Historic honor

After 125 years in the center of Wilton, Town Hall has been accepted for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

Probably best known for holding the Wilton Town Hall Theater art-house movie theater, the building was built in 1883-84.

The Town Hall is Queen Anne-style, built of bricks and Milford granite on a steep hillside, with many gables, chimneys, arched windows and several styles of roofline. Except for some lower floor windows, which have been bricked in, the exterior has changed little.

In 1999, the garage on the southern end was renovated into selectmen’s offices and an interior access ramp. The garage first housed the town’s hearse, then a fire truck and then the ambulance.

According to the drawings, the original front entrance was on Maple Street, the entrance used by many theater-goers to avoid the stairs up from the Main Street entrance.

What is now the smaller theater was originally the library with an adjoining room, which was used until the public library was built in 1909.

The Main Street entrance leads to the original banquet, or “supper room,” where those attending town meetings had a hot meal. The kitchen was in a back room.

It was used by the municipal court during the 1960s and ’70s.

The lower level has always had offices for the selectmen and town clerk, and until a decade ago, a police station. The northern end of the building, currently vacant and the last section in need of renovation, was the police station for many years.

The date on the National Register of Historic Places certificate is April 20. The required research and documentation was done by members of the town’s Heritage Commission, who plan to have an appropriate sign made for the hall.