WARREN - Members of the Historic Perkins Neighborhood Association, along with other volunteers, have been donating their time to restore the pagoda located behind City Hall.
Kay Fisher and Troy Kahler, who worked together to coordinate the effort, said the association has looked at ways to see what happened to the historic building and how to put it back together.
Fisher said at first many thought the pagoda was beyond repair.
''There are a lot of hours put into this,'' she said. The project was started in the summer of 2011.
"Some of the members of the Homestead Neighborhood Association were walking around over there and were trying to find the pagoda. It was so covered up with brush that people did not know it was back there,'' Fisher said.
She said they also learned a homeless person had been sleeping under it.
Fisher said the association wondered what could they do restore it, and she approached then-Mayor Michael O'Brien about ways to improve it.
The pagoda was built in 1871 at the time the house, which is now City Hall, was constructed.
"We have a historic building that we just can't slap together,'' she said, noting workers have done put on a new roof.
A pagoda is a tiered structure, built in the traditions originating in historic East Asia with multiple eaves. Many pagodas have been constructed as a worship location or for decoration in gardens and lawns.
Fisher said wedding photos have been taken there as well as graduation pictures, picnics and parties.
"I used to bring groups here on tours. On historic tours, we ate lunch on the grounds around the pagoda,'' she said.
Members of Boy Scout Troop 15 volunteered to help clean it up with trees having fallen on it.
Fisher said the volunteers have cleaned it up and patched it together.
Work began in December 2011, but Fisher said while she was ill in 2012, the project was on hold.
Volunteers painted the structure this fall and also repaired the roof. Rick Thomas and Dave Richards did work on the roof and rafters.
Fisher said she helped raise the money for the project with plans to continue it in the spring for completion in 2014. The neighborhod association rasied $1,000 for the construction under Fisher's guidance and also recruited the volunteers.
Kahler did research on the structure. The Henry Perkins family built city hall and then built it as part of the original construction.
''It's coming along and provides a gorgeous view of the area,'' Fisher said.