Wellesley Town Hall // 1881 // Shaw & Hunnewell // Pretty interesting history with this one!
What is now the town of Wellesley was once called West Needham, and was a large neighborhood of the town of Needham. In 1880, West Needham, led by Horatio Hollis Hunnewell, pushed for succeeding and creating its own town.
Horatio promised to gift a central parcel of land he owned to the new town and fund a new town hall and library with a park surrounding, and town accepted. He suggested to name the newly founded town “Wellesley” after his wife’s maiden name “Welles”, they also agreed.
Within the year, Horatio hired his son’s architectural firm of Shaw & Hunnewell to design this immaculate Town Hall and library building. The design is a mixture of Richardsonian Romanesque and French Chateau.
The building stands proudly in the center of what has become somewhat of a “tear down town” in my opinion, with massive bank accounts demolishing viable homes and businesses for many cookie-cutter designs.