News Flash

Town News and Updates

Posted on: December 12, 2022

"Where Am I?" -- December 2022

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Middletown Town Hall has undergone a number of renovations and upgrades over the years, but that hasn't reduced the charm and individuality of the East Main Road government center. See one such example as the answer to this month's "Where Am I?"

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

CONTACT: Matt Sheley at (401) 842-6543 or msheley@middletownri.com  

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“WHERE AM I?” — DECEMBER 2022

 

MIDDLETOWN, R.I. (DECEMBER 9, 2022) – Middletown Town Hall is among the most recognizable buildings in town.


It’s white wooden clapboard siding are photographed and featured everywhere, maybe not as much as Boyd’s Windmill in Paradise Valley Park or the chapel at St. George’s School, but plenty nonetheless.


However, some of the cooler interior features of the government center at 350 East Main Road often go overlooked and under appreciated.


Take the semi-translucent skylight located by the back entrances to the building outside the Council Chambers meeting space.


Part of a 1989 expansion to the rear of Town Hall, the color of the skylights vary depending on perspective, adding a modern unique feel in a more traditional style structure.


According to a “Then & Now” write up from retired Newport Daily News reporter Joe Baker,  Middletown voters approved construction of a town hall in 1813. That came after 70 years of holding town meetings wherever space allowed.


At the time, a townhouse for the “poor” was also constructed, located to the northeast of the existing Town Hall. 


In 1885, Baker’s research showed a new Town Hall opened on the same property. That building underwent several additions in subsequent decades including a west wing in the early 1900s along with a east wing and new clock tower dedicated in 1940.


Baker’s work indicated the next round of additions came in the late 1980s, when voters okayed a more modern meeting room, an elevator, central air conditioning, sprinkler and alarm system.


As for the “poor” house, it was sold at auction to Pawtucket lawyer and State Sen. Peter Bouchard, who had it moved to a new lot in Portsmouth instead of being demolished.


Document Link: https://www.middletownri.com/DocumentCenter/View/6369/WAI-December-2022


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