Town approves renovation of former rail station for new sign manufacturing business

  • Plans show the future renovations of the former Greenville Rail Station as part of renovations that will be done as the space is converted to light manufacturing for a sign fabrication business. Courtesy photo—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 6/14/2021 3:56:54 PM

A manufacturer has received approval from both the Planning and Zoning Boards for a custom sign fabrication business located in the Greenville downtown, which includes plans to renovate and restore the former Greenville Rail Station.

Thomas Hawkins of Northroad Wood Signs & Sign Graphics proposed to locate the business on 1 Dunster Avenue, the former Greenville Rail Station, which most recently housed the King House restaurant.

The business already obtained a special exception for light manufacturing in the downtown district this March, and last week, was granted two additional variances by the Zoning Board, and had a site plan review by the Planning Board.

Northroad Wood Signs was established by Deborah and Tom Hawkins in Groton, Mass., in 1992, and primarily designs and produces carved wooden signs. The business moved to Temple in 1999, operating out of a barn on the Hawkins’ property, but has outgrown the space allowed by Temple home occupation ordinance.

Under the plan presented to Greenville boards, the Hawkins said he intends to restore the building, removing several additions to the building added in the early 1990s, when it was converted to a restaurant, including the “caboose-like” structure along Old Wilton Road, where the bar is located in the restaurant, and removing the entry vestibules at the front and west side of the building. The key architectural features of the original rail station will be preserved.

In the fall, Hawkins intends to continue renovation to add an extension of the restored structure to the rear, in the same form as the original station, with a platform and braces, to create the appearance of a long rail station. 

The Zoning Board of Adjustment granted two variances for the proposed renovations, including a relief from setback requirements, and allowing the construction of a “tower” as part of the rear addition that is higher than Greenville’s height restriction allows. The tower will replace a 36-foot tower currently part of the design.

During the Planning Board meeting Tuesday, the board accepted the plans as complete, and ultimately approved the plans. The Zoning Board approved both requested variances in a separate meeting. The Zoning Board stipulated the removal of the 1990 additions must be done before or concurrently with the new building renovations.

While at this time, plans for the tower renovations do not include a clock, if a clock is ever installed, Hawkins must return to the town for review of plans for sound and lighting.


Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 244 or She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.


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