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Danforth Museum To Purchase Maynard Building for $1.5 Million

Selectmen unanimously approved the deal Tuesday night. The final step is Town Meeting's approval in May.

Danforth Museum and School of Art has reached an agreement with the Town of Framingham to purchase the Jonathan Maynard Building for $1.5 million.

Selectmen unanimously approved the deal Tuesday night, 4-0 (Selectman Ginger Esty was not present).

The final step is Town Meeting's approval in May.

If Town Meeting approves, the Danforth Museum and School of Arts currently housed in the Danforth Building, which once was a high school, will move to the Maynard Building, which also once was a school.

If everything is approved, the Museum would move across from the Town Common and near Village Hall, Edgell Memorial Library and the Framingham History Center forming a cultural, historic district, which would be available for state and federal funding.

The plan would be for the Danforth to move into the first floor of the Maynard in the fall of 2014 and to fully occupy the building by the fall of 2016.

Negotiating the deal for the Town of Framingham was Town Manager Bob Halpin, Selectman Dennis Giombetti, Finance Committee member Betty Funk, Real Property Committee member Ned Price and Realtor Jim Gordon.

The deal calls for the Danforth Museum to pay the Town of Framingham $250,000 cash immediately and $750,000 over 20 years. The remaining $500,000 would be given to the town in in-kind services, like discounted memberships for Framingham residents.  

The Framingham Public Schools administration was once held in the Maynard Building, until a mol issue forced them elsewhere.

The mold issue was addressed. Currently, Framingham State University is using a floor for its Education Center.

barb February 06, 2013 at 06:01 PM
Yay!!! Much better location and physical facility!!
Jack February 07, 2013 at 03:31 AM
I'd like to know if Town Meeting members have this many questions about the deal? Can Town Meeting ask the Town to re-negotiate a better deal? $1M does seem like a little. What is the assessed value? How much is Framingham State Paying just to rent a floor now?
Diane Tiger February 08, 2013 at 06:25 PM
Maybe they can turn the Danforth building back into a school. We could use another one on this side of town. I'm continuously amazed at how many former school buildings there are. Anyone able to provide some history on this?
TMM February 08, 2013 at 07:40 PM
The cost to bring the current Danforth Museum building up to code is enormous. I would be opposed to the Town spending several million dollars and then "give away" the building to a non-profit. More money being spent and ever-increasing property taxes burdening the ordinary taxpayer. Perhaps the building can be sold and converted into co-operative studio/housing for legitimate artists. It would put the building on the tax roles. It has been done numerous times all over Greater Boston with great success. It would solve the artist's problem of affordable housing and studio space. Boston has several cooperatives including the Artist Building on Summer Street, Boston. See link: http://www.300summer.org/The_Artist_Building_at_300_Summer_Street/Home.html and the 249 S Street Cooperative: http://249astreet.com/index.html
kylon February 20, 2013 at 06:38 PM
That's a thought moving forward George Lewis. Living/work spaces, Great idea to bring out the wonderful artist community that exist here in Framingham.

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