Castine’s town hall may never have existed if it had not been for the relationship between a father and his son. Charles Emerson of Dixon, Illinois, gifted the building to Castine in 1901 to honor his father Henry, a longtime Castine resident. However, this was not a gift without a price. The Town of Castine agreed to pay Charles $500 per year until he died. Ironically, Charles died the following year.
Emerson Hall is a Colonial Revival style building, designed by Boston architect H.M. Stephenson. It has been renovated multiple times and the original color of the building is believed to have been gray. There was once a steel jail cell on the lower level. The second floor was used as a gymnasium and a stage for theatrical productions for the Abbott School until 1961.
Emerson Hall now houses the town offices and a second-floor auditorium that the Castine Arts Association recently renovated into a state-of-the-art audio-visual facility. The building is used for official and local meetings, movies, lectures, and other events.
For more information, please visit the Town of Castine website: https://castine.me.us/