Historic Town Hall in Littleton

The historic Town Hall in Littleton, Colorado, is located in the center of Main Street in the downtown area of the city. The building was originally constructed in 1920 in order to replace another building that was serving as the town hall since the late 1800s. The famous architect Jules Jacques Benoit Benedict was hired to design the new structure. The design conformed to the Italian Renaissance revival style of architecture. The completed Town Hall building was named as one of the best examples of what a town hall should look like in smaller American towns.

The original architecture included a number of distinct features. There was an open arcade in the front of the building at street level behind three peaked arches built in the Gothic revival style. Benedict also custom designed two large cast iron lanterns to hang on the façade over the street. Seven terra cotta bands stretch horizontally across the second floor exterior. The bands are molded with the shapes of eagles and columbine flowers that are both native to the area. The roof is tiled in a traditional Italian style. The actual façade is covered in two different tones of smoothed terra cotta to complete the Italian Renaissance revival feeling of the structure.

The original historic Town Hall was divided into several areas. The second floor served as a place where the community could gather for meetings or celebrations. The first floor contained offices for city officials. The space eventually housed the police department for Littleton and a small jail behind the building. The structure served as the official town hall for Littleton until a new building was constructed in the 1970s. The town hall continued to be used for office space until a new purpose was found for the structure.

In the 1980s, the historic Town Hall underwent a large renovation. Control of the building passed to the Littleton Center for the Cultural Arts. The hall was also added to the National Register of Historic Places. The renovations restored the exterior surface and changed the inside into a more public area. A large greeting room was constructed on the first floor. Glass panels were placed in the archways on the street allowing pedestrians to see the open interior. The second floor was renovated and turned into a public theater complete with seating.

The modern historic Town Hall is commonly known as the Town Hall Arts Center by locals. There are almost 150 theater performances in the space every year including all types of plays from comedies to musicals. The hall finds funding from many sources including grants from arts organizations and local fundraisers. The original cast iron lanterns designed by Benedict still hang on the front of the building.