City Hall may undergo renovation
to make use of space
has leaking roof,
mold problems, city officials say
(March 2008) After spending more than 114
years in a building at 416 West St., in 1994, Madison officials relocated
City Hall to 101 W. Main St. At that time, the new building provided
ample space and modern facilities to city officials. Today, however,
City Hall faces some maintenance issues that include a leaking roof
and air quality issues due to mold.
by Don Ward
1926, the original bank building
on the corner of Main and West streets
was torn down and replaced with the
building that houses Madison City Hall
and the Police Department.
Madison Mayor Tim Armstrong said there are at least four
spots in the roof that have caused some water damage and need to be
repaired as soon as possible. Unfortunately, early estimates have put
the cost close to $400,000 to repair the roof.
We dont have that kind of money in our budget for repairs,
said Armstrong. We have some money in various accounts we are
looking at with the State Board of Accounts to see what we can use.
Officials have not yet discussed whether insurance would cover any of
the costs to fix the roof.
Armstrong also said the building needs its ventilation system for heating
and air conditioning cleaned out to improve the quality of air in the
building. While there are some air quality issues, no one has become
ill from the air in the building. We arent even close to
that kind of situation, said Armstrong. We just need to
make sure our air quality is up to standards.
One factor contributing to poor air quality in the building is a mold
problem that has resulted from the leaking roof. Armstrong said once
the roof is repaired, the mold problem will get resolved.
The building was built in 1926, according to records compiled at the
Jefferson County Historical Society. It replaced an older and smaller
building that was erected in 1853 to house the Indiana State Bank. The
building was brick like most of its neighbors, said museum historian
The Indiana State Bank, under the supervision of E.G. Whitney, was the
first of three banks to be housed at that location, which was originally
referred to as the southwest corner of West Street and Main Cross.
In 1863, Whitney requested a letter from the federal government for
an application for a national bank, and on Oct. 24, 1863, the charter
was granted. The first stockholders, officers and employees were the
same as those of Indiana State Bank. The new bank, The First National
Bank of Madison, was the first national chartered bank in the area.
First National Bank and Indiana State Bank operated side by side in
the same building until gradually, the nationally charted bank assumed
the business of the Indiana State Bank.
The Madison bank, unlike others across the country, managed to survive
the Panic of 1873, when New York banks failed and others followed. It
survived the American Civil War and the World Wars. During the Great
Depression, President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared an emergency and
closed all banks in the country until they could be assessed. The Madison
bank was given a clean bill of health and was one of the first in the
region to re-open.
In 1976, the First National Bank of Madison was converted to a state
bank, and its name was changed again to the First Bank of Madison. By
1984, the bank merged with Madison Bank and Trust an on Feb. 15, 1985,
the First Bank of Madison closed its doors for business.
Over the years, the building itself underwent several changes. In 1948,
the first expansion took place as the building next door was acquired.
It was remodeled in 1962, and again in 1972 it was expanded to include
the adjoining building.
Today, the building looks much like it did when it finished serving
as a bank to the community. Even the same carpet is still in place from
the buildings banking days.
Armstrong said eventually officials would love to remodel the four-story
building and use all of its floors. The building is three-fourths
of a block long and four stories, he said. It is truly a
beautiful building and the potential here for office space is tremendous.
He said the Madison-based Artful Living Co. is designing plans to better
use the available space the building affords.
That would be good news for the Madison Police Department, located in
the rear of the building. Armstrong, a former police detective, said
that department has had inadequate space for some time now.
Architect Brian Martin, of Artful Living Co, said the city agreed to
pay Artful Living $100 an hour for approximately 70 hours of work. The
study will go through several processes and a conceptual drawing that
maximizes and appropriate space based on specific department needs.
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