Plymouth’s Renaissance Shines Through Downtown Restoration Project

By Dave Kindy

In Plymouth, the resurrection of two landmark buildings is known as the Downtown Restoration Project. Perhaps it should be called the Renaissance Project.

Post Office Square and Plymouth Town Hall stand like beacons, shining brightly in the heart of the town’s commercial district. The historic buildings offer modern amenities and services for residents and visitors alike while hearkening back to a bygone era of the town’s heritage.

Built in 1914-15, Post Office Square is a Colonial Revival structure that served as the town’s main post office for more than half a century. The beautiful brick building features a white cupola with a chiming clock, topped by a gold-leaf dome. It stands at the intersection of Leyden and Main streets on the former homesite of William Brewster, one of the leaders of the early Plymouth Colony.

On the building’s 100th anniversary, it was purchased by 1620 Capital LLC and principals Nick Vasvatekis and his two sons Yanni and George began an ambitious project to return the structure to its former glory. Post Office Square is now home to a U.S. Post Office branch, as well as various businesses and Plymouth 400 Inc., a nonprofit organization gearing up to celebrate America’s Hometown quadricentennial in 2020.

“Since our move to Post Office Square, Plymouth 400 has been happy to welcome visitors and residents interested in the 400th anniversary, license plates, official merchandise and business partners,” says Plymouth 400 executive director Michele Pecoraro. “The Vasvatekis family should be congratulated for their thoughtful care of this building.”

Located just down the street is Plymouth’s new Town Hall, which is actually the old county courthouse. Built in 1820, the classic Italianate building served as the halls of justice for the community until the new Plymouth Superior Court opened in 2007.

With Martha Werenfels as lead architect, DBVW Architects oversaw a meticulous restoration of the old courthouse, including exposing previously painted brownstone trim, installing new copper on the bell-shaped cupola, fabricating missing arched-top wood windows, and recreating historic decorative finishes in the courtroom.

At the rear is a 65,000-square-foot addition that includes a multi-purpose great room, flexible conference rooms and a rooftop terrace overlooking Plymouth Harbor.

“The residents of Plymouth should be proud of the new Town Hall in the heart of the downtown,” says town manager Melissa Arrighi. “Not only is the structure a statement regarding the importance of historic preservation and renovation, it also exemplifies the revitalization of a once vibrant governmental hub. The fact that it was funded predominately through a local option meals tax, rather than property taxes, is certainly a bonus.”

Indeed, Plymoutheans should be very proud of this downtown Renaissance that is providing a new luster just in time for the 400th anniversary.

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