Previous Reuse Concepts and Documents

2006 - 2008

In 2007, an extensive exterior rehabilitation of the Josiah Smith Tavern (JST) was completed. A long-term use for both the JST and Old Library was sought.

The Josiah Smith Tavern and Old Library Committee worked to find an appropriate reuse for these two historic buildings. A proposed restaurant was planned for the Josiah Smith Tavern. A liquor license was obtained and the building was rezoned from residential to commercial. The Old Library would be restored for active Town use by the Weston Historical Society and the Women's Community League; however, November 2009 Special Town Meeting failed to approve additional funding and the reuse proposal was stopped. The Josiah Smith Tavern and Old Library Committee was dissolved.
Browse the archive of previous documents and plans

2009 - 2013

The Town hired The Cecil Group to assist in gathering public consensus for potential re-use option and to issue requests for proposals. A Boston-based design and development company called Urbanica submitted its proposal for the adaptive re-use of the two buildings on July 23, 2012 and presented its proposal to the Board of Selectmen on September 11, 2012. 

The proposal planned for condominiums in the Old Library, a small restaurant and Bed and Breakfast in the Barn and Tavern, as well as small operational space for the Historical Society and the Women's Community League in a rear addition. To work financially, the proposal required investment from the developer and Community Preservation Act funds from the town. The proposal also required a new Historic Structures Preservation Development Zoning By-law, which was necessary for any mixed-use in the buildings. However, the proposed by-law failed to pass at the June 2013 Special Town Meeting. Without the appropriate zoning by-law in place the Urbanica proposal could not move forward so the remaining meeting articles were passed over.

After the June Special Town Meeting, the Board of Selectmen asked The Cecil Group to submit a proposal to assist the Town in taking the next steps with regard to the re-use of the Josiah Smith Tavern and Old Library buildings. Urbanica remained interested in the re-use project and was open to facilitating community ideas that differed from the original Urbanica proposal in order to help get the buildings back in use. However, the Historic Structures Preservation Development By-law was still needed and was brought before the December 2nd Special Town Meeting, but once again failed to receive the 2/3 majority vote necessary to pass.  Voters at Town Meeting did not want to sell the buildings, did not like the commercial uses or the idea of Town money going to a commercial developer.

In a letter dated December 3, 2013, Kamran Zahedi, principal of Urbanica, withdrew his request for an extension and terminated the Letter of Intent.  The Board of Selectmen appointed the Josiah Smith Tavern and Old Library Working Group to continue the exploration into finding the appropriate re-use for the two buildings.
Browse the archive of previous documents and plans

2013 - 2016

After a year of deliberation and consulting with experts, the Josiah Smith Tavern and Old Library Working Group issued a call for statements of interest for the reuse of the two historic buildings. Nine in total were received. The process and the statements can be found on the 2015 Statements of Interest page. This is the process that led to the Working Group's recommended reuse for the two buildings.

2016 - 2018

The recommendation for the Old Library was for it to be converted to the Weston Art & Innovation Center under the auspices of the Weston Public Library. As a Town proposal, this was easier to implement. Design fees were approved by Annual Town Meeting and construction funds were approved by Special Town Meeting in 2017.

The Friends of the Josiah Smith Tavern were designated the preferred proponent of the Josiah Smith Tavern and received design and engineering fees for the adaptive reuse of the building at Special Town Meeting in 2017. The building is more complicated than the Old Library and holds tighter historic preservation restrictions. The Friends are seeking additional design funds in order to take a "deeper dive" and uncover what will be needed for construction funds. The building will be brought to code as a "vanilla box" for public use.