03/07/04 — New City Hall: First look at plan brings good feelings

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New City Hall: First look at plan brings good feelings

That first indication of what Goldsboro’s City Hall may ultimately look like was mighty encouraging.

A design has been drafted by the architects Partin & Hobbs and shown to the City Council. A rendering of the exterior has appeared on the front page of the News-Argus.

The plan would save the beautiful old City Hall that for more than a century has been the centerpiece of Center Street. The unique statues of Peace and Justice on its roof not only would be retained but would be preserved.

The city would expand its office space — something it badly needs to do — by building an annex that would connect to the old landmark by a raised walkway enclosed in glass.

The walkway would be lighted at night.

The annex would be set back farther from the sidewalk than the original building. That would mean the stately edifice built in 1902 would continue to be the focus. It would also leave room for something decorative, like a plaza or fountain.

Too often when old buildings get annexes, the annexes are built in completely different styles from the building to which they are affixed. This not only detracts from the beauty of the original, but it gives the entire package a cobbled-together look.

The rendering of the City Hall proposal does not appear to do that. The new part would not look old, but its architecture would not be in a style that is shockingly incongruous. The colors would be matched.

It appears that the building would show a little of two periods — the period at the beginning of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century, and would do so pleasantly.

Government buildings should be built to last through many years. That first look indicates that this is one we wouldn’t be ashamed to leave for the generations to come.

—MIKE ROUSE

Published in Editorials on March 7, 2004 12:27 AM