Stone Building Feasibility / Re-Use Committee
- 8 am
- 1st and 3rd Thursdays of the month with other meetings as needed
Agendas & Minutes
Agendas are available prior to the meetings. Minutes are available following approval.
From the Committee Charge
Explore constructive reuse options for the Stone Building, thereby informing future Town investment to implement the preservation recommendations of the 2009 Historic Structure Report or such recommendations as may subsequently be made.
View the Full Committee Charge.
The Stone Building was built in 1833 by Eli Robbins, a civic leader in East Lexington, to serve as a lyceum lecture hall and residence. The Lyceum was an early form of adult education that became popular in the 1830s. Lyceum lectures at first avoided political talks, but by late 1840, leaders in the Abolition movement, excluded from speaking elsewhere in town, spoke here including Theodore Parker and Charles Sumner.
In 1835, the Lyceum Hall became the site of religious services for the residents of East Lexington, led first by Charles Follen and subsequently by Ralph Waldo Emerson and others until the neighboring Follen Church was completed in 1839. The Stone Building also served as a residence for a number of individuals, including Ellen Stone, who sold the building to the Cary Library in 1892. The building served as a branch library throughout the 20th century and into the 21st.
The Stone Building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its architectural merit as an example of Greek Revival architecture and for its association with the Robbins family and the development of East Lexington. The building’s exterior and the original lecture hall on the second floor are largely unchanged from their 19th-century appearance.
In 2007 a burst pipe caused interior damage and resulted in the closure of the branch library. A restoration and preservation report was prepared in 2009.
The Committee includes 9 members with various community and professional backgrounds from across Lexington. To define a purposeful and compelling use for the Stone Building in the 21st century, the committee will collaborate with the community to consider possibilities for the building’s restoration and future sustainability. Recommendations will be presented to the Select Board for consideration on best uses and subsequent investment and restoration.
Report, Findings & Recommendations
- Stone Building Final Report (PDF)
- Findings and Recommendations - April 27, 2022
- Nomination Form for Inclusion in National Register of Historic Places (PDF), 1975
- Massachusetts Historical Commission Form B, 1976
- Historic Structure Report and Recommendations for Rehabilitation and Reuse (PDF), September 2009
- The Stone Building, Conditions Assessment, Recommendations and Conceptual Plans, Project Update (PDF), August 11, 2009, Menders, Torrey and Spencer
- 2010 to 2012 Report on Exterior Restoration Work (PDF)
- Capital Improvement Project Request for Building Study (PDF), 2016
- Request for Community Preservation Funds for Building Study (PDF), 2016
- Community Preservation Committee Recommendation (PDF) of the indefinite postponement of 2017 ATM Article 10(h), Stone Building Feasibility Study
- Community Preservation Committee Recommendation (PDF) for approval of 2017 ATM Article 10(h), Stone Building Feasibility Study, 3/27/2017
- 2018 Committee Charge (superseded by the current charge)
- Past Spending and Predicted Spending for the Stone Building (PDF)
- Deed for the Stone Building (PDF), 1892 (?)
- History of the Stone Building, from Proceedings of Lexington Historical Society and Papers Relating to the History of the Town, Volume II, 1900
- Charles Follen, the East Village and Abolitionism (PDF), Anne Grady and Walter Leutz, May 22, 2017
- Abolition, Women’s Rights and War: From the End of the Revolution to the End of the Civil War, 1790 to 1865, Emily A. Murphy, Ph.D., White Paper Number 2 for Lexington Historical Society Exhibit “Something Must Be Done: Bold Women of Lexington”
- Summaries of Robbins and Stone Family-Related Articles (PDF)