G.A.R. Hall was built in 1863 to serve as the vestry to the Baptist Church adjacent. Originally erected on Cabot Street, the building was moved to its present location in 1941. The architectural firm of Lord & Fuller of Salem, Mass. designed the structure. The design is Romanesque, rendered in wood, with octagonal buttresses at each corner which rise above the roof in pinnacles, flanking a central acroterion. In 1905 a projecting bay was added at the second floor.
After the Church vacated the building upon completion of their new Meeting House, the Town of Beverly purchased the building, which was used for the High School until 1875. In March of 1876, the Town meeting voted to allow veterans groups to use it. From that time until the 1930’s, the building housed other veterans groups, most notably the John H. Chipman Post 89, Grand Army of the Republic. More recently it has housed various City departments.
Adams & Smith did a study and historic structures report for the reuse of the building, including restoration of the exterior and interior renovations with accessibility improvements, to make the building useable by community groups. Phase 1, the restoration of the historic exterior to its 1905 appearance, was completed in Fall 2019.
$506,100 (Phase 1)