Old Town Hall is the earliest surviving municipal structure in Salem, Massachusetts (dating from 1816-17) and an outstanding Federal Style building. The second floor of the building, Great Hall, has always been used as a public hall, and contained Town offices until 1837. The first floor, originally designed as a public market, is now being used as a public art space, in conjunction with Artists Row in the Marketplace.
The building and its Derby Square site maintain historical associations with Salem’s prominent 18th and 19th century Derby family for whom Derby Square, Derby Wharf, Derby Street and the two Derby houses on the Salem waterfront were named. The building contains elements attributed to both Charles Bulfinch, the most influential Boston architect of the Federal period, and Samuel McIntire, Salem’s renowned architect and woodcarver. The structure was saved from demolition by Salem preservation architect Philip Horton Smith in the 1930s, and underwent a partial restoration in the 1970s.
Hours: The Old Town Hall is available year-round, 7 days a week. Clean up for a function should end by 12:00 am.
Capacity: The Great Hall is available year-round for rental. The hall can accommodate 100 people for a seated dinner; and 150 for row or theater seating. Due to decorative columns and the presence of display pieces for the Salem Museum in the Old Town Hall on the ground floor, this space is better suited for exhibits, small receptions or auxiliary uses to Great Hall.
Food/Beverage Service: Food and beverages may be consumed in Old Town Hall. If a catering service is being used, they must be approved prior to the event and sign the Caterer’s Responsibilities form. Alcohol is also allowed at Old Town Hall with the proper approvals (see General Building Regulations). The city does require a police detail at any event serving alcohol.
Clean Up: The building must be cleaned after your event such as, but not limited to, wiping all surfaces and removing all decorations. The city will provide trash bags and the renter must bag all garbage and place all bags in rear vestibule of Old Town Hall at the conclusion of the event.
Accessibility: The Great Hall is located on the second floor of Old Town Hall. The building does have an elevator to the second floor and the second floor bathroom is handicap accessible. The Essex Street side of the building is handicap accessible.