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Community Preservation Program

Newton City Hall

location: 1000 Commonwealth Avenue
Newton Centre, MA 02459
goals: Preserve, restore and rehabilitate key, character-defining historic features and significant historic artifacts held in Newton's 1932 Georgian-style City Hall, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and the surrounding landscape designed by the Olmsted Brothers firm, while allowing this historic building to meet current community needs. 

See also City Archives page for related projects at several sites, including but not limited to City Hall.
total funding:
$446,910 CPA funds appropriated (historic resources)
$386,150 CPA funds spent (all unspent balances returned to Community Preservation Fund)


additional PA requests anticipated (based on Fy14-19 Capital Improvement Plans)
NOTE: Amounts above exclude the City-owned Civil War Monument, on the grounds of the private Newton Cemetery.
individual projects:

City Hall War Memorial Auditorium  (incl. "Accessibility & Acoustics" proposal withdrawn, project funded from other sources)

City Hall Balustrade, Windows & Lighting
City Hall Landscape

For building:
Public Buildings Commissioner
City of Newton
52 Elliot Street
Newton Upper Falls, MA 02464
phone: 617.796.1600

For historic art, artifacts & archives:
City Clerk
Newton City Hall
1000 Commonwealth Avenue
Newton Centre, MA 02459
phone: 617.796.1210

For landscape:
Commissioner of Parks & Recreation
City of Newton
124 Vernon Street
Newton, MA 02458
email: &
phone: 617.796.1500

the historic significance of Newton City Hall:
1997 listing of Newton City Hall on the National Register of Historic Places
February 2012 City Hall Historic Building Report - from CPA-funded series for all historic City buildings

City Hall War Memorial Auditorium

Exterior Stairs Provide detailed recommendations for the restoration of stonework and masonry, including appropriate mortar, of the exterior stairs leading to the War Memorial Auditorium entrance on the west side of City Hall.  Note:  This study also included the municipal Civil War Monument, built of similar materials but located on the grounds of the nearby Newton Cemetery (private).
Acoustics & Accessibility Rehabilitate the War Memorial Auditorium by providing wheelchair access compliant with current standards, and improve acoustics in both the Auditorium and Aldermanic Chamber, to make these historic spaces usable for a wider range of public events while preserving their historically significant features.
total funding:
2004 assessment of War Memorial exterior stairs:
$15,000 CP funds appropriated & spent (historic resources)

2013-14 acoustics & accessibility project:
$80,000 federal (CDBG) funds spent
$749,950 CPA funds roriginally equested (historic resources)
$581,741 additional CPA funds that would have been requested if scope of work was expanded at CPC request
$1,331,704 max. total CPA funds that would have been requested
Proposal Review & Appropriations
Exterior Stairs
15 October 2004 Proposal for Assessment
30 March 2005 CPC funding recommendation
16 May 2005  Board order (appropriation)
Acoustics & Accessibility
February-July 2013 pre-proposal
18-20 December 2013 corrected full proposal (orig. submission 15 November 2013):
main proposal (including photos, project manager, sponsor capacity, historic analysis)
project budgets (development & operating)
project site & floor plans, elevations:     
 part 1 part 2  part 3 
These files are large and may load slowly. Many of these files are sized for 24x36 inch paper; details may be hard to read if printed at smaller sizes. For on-screen reading, set display to 100% or larger. 
additional background documents:
fall 2012 historic building report for City Hall
spring 2013 acoustical analysis of City Hall War Memorial Auditorium and Aldermanic Chamber 
spring 2013 elevator feasibility study
fall 2013 City of Newton Capital Improvement Plan for Fy2015-19, listings for all City Hall projects
26 February 2013 slide presentation to CPC public hearing
19-23 June 2014 revised draft proposal, with potential expanded/alternative scope requested by the CPC (accessible exterior entrance and restrooms; exterior elevator as alternative for accomplishing project goals)
14 July 2014 Public Buildings' request for the CPC to hold this proposal temporarily 
10 April 2015 Public Buildings' official withdrawal of this proposal (project funded from non-CPA sources)
Project News
Exterior Stairs
June 2006 Interim Assessment Report
June 2007 Final Assessment Report, including recommendations (long file, may load slowly) and plans 

City Hall Balustrade, Windows & Lighting

goals: Restore key, character-defining features of Newton's 1932 Georgian-style City Hall, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places: balustrade and cupola, arched wood windows (especially in the second-floor Aldermanic Chambers and War Memorial Auditorium); lighting in main public corridors.
total funding:
$391,260 CPA funds appropriated 2003-04 (historic resources)
$330,500 CPA funds spent 2004-2008 (unspent balance returned to CP Fund)
$1,093,000 CPA funds to be requested as of 2012 (historic resources)


total of CPA funds spent and anticipated requests
Proposal Review & Appropriations
December 2002 combined proposal for multiple features of City Hall (cupola & balustrade, windows, lighting)
8 January 2003 revised proposal:

summary & additional detailed scope of work, especially for windows

photos (primarily windows) & plans (roof & cupola)
February 2003

revised budget and additional detail/specifications for scope of work, all features

eligibility for additional support from the Massachusetts Preservation Projects Fund
7 April 2003 CPC funding recommendation
May 2003-May 2004 Board orders (appropriations):

windows, $119,400

lighting, $96,200

cupola & balustrade, $150,660

transfer from balustrade to lighting, $25,000 already appropriated but unspent, no new appropriation)
3 July 2012 City Hall historic windows pre-proposal
2 November 2012 The City of Newton postponed submission of a full proposal.
24 July 2013 The CPC agreed to consider a full proposal once a prototype study has been completed to assess repair, restoration and replacement options for the various styles of historic windows in City Hall.
Project News
2003-04 original project timelines
7 June 2013 consultant assessment report on City Hall windows

City Hall Landscape

goals: Provide a phased plan for the preservation and rehabilitation of this award-winning landscape, designed and installed in 1931-32 by Henry Vincent Hubbard of the Olmsted Brothers firm to complement the Georgian design of Newton's new City Hall, with ponds fed by Cold Spring Brook.
total funding:
$40,650 CP funds appropriated & spent (historic resources),including $650 for City of Newton legal services
Proposal Review & Appropriations
27 April 2005 preservation plan: CPC funding recommendation
2 June 2005 preservation plan: Board order (appropriation)
8 August 2005 Board order (supplemental appropriation for City of Newton legal services)
October 2006-
January 2007 
Implementation Proposal, Phase 1:



budget details & phasing
Project News
October 2006 Final Preservation Report & Recommendations (long files, may load slowly)


intro & chapter 1

chapter 2

chapter 3

chapter 4

chapter 5

chapters 6-7