One of Salisbury’s most historic structures, the Academy Building has been at the heart of the community since 1833 when citizens raised $1,250 and built it as a private academy. It later was used as a public school until 1929. Since then, it has provided space for other community needs—a meeting house, temporary town hall, art gallery, and office space for numerous nonprofits and town commissions. The town owns the building and leases it to the Association. The Academy Building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The building fell into serious disrepair in the 1950s and again in the late 1980s. Both times Association members stepped in, raised funds, oversaw restoration work, and repurposed it for new use. In 1960, the upper level was converted into a Circuit Court and used for almost 30 years. Since 1990, the Salisbury Association has made its home in the historic building.

By 2011, collections and storage needs of the three active committees had outgrown the space as configured, and a renovation of interior space became a priority. Chris Brennan, a Trustee and interior designer specializing in historic preservation, designed and oversaw the renovation project that included both upper and lower levels.

Circuit Court fixtures on the second level were replaced with wooden storage cabinets designed to meet our specific needs and those of our collections. Financed through a generous donation by Bobbie Olsen, a long-time Trustee, the space was named in her honor and with our gratitude for her many contributions over the years.

The first floor reception area and computer room were renovated, and the exhibit space upgraded with an inventive system for displays.

For information about other special projects including a beautiful 16-foot meeting table with its own “historic” tale, new doors for an old building, and hand-forged hardware for a new banner

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