CREATING AN ACCESSIBLE CITY HALL CENTER
2018 was a great year for us. We signed a ten-year lease on the historic part of City Hall, developed a business plan, landed a big matching grant for fires suppression, got the winding staircase fixed, contracted with a restoration specialist to be our general contractor, and contracted with his selected architect. Please visit our website: www,friendsofcityhall.com
The dreadful 1970’s era drop ceilings, dark paneling and added, false walls were all removed from the main floor. The original, amazing brick work was revealed and the high ceiling exposed. Light could now sweep through the rooms and everything is more spacious. Our plan to develop a rental venue started looking a lot more plausible.
With the dawn of the new year we began plans for two major projects: installation of a heating systems and installation of the fire suppression (sprinkler) system. We could never have afforded both at the same time so we were doubly blessed when Ray Skotarcyk, owner of Hearthside Heating and Cooling, gave us a furnace, ductwork and installation. This gallant gift has put us way ahead.
O.K. so why do we need your donations?
We need to raise $3,000 via this site to qualify for the much bigger grants ACT offers.
We need to comply with a law. It is a very good law with great humanity. It is meant to give those with disabilities access. Looking back in time this historic, 1884 building illustrates how the disabled were ignored. None of the regular doors into this building were barrier free. If you had a physical problem with stairs too bad. We need and we want to install two devices that will give everyone easy, dignified entrance.
The old carriage doors for the firewagon stall are at ground level and are barrier free. A platform or porch lift installed a few feet in from those doors will carry visitors up to the main floor level which is built upon a windowed basement and is about 4 ½ feet above grade. It will be an elegant entrance with a large arched window.
Once in at main floor level the visitor might wish to attend an event in the second floor Opera House or have a meeting in a business incubator office in the basement. A small, custom, piston driven elevator is needed and our architect has found just the place for it in the building.
Once each device is installed in this Victorian era building it will become fully accessible to anyone for the first time in its 134 years. We think that will be a notable achievement.