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Monday, February 5, 2007

A home for the arts in Berlin

Berlintownhall.JPG
Old Town Hall during renovations in 2004
(Globe Staff Photo by Bill Polo)

BERLIN

Almost seven years after it was shut down and following four years of volunteer renovations, the former Town Hall is officially open for use as an arts center after being issued a permanent occupancy permit last week.

Berlin Building Commissioner Lawrence Brandt issued the permit for the Woodward Avenue building January 31, according to Walter Bickford, the volunteer Town Hall renovation coordinator. The first event at the town hall was a contra dance on Saturday night. A grand opening celebration is in the planning stages, Bickford said.

Bickford and dozens of town residents donated their time and resources and spent more than $20,000 in town funds - to revamp the 137-year-old building in the center of town. The white two-story building has been vacant since it was last used as a place for town business in June 2000, when the town office building opened on Linden Street.

-- Jennifer Rosinski

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