Since being built in 1866, Worden Hall has gone through several incarnations: town meetinghouse, general store, dance hall, church, apothecary, school, fishermen’s social club. Today, it’s a private residence. After Cape Cod artists Donn and Nan Devita bought the building in the 1960s, it served as their home and art gallery until 2013. When Donn Devita passed away and his daughter put the property up for sale, Worden Hall was dilapidated and required serious renovations. The future of the hall seemed bleak.
Just when it seemed that Worden Hall’s vigil at the edge of 6A had reached an end, Lou Carrier happened to drive by and notice the “for sale” sign. Carrier, a New England hotelier, saw an opportunity to restore a classic Cape Cod structure and preserve a piece of Dennis, the town where he was raised. Abiding by advice from the local historical society to preserve its authenticity, Carrier gathered more than 25 craftsmen from Cape Cod to rebuild Worden Hall over the course of a year. Carrier added subtle marine-inspired details to the interior, including an 18-foot bar made with fossilized limestone harvested from the North Atlantic Ocean in the 1950s. Donn and Nan Devita’s paintings of ships from the nearby Shiverick Shipyard, which hang throughout the home, add nautical touches. Artifacts found during the renovation, such as bottles, binoculars and even a typewriter, are also part of the décor. Worden Hall, now Carrier’s home, is the recipient of the 2015 Dennis Historical Society’s Preservation of the Year Award. —Bailey Soderberg