(GARY, Ind.) Aging City Hall is gaining a facelift this summer thanks to an infusion of repair money funneled from a revenue bond from a downtown tax increment financing district.
Workers sweated through the heat wave in the past week making tuck pointing repairs on the building, which first opened in 1928.
Earlier this summer, the City Council approved an ordinance establishing funds for the $4.5 million revenue bond, appropriated by the Redevelopment Commission in April. It’s aimed at fixing heating and cooling systems at the Genesis Center, along with City Hall repairs.
Cloteal LaBroi, the city’s Public Works director, said the City Hall repairs include tuck-pointing of its concrete exterior, outside stair repairs, restroom renovations and a new passenger and freight elevator.
LaBroi said the tuck-pointing, being done by Precision Builders, will continue over the next month. “We’ve had a lot of water issues,” she said.
Tuck-pointing work has been done at least two previous times on the 86-year-old building, records show.
Chicago architect Philip B. Maher, the son of architect George Maher, designed City Hall in 1927 as the city began its rapid growth period.
It was built for $3 million when Floyd Williams served as mayor.
Maher fashioned it in a Grecian-Doric style with concrete stone veneer over masonry, according to National Park Service records in an historic American buildings survey.
Maher designed skylights in the third floor, but they were removed in 1963.
When it opened, it housed the city’s police department and a small jail in the basement.
Maher also built a rose garden south of City Hall, which is now a parking lot.
Its dome was added in 1950 and Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson said former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley’s grandfather worked as an ironworker on that project.
Freeman-Wilson said the weather-worn dome will be also cleaned and pressure-washed as part of the project.
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