Work on Nashua's Hunt Memorial Building nears completion
By KIMBERLY HOUGHTON
Union Leader Correspondent |
December 30. 2013 9:55PM
NASHUA — The historical Hunt Memorial Building is nearing the end of its extensive restoration project, which has included more than $1 million in renovations.
Work on the refurbished 1903 building has been under way in various stages since 2004 but is now almost complete.
According to Mayor Donnalee Lozeau, the final masonry work is expected to take place this coming spring.
The aldermanic Finance Committee recently approved $30,634 in masonry work on the building, which is designed to fix hidden leaks from deteriorated plaster and problems associated with Hurricane Irene in 2011 and the October Nor’easter just two months later.
Earlier this month, the committee authorized Schroeder Construction Management Inc. to complete the last phase of the work to eliminate additional water infiltration surrounding the masonry and flashing. The same firm has performed other improvements to the building as well.
“This should be the end of it,” Lozeau told the committee. Once the masonry work is complete, the only renovations remaining include exterior painting of window trim and molding.
Since so much money has already been invested to improve the interior of the building, Lozeau said it is important to protect the outside of the building as well.
“I think this is a landmark in the community,” Alderman-at-Large David Deane said of the Hunt Memorial Building. “This is the history of the city — you’ve got to keep some of it.”
According to Deane, there were talks about possibly selling the building decades ago. Deane said he is pleased the city ultimately decided to keep and restore the structure.
Located on Library Hill and prominently visible on Main Street, the Hunt Memorial Building has seen more than $1 million in renovations in recent years.
Six private offices were previously constructed into the layout of the beautifully refurbished building, which also includes a large common area rented for events such as weekend piano recitals, anniversary parties and bridal showers.
The building at 6 Main St. was originally constructed in 1903 as the Hunt Memorial Library, in memory of a former city postmaster, John M. Hunt. It was later entered in the National Register of Historic Places and eventually served as the school district’s administrative offices when a new public library was constructed.
The facility is now owned by the city and managed by a volunteer board of trustees. Following years of neglect, the Board of Aldermen in 2009 approved a City Building Improvements bond that included $1 million for the complete restoration of the Hunt Memorial Building.
The massive renovation project began in February 2011, and most of the work was completed by the end of 2012. Ralph Adams Cram’s successor firm, Cram & Ferguson Architects, was hired to transform the building into a multi-purpose facility that is fully handicapped accessible.
The renovation project has included new windows, flooring, air conditioning, heating system, elevator and paint. The newest masonry work is expected to take about three weeks to complete once the weather is warmer.