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Lynnfield Meeting House gets a face-lift

Fabiano Mendez of Lynn, an employee of Bida Painting, strips the paint from the Meeting House in Lynn­field as part of a sprucing up by the Lynnfield Historical Society. (Spenser R. Hasak)

LYNNFIELD — A new roof and fresh paint are making an old building in the town center new again.

Painters will spend this week finishing up exterior and interior painting in the historic town Meeting House on Main Street. 

The Lynnfield Historical Society paid Danvers-based Bida Painting $14,000 to do the work.

“It’s badly needed,” said Society President Linda Gillon. “It’s the responsibility of the Historical Society and we take it very seriously.” 

The work is being completed following roof repairs and ahead of plans to upgrade the kitchen. 

Located in the middle of the Common behind the big iron bell that topped it during the last century, the Meeting House holds 300 years of Lynnfield history and serves as its focal point. 

Residents are charged $200 to rent the facility for weddings, birthdays and other events. It’s $250 for non-residents.

Weddings are held in the building’s main floor about every four months with a capacity of 80 people. Gillon said bridal showers, anniversary parties and other gatherings are hosted there. Most people who book the space hear about it by word of mouth.

Today, the building is owned by the town but managed by the Society with Gillon overseeing event booking. A resident since 1983, Gillon and her husband, Robert, bought the Joseph Henfield House on Main Street in 2006.

A local history referenced by Gillon said the building is “thought to be the third oldest” Puritan meeting house in New England still standing. 

Known originally as the Meeting House of the Second Church of Lynn, the building has undergone transformations during its history. It was enlarged in 1882 with carpenters cutting the House in half and adding another 14 feet of space.

Fifty years earlier in a nod to separation of church and state, the Meeting House’ church balcony was transformed into a second floor providing upstairs worship space with Town Hall located downstairs. Church pews still fill the second floor accessible by a steep wooden staircase.

Big barn doors were installed in the building in 1903 to transform from a place of faith to a firehouse with a belfry and bell constructed on its roof. 

To book the Meeting House for an event, send an email to lynnfieldmeetinghouse@gmail.com.

 

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