Then & Now: Chelsea’s Former Municipal Building


Firemen and trucks in front of the Municipal Building. Note the Chelsea Public Library decal on the second floor.

From Chelsea Area Historical Society

The Holmes and Walker general, furniture, and hardware store at 104 East Middle Street began in 1876 and was consumed by fire in 1909. A three-story late Victorian commercial building soon replaced the two-story-burned-out shell.

The Holmes and Walker store was completely destroyed by fire in 1909.

Known as the “Municipal Building” in 1946, the building housed the village offices, police and fire departments on the first floor, the library on the second floor, and community space on the third floor with a temporary youth center and meeting place for various organizations. When the fire department relocated to West Middle Street in 1964, a brick fortress-like facade was added to the Village Offices in the 1970s and remained until the redevelopment. The building was vacated when a new police station opened in 2012 on South Main Street.

The Holmes and Walker store was rebuilt soon thereafter.

After many alterations over 100+ years, the building returned to its historic look thanks to its redevelopment by Chelsea Developer Joe Ziolkowski in 2015. Two businesses--Moran’s Consignment and Breathe Yoga--now occupy the first floor. There are four apartments on the second and third floors, and occupants can enjoy the downtown vibe.

The multi-use building redevelopment as it is today.

All photos courtesy of CAHS

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