About the Hay Barn Restoration Project
In October 2017, the Department of Housing and Community Development awarded the Town of Danvers a $1.0 million MassWorks grant for the purpose of preserving and transforming the historic Hay Barn located at Endicott Park into a community and event space to serve the public and also generate economic spinoff activity for local businesses.
Over the past two years, a volunteer committee (the Endicott Hay Barn Committee) worked closely with Spencer, Sullivan, and Vogt (SSV), an architecture firm specializing in historic preservation, and community stakeholders to come up with a vision for what the building could be and a recommendation to the Board of Selectmen (BOS).
The committee’s work spanned more than twenty public meetings, presentations, site-walks, and lively discussions among committee members, and culminated in a community forum held onsite in November 2019. On January 16, 2020, the Hay Barn Committee voted to recommend a $3.46 million project to the BOS and, on February 4, 2020 the BOS voted to advance the project to the May 2020 Annual Town Meeting.
The estimated cost to taxpayers, after accounting for the $1.0 million MassWorks grant and conservative revenue estimates, is roughly $90,000 per year over the twenty-year life of the bond. The current condition of the barn indicates that close to $750,000 in maintenance and repair will likely be required at some point in the next 10 years to simply maintain the building’s current use and storage space.
The project itself would transform the Hay Barn from cold storage into a fully accessible place of assembly for events like pancake breakfasts, concerts, recreation/education programming, weddings, community gatherings, and the like. The historic integrity and character of the barn would be preserved, while at the same time adding restrooms, a catering kitchen, climate control, and all necessary health and life safety systems. Most important to the committee, the barn’s fundamental character-defining features (both external and internal) are preserved.
By way of background, the iconic Hay Barn is a throwback to the agricultural days of the Glen Magna estate, located in the Danvers Salem Village Historic District. With the dissolution of private ownership of the estate in 1963, an inspired series of transactions resulted in the acquisition of the house and immediate grounds of Glen Magna by the Danvers Historical Society and the farm and its grounds by the Town of Danvers, known as Endicott Park. Today, the two properties co-exist as complementary but distinct entities, each retaining the special qualities of its historical character, each seeking creative ways to serve the public interests that sustain them. The visual and historical importance of the Hay Barn as an element in the working farm of the Glen Magna estate, while changed over time, is a tangible link to the past and a promise of renewed life as a repurposed structure to the future.
For more information about this project, please contact Recreation Department staff.