table and audience seating for up to 120 people.
As a stand-alone building, the chamber is easily accessible to the public for night meetings and flexible in its use during the day. All city departments have moved into their new respective spaces at the revitalized site.