DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

Derry

December 13, 2012

Derry's Adams Building offers home to many

Adams Memorial Building is a downtown gem

DERRY — It’s location, location, location for those who call the Adams Memorial Building home.

It’s also a place where they want to stay.

Several groups call the town-owned Adams Building home, including the Greater Derry Londonderry Chamber of Commerce, Greater Derry Arts Council, and Derry’s Housing and Redevelopment Authority.

The town is now talking with those groups to make sure the building is being well used. That includes getting more people to stop by.

When benefactor Benjamin Adams left money to erect his namesake building in the early part of the 20th century, the plan was to make a downtown space for offices, public library and police, with room on the upper floor for a theater and stage.

A $1.5 million renovation project was completed in 2000, giving the Adams Building new heating and air conditioning systems, an elevator, sprinkler and new restrooms.

As part of the project, the opera house also received a refurbished balcony and restored theater-style seating.

But town officials are still working to keep the building as a viable part of the downtown and get more people in the door to use its 350-seat opera house.

All groups paying rent to the town for their space in the building are renewing their leases for another three years.

But often, the costs to manage the building outweigh the money coming in.

“Obviously, we want to stay there,” said Bill Parnell, president of the Chamber of Commerce board of directors. “We like the location.”

Parnell said more people are stopping by. The Chamber recently hired new executive director Stacey Bruzzese to lead the organization in a new direction.

The Chamber has added about 30 new members since the spring and the Adams Building is perfect for special events. It’s also a hub for the community for finding just the right information about the town.

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