THE OLD TOWN HALL
The Old Town Hall is the oldest existing civic structure in Salem. Opened in 1816 on land donated by the Derby family, the building is an outstanding example of Federalist/Adam style. The structure is graced with Palladian windows, Greek columns, and carved decoration and contains features attributed to Charles Bulfinch, the famous architect and Samuel McIntire, Salem's master wood carver. The second floor of the building, the Great Hall, housed town offices until 1837. It now serves as a public assembly, ceremony and performance venue. The first floor is a gathering and exhibit space.
Located at 32 Derby Square, the Old Town Hall sits on the outdoor Essex Street Pedestrian Mall. The pedestrian mall is a walker-friendly collection of galleries, cafes, shops, museums and fountains. Essex Street and Derby Square are frequently the settings of street fairs and outdoor civic events.
The Gordon College Institute for Public History has a lease agreement with the City of Salem, which encourages the rental of the building to other parties (both private and non-profit) for special occasions and recurring events.