15 Elm Street, the Old Town Hall Annex (c 1920)

The Ipswich Police Department was formerly the Electric Department, constructed in 1938.

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The brick building at 15 Elm Street was known officially as the Town Hall Annex, constructed in the early 20th Century, although the actual date is uncertain. It was designed to supplement the historic former Town Hall facing South Main St. and was used as the Water and Electric Department office from 1937-77, then was converted for police use in 1977 when the Electric Department moved to their facility on upper High St.

The vernacular Neoclassical / Colonial Revival style with posts and pediments is somewhat similar to the construction style of the Ipswich Town Hall, which was built as the Ipswich High School in 1934. It may have been constructed as early as 1900 as a warehouse for the Water Department.

  • From the 1937 Ipswich Town Report: “Move Electric Department: It is our belief that the day has come when the Water and light Department should be moved from the Town Hall into their own building in the rear of the Town Hall. If the Electric Light and Water Department were moved into their own brick building it would be possible to move the Town Accountant and Selectmen into the office vacated by the Water and Light Department.”
  • The 1938 Town Report reports the following: “In November the Board of Selectmen notified the Water and Light Commission that it desired the use of the room in the Town Hall building used as the office of the Water and Light Department for other Town purposes and requested that the commission move in to the brick building at the rear of the Town Hall on Elm street. This was done as soon as possible and on February 15, 1939, the office in the Town Hall building was vacated.
15 Elm Street Ipswich MA

15 Elm Street in the 1980 photo at the MACRIS site