More than four years after it closed to the public, the newly restored James R. McIntyre Government Center re-opened with a ceremony and tours Dec. 5th.
The ceremony included a speaking program and public tours of the 171-year-old building, located at 1305 Hancock St. in Quincy Center. Mayor Thomas Koch, Council President Joseph Finn, City Clerk Joseph Shea and lead architect James Edwards, the president of the Quincy Historical Society, were among the featured speakers.
Complete coverage of the ceremony appears in the Dec. 10th issue of The Quincy Sun.
The McIntyre Government Center, also known as Old City Hall, closed in 2011 because of concerns over its condition. A $12 million project to restore the building began more than two years ago in the fall of 2013. A portion of the project’s cost, approximately $500,000 a year, is being borne by the city’s Community Preservation Account.
The McIntyre Government Center opened in 1844 as Town Hall constructed with Quincy granite. Solomon Willard, the architect of the Bunker Hill Monument, designed the building. The building was dedicated in memory of Mr. McIntyre, a former Quincy mayor and state senator, in November 1985. Mr. McIntyre – a beloved public figure for decades who later became the state Senate counsel – died in 1984.
The restoration project included a long list of upgrades, such as bringing the building’s electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems up to code. The foundation has been strengthened and an elevator installed to provide handicap accessibility. Fire suppression and security systems, which the building lacked previously, have been installed.
The signature space of the restored government center is the Great Hall, a 181-seat meeting space that encompasses most of the second floor with additional seating available in a third floor balcony. The Great Hall will serve as the new chamber for the City Council and will be reserved for other large civic events, such as mayoral inaugurations.
The council held its first meeting in the Great Hall Dec. 7.
Inauguration ceremonies for Koch and other city officials elected in last month’s municipal election will be held Monday, Jan. 4, at 10 a.m. A social event will be held later that same day at Granite Links, beginning at 7 p.m.
The restoration work in the McIntyre Government Center was done in concert with a similar project at the Coddington Building, now home to the Planning and IT Departments, Quincy Public Schools administrative offices and the School Committee. That building opened in August 2014.