The Municipal Facilities Committee has a plan to build a new one-story police station. That plan calls for the demolition of the current police station, a point that gives the Southborough Historical Commission pause. While they have not launched a formal opposition to the plan, the Historical Commission would prefer to see the existing building preserved for its historical value.
But what historical value does the building have, exactly? The Historical Commission answered that question at the Advisory Committee meeting on Monday night.
The police station was built in 1930 by noted architect Charles M. Baker as an annex to Peters High School. In addition to the Annex, Baker was the architect behind the old fire station (now the Southborough House of Pizza), the Community House, Fayville Baptist Church (now a commercial office building), and several residences in Southborough.
The Annex, which became the police station in 1972, is an example of the Colonial Revival style. You can see the architectural style exemplified in the police station’s ornate entryway, the symmetrical windows that flank the front entry, and the dentil molding that surrounds the building, among other features.
Along with the library and the Town House, the police station is one of three brick buildings in downtown Southborough with historical value. Members of the Historical Commission argue that the collection of buildings contribute to the visual appeal of downtown Southborough and are a source of civic pride. They also suggest that the historical buildings provide a context for future development in Southborough.
In addition to the Municipal Building Committee, heads of the Fire and Police Departments have come out in favor of building a new police station rather than renovating the existing building. The Board of Selectmen also threw its support behind the plan to construct a one-story building, but remained open to complimentary plans that would preserve the existing building.
If you want to learn more about the historical value of the existing police station, check out the Preserve the Community blog recently started by Historical Commission member Kate Matison.