Eliot Hall History
Built in 1831, Eliot Hall is an architecturally notable Greek Revival building in the heart
of Boston's Jamaica Plain Neighborhood. Originally Eliot Hall was a town meeting place
and then parish hall for the nearby Unitarian Church.
For the past 133 years it has been the home of The Footlight Club, America's oldest community theater. In 1889 Club members collectively purchased the building which was slated for demolition. Thirty-eight year later The Footlight Club was incorporated as a non-profit organization; it members retain ownership of Eliot Hall today. In 1988 Eliot hall was listed in The National Register of Historic Places.
In the 1980's, faced with the possiblity of closing Eliot Hall because of building deterioration, the Footlight Club formed the Trustees of Eliot Hall and began renovations. Initial tasks included structural repairs, electrical and emergency services upgrades, and compliance with modern building codes. A complete exterior facelift, dramatic refurbishing of the main perfomance and meeting spaces, and the addition of new dressing rooms saved Eliot Hall and ensured its role as one of the finest small theater facilities in the city of Boston. Thanks to the involvement of local volunteers, Eliot Hall remains a major resource that plays an important and active role in its community.
The club is now focused on improving building assessibility. This effort will help Eliot Hall respond to the need for accessible public meeting and performance space and benefit the cultural life of the diverse community of Jamaica Plain and its surrounding neighborhoods.