This historic hotel was converted to office space in 1930.
first Exchange Hotel, at one time also known as Low's Hotel, was built on this
site in 1807 to serve travelers on the 1806 Essex Turnpike (Broadway). The
major Broadway/Hampshire intersection was originally called Exchange Square,
demonstrating the importance of this building. Fire destroyed the original
building in 1857 along with the hotel stables, two other livery stables, five
houses and most of the Currier building across the street (300 Broadway) which
was burned to the first floor. The 1860 Directory lists Alvah Kimball as the
landlord of the Methuen Hotel. This hotel was acquired by Silas Q. Hersey in
1873, who operated it until his death in 1891. The building, which had for many
years been the home of the Methuen Club, was acquired by Edward F. Searles in
1897, and remodeled in 1906 for use by the Y.M.C.A and again in 1915 as the
Masonic Temple. A plaque on the building describes the dedication to Edward's
father Jesse G. Searles. According
to Barbin, remodeling of the Exchange Hotel was done according to plans by
Searles' architect Henry Vaughan. Vaughan altered the roof line making it flat,
(probably changing the old gable to the present hip). He added the tower at the
north end and made a gymnasium on the second floor. The exterior was stuccoed
and embellished with classical details. Changes in 1915 were mostly internal.
repairs were made to the front wall of the building in 1882, and in 1883
fifteen gas chandeliers were installed, greatly improving the lighting in the
hall. Significant alterations were made in 1930 when the meeting hall was cutup
into office space and Colonial Revival exterior detail was added. The architect
for these alterations was John H. Feugill; Louis C. Cyr was the contractor. - Description courtesy of Dan Gagnon, historian.