Conway, NH – The New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources is proud to announce that the Bolduc Block in Conway has been honored by the United States Secretary of the Interior with placement on the National Register of Historic Places. The building is significant both for its architecture and as an example of an early 20th century mixed-use commercial space.
A long-standing local landmark that replaced several buildings destroyed by fire in 1923, the Bolduc Block was designed to have four shops and a theater on the first floor and offices on the second. It was home to the first purpose-built movie theater in Conway.
Bolduc Block’s Art Deco and Art Moderne features include a flat brick exterior, a stepped parapet and projecting storefronts. The theater entrance is easily identified by a prominent marquee, echoing the original, that extends over the sidewalk and gold-painted wooden frames designed to hold movie advertisements.
The New Conway Theatre – which was later renamed the Majestic Theater – opened on June 24, 1931, showing a cartoon, a short comedy, a Technicolor geography lesson and the MGM comedy “Stepping Out,” starring Charlotte Greenwood and Reginald Denney.
Throughout its history, Bolduc Block’s storefronts were occupied by a variety of businesses, including a pharmacy, grocer, department store, sewing store, telephone business offices and post office.
The building’s exterior is largely unchanged. Despite a fire in the theater in 2005, the interior still has many features from the 1930s, including light fixtures, cast iron radiators and cushioned brocade fabric wall panels in the lobby.
Administered by the National Park Service, which is part of the U.S. Department of the Interior, the National Register of Historic Places is the nation’s official list of cultural resources worthy of preservation and is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate and protect our historic and archaeological resources.
Listing to the National Register does not impose any new or additional restrictions or limitations on the use of private or non-federal properties. Listings identify historically significant properties and can serve as education tools and increase heritage tourism opportunities. The rehabilitation of National Register-listed commercial or industrial buildings may qualify for certain federal tax provisions.
In New Hampshire, listing to the National Register makes applicable property owners eligible for grants such as the Land and Community Heritage Investment Program or LCHIP (lchip.org) and the Conservation License Plate Program (nh.gov/nhdhr/grants/moose).
For more information on the National Register program in New Hampshire, please visit nh.gov/nhdhr or contact Peter Michaud at the New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources at 603-271-3483.
New Hampshire’s Division of Historical Resources, the “State Historic Preservation Office,” was established in 1974. The historical, archaeological, architectural and cultural resources of New Hampshire are among its most important environmental assets. Historic preservation promotes the use, understanding and conservation of such resources for the education, inspiration, pleasure and enrichment of New Hampshire’s citizens. For more information, visit nh.gov/nhdhr or call 603-271-3483.
Story Courtesy of:
Peter Michaud, N.H. Division of Historical Resources