The Wendell Meetinghouse now welcomes the whole community with beautiful new entryways — handsome granite steps in the front and a sturdy access ramp and egress door in the rear. The handicap-accessible and service ramp was approved by the Massachusetts Historical Commission and built by local carpenter Alistair MacMartin and volunteers who pitched in to help with construction and painting tasks.
In the months leading up to the Grand 175th Birthday and Reopening Celebration in September 2021, progress on the renovation and revival of the Meetinghouse was dramatic. Here are the highlights:
April 2021 - Demolition and Ramp Construction
The rear egress door was delivered and painted. The exit sign and emergency lightening wiring path was planned and materials were delivered. The access ramp and handrails were completed and most of the old plaster and lath was removed and an opening was cut into the upstairs mezzanine to allow for a balcony view. The drop ceiling was also removed to open up the beautiful tin tile ceiling. We are grateful to community volunteers and local lumber yards who donated expertise and materials toward our goal.
As the tin ceiling was carefully removed for restoration, decades-old patterns remained on the ceiling that remind us of the lasting history contained throughout the building. We hope to provide as much restoration as we can to the historical ceiling which will provide optimal acoustics in the great room. Each tile was removed by hand and assessed for long-term use and integrity.
May 2021 – A Wedding Interlude
With all major demolition tasks accomplished, the Friends building committee and volunteers cleaned up the great room in preparation for the wedding of Jon and Danelle Bowers. The groom was born and raised in Wendell and requested the Meetinghouse for the couple’s nuptials. Although unfinished, the Meetinghouse still offers a sacred space for those who wish to mark life’s passages. We are looking forward to many more joyous occasions taking place here. More on our vision here.
Summer 2021 – New Stone Steps project
The story of the New Stone Steps reflects the vision of volunteer stone mason Jonathan Von Ranson and a cast of donors and workers ready to create a pair of gracious new entryways to the Meetinghouse. For a closer look at this historic moment in the revival of our town’s most famous building, visit here.
Virtual Building Tour
Please take a moment to enjoy this intimate virtual tour of the Meetinghouse created by Judy Hall and Alistair MacMartin during the Spring of 2021. You can almost hear the building whispering its history as you tour through its details and beauty.
Support the meetinghouse Renovations
Want to support our efforts to restore this beautiful building and open its doors to the public? Please consider joining our efforts by becoming a Friend and donating .
Additionally, if you are inspired by the possibilities and the work needed to open the Meetinghouse doors, please consider becoming a volunteer for one of many tasks we anticipate in the coming months. We look forward to your support!