Save the Clark's Block Concert Hall!
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YOUR HELP IS NEEDED TO SAVE THIS HISTORIC TREASURE IN NATICK, MA!
WHAT'S GOING ON: Natick's Friends of Concert Hall group is working to save the historic concert hall/ballroom from 1874, known formally as Concert Hall, in the Clark's Block building downtown from being converted into two floors of offices.
Currently in disrepair, the rendering above shows what it could look like if restored along with a smaller photo of what it looks like today.
Its owners, Kensington Investment Company, have made plans to convert this one of a kind landmark space into two floors of offices in early 2021 despite interest from academic and arts organizations to use the hall for ballroom dance, music and other artistic and cultural purposes.
Nathaniel Clark generously created this hall for townspeople to have a place to gather for meetings, concerts, dances, dinners and lectures. Restoring it to fulfill Clark's original mission would help transform our town center, support the shops and restaurants nearby, and attract more businesses to open in Natick Center.
Converting Concert Hall into offices would be a tremendous loss for Natick and the region.
THE GOAL: The Friends of Concert Hall group aims to encourage the owners to halt their plans and partner together to explore other options to see this beautiful and unique space restored and used for artistic and community gatherings that would enhance Natick Center's vibrancy and status as a regional arts center.
A restored hall would also generate a strong revenue source for the building owners.
WAYS TO FUND THE RESTORATION: Various financial resources could be used to help pay for this restoration, including historic tax credits (40% of the total restoration cost), support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, grants from foundations interested in arts, culture, and historic preservation, and philanthropy from individuals and local corporations.
One of the interested users has also expressed a willingness to help pay for the restoration.
The Friends of Concert Hall is willing to lead the effort to secure these funds.
WANT TO HELP? Please sign our petition and share it so that we can show the building owners that the people of Natick and beyond want to see Concert Hall restored and used in a way that promotes the arts, culture and community.
GET MORE INVOLVED: If you'd like to get involved with the effort to save Natick's Concert Hall please email firstname.lastname@example.org and visit our Facebook page- Preserve the Clark's Block Concert Hall https://www.facebook.com/groups/381313849815737
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE HISTORY OF CONCERT HALL:
Built in 1874 by Natick businessman and philanthropist Nathaniel Clark, Clark included Concert Hall in his immense Clark's Block building so that the citizens of Natick would have a place to come together as a community for town meetings, concerts, dances, group dinners, plays, and lectures by visiting dignitaries. In 1875, Concert Hall held the wake of President Ulysses S. Grant's Vice President, Henry Wilson, a Natick resident who died while serving in office.
The hall has been mostly unused for about eighty years. In the 1970s, its three chandeliers, stage and balcony were removed, and a hallway was constructed through it to connect the north and south sides of the building. Consequently the hall was only used for storage. Much of the ornate stage woodwork still exists on the second floor of the building, and two of the chandeliers are today in private homes.
PHOTOS AND MORE HISTORY: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?vanity=historicnatickphotos&set=a.119837898522672
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