Josiah Smith Tavern & Old Library Reuse

2016 Town Meeting

This May, Annual Town Meeting voters overwhelmingly approved the design funds for the Old Library so the Weston Art & Innovation Center can move forward towards the next step. The RFP for design services was issued over the summer and received several responses.

It is anticipated that a funding request for the Josiah Smith Tavern Complex will come before the fall Special Town Meeting on November 29th. The Working Group issued the RFP over the summer and received one proposal from the Friends of the Josiah Smith Tavern for the reuse of the tavern, barn and connector.
Summarized information on the  Working Group's vision and rationale behind the two recommended reuse concepts for the two historic buildings can be found on the "Recommended Reuse" web page

The Working Group

The Josiah Smith Tavern/Old Library Working Group was appointed by the Board of Selectmen and charged with facilitating and coordinating Town efforts to redevelop the properties. 

The Josiah Smith Tavern, Barn, and Connector and Old Library are historically important to Weston, occupy prominent locations in our Town Center, and offer the potential to become significant cultural and architectural landmarks in Weston. 

Previous reuse concepts, including the nine statements of interest the Working Group vetted can be found to the left of this page.

Consultant Work
To assist the Working Group in providing specific and relevant expertise, two consultants were engaged:
  • TDC - a non-profit management consultant to formulate a needs analysis for an 'arts and cultural center' in the Old Library, based on resident feedback from Town Meeting Citizens' Petitions and Town Surveys
  • McGinley Kalsow & Associates - historic preservation architect to perform a feasibility analysis for the Tavern and Barn. This analysis informed potential sponsors about the buildings and helped the Working Group evaluate the Statements of Interest that relate to the JST/OL.
Restoration Work of the Buildings
The Josiah Smith Tavern received Community Preservation Act (CPA) funding for exterior repairs. The work was completed in 2007 and included a new cedar roof, replacement shutters, exterior painting, and the restoration of its original windows.

The exterior repair work on the Old Library was completed in 2015. The $850,000 in CPA funds were originally appropriated in 2011 for stabilization repairs to the exterior of the building and an additional $300,000 in CPA funds was approved by the 2014 Annual Town Meeting to enable the full scope of restoration. The exterior repairs are intended to stabilize the building and prevent further deterioration without going too far that any work would be undone by a future re-use.