Public gets first official look at Goldsboro City Hall renovations
By Anessa Myers
Published in News on March 19, 2008 1:45 PM
The grand re-opening of Goldsboro's century-old City Hall on Tuesday gave city officials, residents and guests a chance to reminisce about the past and look ahead to the city's future.
Mayor Al King said the renovated structure will be a source of pride for years to come.
"It may need some tweaking here and there. But I think this building will be standing for a long time, and I hope it does well for the citizens of Goldsboro," King said. "You have been through these doors many times, but you will not believe what you'll see when you walk through today," he added as the ceremony began.
City Councilman Don Chatman said that he had purposely not visited the building while work was going on.
"I wanted to be as surprised as everyone else" he said.
Chatman said he was not disappointed.
"They did a fantastic job," he said. "It looks even better than I expected."
Daniels and Daniels Constuction Co. was the general contractor for the project, which started a year ago following the completion of the new City Hall addition adjacent to the historic building. For Daniels and Daniels project manager Jeremiah Daniels, Tuesday was a day to relish.
"We are very proud and honored to be a part of such an important part of the city and the community that we love. This is a very important day for us and for Goldsboro," Daniels said.
Other visitors also gushed about the refurbished structure that sports a wider foyer and hallway, improved facilities for handicapped, new restrooms, a new ceiling in the council chambers, along with two large-screen TVs, mahogany doors and gold-colored striped wallpaper. A second-floor walkway connects the two buildings.
Lendall Williams of Bunche Drive attended the re-opening a and said he recalled the old building.
Now, it is a "totally different place," he said. "I am real pleased with it. It is a real asset of the city's."
The event drew some folks from outside Wayne County.
Brenda Williams of Johnston County said Golds-boro residents should be proud of their landmark seat of government.
"I think it is a beautiful building," she said. "You can see that it is very rich in tradition. ... And those TVs in the council chambers, those are great. They make me feel like I'm in the overflow room at church."
State Sen. John H. Kerr said he was impressed with the building's new look and that as a resident of Goldsboro he felt the same pride that others in attendance expressed. He cited Goldsboro's long history and echoed Kings remarks about the building serving for another century.
"On behalf of my town, I appreciate what you have done, "he told city officials and the builders.
One of the visitors was Tom Robinson III, whose father, Thomas R. Robinson Jr., was mayor in the 1960s.
"I just wish my dad could see it," he said.
Robinson said he recalled the unrest that gripped the nation in the wake of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. His father, who was mayor at the time, feared violence in the streets following the news of King's death and took his family to the safest place he knew -- City Hall.
"We spent the night somewhere in one of those offices upstairs," Robinson, now 75, said.
Looking over the renovated building, Robinson said he had never seen it look better.
"It's beautiful," he said. "The ladies (the gold statues of Justice and Liberty atop the building) are perfect. And the clocks are great."
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