Centennial Hall brings people of all ages together to share in the arts, boost the creative economy and enhance the social and learning opportunities in the community but we need your help to continue our mission!

The FOCH will participate again this year in NH’s statewide day of support for all non-profits, NH Gives. NH Gives presents a wonderful opportunity for NH nonprofits to connect to the larger community. We are still at work actively advancing our mission to revitalize Centennial Hall and preserve this cherished landmark that has served as a cultural hub of our community since 1876.

Since 1997 the Friends of Centennial Hall (FOCH) has been dedicated to renovating and maintaining this unique 1876 structure, originally built as a combination schoolhouse and public venue, for use by the public and private citizens. After a complete building assessment was conducted in 2018, FOCH launched the most ambitious effort in our history, a $2.6 million revitalization proceeding along two tracks. Rehabilitation and Access Improvement. The priority goal at the center of this project is to restore access to the Grand Ballroom, which will allow us and our tenants to greatly expand performing arts programming and provide perfectly size space for functions and events. A fully functioning event space will bring the benefits of the creative economy to North Hampton, drawing arts and culture consumers with their dining and shopping dollars to our town.

In 2018 our Open the Ballroom campaign received an LCHIP grant of $200,000, one of the largest grants given in a very competitive cycle. That grant was matched in three months and work on phase 1 of restoration began in the summer of 2019. The recent imprimaturs of our National Registry Listing and LCHIP funding had at last positioned us to do the major rehabilitation and access work we have dreamed of for decades: replacement of the slate roof, installation of two levels of snow fencing and copper flashing. Rebuilding of the chimney and flue, restoration to 44 windows original to the building, clapboard, trim and decorative molding sanded, repaired and repainted.

Having completed Phase 1 ahead of schedule in 2020 we moved solidly into Phase 2 of our rehabilitation, with the installation of a full building sprinkler system, new boiler and oil tanks. Heat is operational on the second floor. Now our goal: to Open the Ballroom.

But before we can utilize the second floor event space, there is more work to be done and funds to be raised. Once we are able to finish the second floor and close out Phase 2 of the rehabilitation, we can begin Phase 3: construction to house the new elevator.

We have a large goal to meet this year and we need your help! Please join our campaign and help us reach our goal of $50,000! Here are a few ways you can help:

  • Become a fundraising champion. Everyone loves a champion, including us! We really need fundraising champions to help drive people to our NH Gives profile on June 7 – 8. Contact us for more information on how to become a fundraising champion!
  • Spread the Word. Help us grow our network by sharing this email with your family and friends and ask them to do the same. 
  • Get Social. Use your social media networks: post on Facebook, tweet about NH Gives, and share your love for your particular passion, whether it’s education, health care, animals, or the arts. Ask others to do the same. Use the hashtag #NHGives and or #ThisPlace Matters

To maximize our fundraising opportunity, donations need to be made online during the campaign period. Get ready to give on June 7 – 8, 2022.  Starting at 5 PM on June 7, visit our page on NHGives.org and make a donation to us. All giving will end at 5 PM on June 8, so make sure to get your gift in on time! The matching funds opportunities and bonus prizes will help inspire others to give more and help us to reach our goal! We need you to tell your friends and family members about the important work we do and ask them to join us in helping to make a difference.

“… preservationists have always been able to imagine possibilities. Who else looks at a dilapidated building and sees not only how it looked historically, but a vision of what it might become?”
-T Mayes

We hope you will choose to support the great progress made thus far, and help keep the work of preserving, safe-guarding, and revitalizing Centennial Hall moving forward so that we can Open the Ballroom and remain the cultural hub of our Community!  Questions? If you have any questions or would like more information, let us know. Thank you in advance for your continued generosity to our organization!