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When was Ridgefield Town Hall built?



The Ridgefield Town Hall is one of the most recognizable buildings on Main Street—and rightfully so. Standing in the center of town for more than 100 years this three-story Georgian revival red-brick building, complete with trademark golden eagle over the entrance, has an exciting story to tell. 

The town-hall building that stands today is actually the third town hall Ridgefield has had. The original was built in 1876. That town hall was destroyed during the Great Fire of 1895. The present town-hall building was designed by Phillip Sunderland and built for $16,000 in 1896 with the financial help of area businessmen. 

In the early days Town Hall served as a center for government and was the hub of community activities: playing movies, hosting lectures, and even holding town dances.  

Ridgefield architect David Scott offered this fact: “The most interesting things I know about Town Hall is that basketball games used to be played in a room in the back.”  

Town Hall was also the headquarters for the Ridgefield Volunteer Fire Department until the firehouse on Catoonah Street was built in 1908. Photographs show a garage bay on the Bailey Avenue side that was used to house horse-drawn fire engines. 

But the volunteer fire department was not the only non-governmental organization housed at Town Hall. Ridgefield Savings Bank and First National Bank had walk-up windows in the front offices. Since the 1950s renovations (which converted all the space into offices), Town Hall has served as an office for the first selectman, treasurer, town clerk, tax collector, assessor, probate court, and registrars of voters.

 

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