In 1852 town meeting in Fitchburg voted to appoint a committee to investigate the construction of a new Town Hall to replace the long-inadequate 1792 structure at the Upper Common. After several years of wrangling over where to locate the building, the building committee agreed that the hall should be built just south of the Upper Common.
Town meeting appropriated $20,000 with $14,000 earmarked for the building, $2,000 for furnishings and $4,000 for the land.
When all the bids came in higher than the allotted amount, one of the building committee members, Col. Ivers Phillips, resigned and agreed to build the building for that sum of money. He assembled a local stone mason, carpenter, timber framer, brick-maker and a team of laborers to build the Town Hall, completing the task in time for the dedication ceremony on January 7, 1853.
The two story Italianate design featured brick walls on a granite foundation with brick pilasters and granite lintels, and a gently sloped slate roof. The design featured offices on the first floor and a large auditorium meeting room with balconies on the second floor.
Today we await for the new city hall to reopen its doors with the original foundation and brick walls that were placed on the grounds 167 years ago. The city is currently undergoing a major upgrade to the building and the lot.