In 1921 the Memorial Building was voted to be built in memory of Ipswich Veterans of all wars at a cost of $52,000. It was used to house two 6th grade classes (52 pupils) from 1969-1971 and as an office facility for the Pupil Personnel department during the years 1974-1980.
In May, 1921, Monty and Abby Philipp conveyed the land on which the Memorial Building was later built to the Town of Ipswich stating “upon express conditions that the inhabitants of Ipswich aforesaid shall build upon said parcel of land a Memorial Town Hall to the men of the Army and Navy.” The names of Veterans of World War I were inscribed on bronze plaques mounted near the front entrance.
The 1921 Town Report indicates $40,000 was appropriated to construct the Memorial Building and that the Boston-based firm of Andrews, Rantoul and Jones was paid $1973.83 for their services to design and oversee its construction. Connolly Brothers and E. A. Abbot Company were the primary contractors.
The Memorial Building was at different times used by many committees and organizations for different purposes including as an office by both Jim Daley and Betty Dorman while they were Recreation Directors, and also for many Teen club meetings and events.
The long stairs to reach the building from Central Street became problematic as towns needed to make their facilities handicapped accessible. The stairs were removed and a stone wall was erected along Central Street. The town sold the building to Memorial Hall Housing Inc., a non-profit corporation in 2003. HOME funds were used to partially fund the renovation of Memorial Hall into affordable elderly housing.
Memorial Hall, 33 Central Street (1921) Preservation Agreement
Sources and payments to contractors:
- Town of Ipswich Annual Report, 1921, page 65-85
- Town of Ipswich Annual Report, 1922, pages 58 – 91
- Town of Ipswich Annual Report, 1923, pages 68 – 108
- Town of Ipswich Annual Report, 1924, pages 58-83
- Waters Thomas, Franklin: Ipswich_in_the Massachusetts Bay Colony Volume
- Ipswich Historical Commission MACRIS