Know your Brewster Hall facts

OK, tonight we’re going to play a new game:  Know your Brewster Hall Facts.

Let’s start out with an easy one:  When was the place built? If you guessed anything between 1890 and say 1905 you get credit for a right answer.  That’s how we’re going to judge it, anything that comes close to a reasonable guess is OK.

Question 2:  What is the primary building material?  If you said brick, you’re right!  But we’ll also accept stuff like masonry, clay, red rocks, you know – anything that comes close to a reasonable guess.

Question 3:  Is the second floor auditorium available for public use?  If you said no, you’re right again!  But we’ll also accept negative, nada, no-way-Jose, or just nope.

How many got all three – can I see a show of hands?  Good for you, specially if you got that tough number three.  But if you got it wrong, don’t fret, you’re in good company.  Apparently none of the Selectmen would have got it right either. The reasonable guess part comes from the fact that there has not been a single event held there for the past 15 years, so anybody that put two and two together gets it right.

At last week’s Board of Selectmen’s meeting, they voted to allow the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance a permit to conduct a two hour, paid admission lecture in the auditorium. The only question asked was “Will you be serving shrimp?”

Having been recently admonished for jumping to conclusions, I took the time to check with the Fire Department to see if they were asked about this.  Apparently they were not.  I reviewed the Brewster Hall file that they had and discovered:

  1. The auditorium was last used under special permit in April 1996.
  2. Four town officials prepared a code compliance report for BMH in December of 2000 and concluded that to be used for assembly the building needs sprinklers, a fire alarm system, and the staircases need to be enclosed by fire rated material.
  3. Usage was denied in March 2002 citing multiple life and fire safety code violations.
  4. A couple of structural posts that supported the floor above have been removed.

Add to all that the potential to draw another ADA lawsuit from the DOJ and we have a whole new chapter in the ongoing saga of Selectmen ignoring the public welfare and abdicating responsibility to protect citizens.

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