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Ware Town Hall

The Ware Town Hall, located at the corner of Main Street and West Street, was built in 1885.

Boston-based architects Hartwell and Richardson designed the brick, Romanesque Revival building.

It replaced an earlier town hall built in 1847 that burned down in 1867.

The building’s clock was donated to the town by the prominent Storrs family in 1901.

In the early twentieth century, the Ware Town Hall also served as a movie theater, with films shown

in the large hall on the main floor.

The building was repaired after a 1935 fire and an a addition was added

at the same time.

In 1986, the Ware Town Hall was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

 

Ware Center Meeting House

The Ware Center Meeting House is the oldest church in Ware.

Built in 1799 as the First Congregational Church, it also served as the center of town government and the place where town meetings were held.

The belfry features a bell cast in 1859 by the G.H. Holbrook Bell Foundry. Holbrook was an apprentice of Paul Revere.

Also on this site are a historic burial ground and a replica of the building’s original carriage shed, made with wood recovered during repairs to the historic Ware-Hardwick covered bridge.

Over time, Ware’s population shifted from agriculture towards industrialization. Activity centered around the mills situated on the Ware River in the eastern part of town and housing, stores and new churches were built to accommodate mill workers. When Ware’s first town hall was built in 1847, it was located near the mills.  By the 1980s, the Ware Center Meeting House was rarely used.

On April 14, 1986, a fire  caused significant damage to this historic building. Restoration efforts continue to this day. The building is owned by the Proprietors of the Ware Center Meeting House. It’s home to the Ware Historical Society, which operates a museum on the first floor. During Ware’s 250th Anniversary Celebration in 2011, a time capsule was buried on the site.

 

Master Plan!

In the Fall of 2012, the Town of Ware embarked upon a large-scale Master Plan process. Using supporting research conducted by the UMass Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning Department, this year-long process will create a 10-year vision and strategic plan for Ware in areas ranging from community and economic development, education, housing, infrastructure, and transportation.

UMass graduate student, Christina Mills, is continuing the work begun last fall to examine the current business mix of the downtown, the available space for new businesses and the way residents and consumers use the downtown and the types of businesses they want to see.

Beginning this week, consumers from Ware and surrounding towns are invited to participate in a Customer Survey of Ware’s Downtown. The survey takes less than 5 minutes to complete and has been designed to gather basic information about customer activity – or non-activity.  It provides a range of suggested business types which could foster the development of a more vibrant, walkable and engaging downtown.  Finally, it asks a few questions about how the respondent feels about existing businesses (hours, variety, quality) and parking.

Take the survey online here!

 

Revitalization Discussion

This discussion is a forum for anyone to add their thoughts about revitalizing downtown Ware. It comes after a presentation by Christina Mill who holds a Master of Regional Planning degree from UMass.

We hope to have a link to her powerpoint presentation here shortly.

 

Welcome New Members!

Our most recent members include:
Monson Savings Bank
Canadian Tree Expert

Fall Fest 2013 is coming!

The WBCA’s most popular event is in the planning stages. We hope to expand on the Fall Fest of last year.