Monday, November 21, 2016

City Hall Nears Completion

City Hall on White Street is close to being finished and should be occupied by the end of the year.
It is a magnificent structure, a fully refurbished early 20th century school building turned into the offices for the city of Key West. Some residents had to complain of course, the cost close to $20 million bothered them which is pretty funny as the city is currently renting space at Havana Plaza to keep the city running. and that's not cheap. The fifty year old pre-computer city hall on Angela Street was wrecked by Hurricane Wilma in 2005 and has been turned into a parking lot with a proper fire station (and public restrooms!) on that street corner.
This place offers easy access from all corners of the city with no more clogging of the tourist centers of Old Town. It has tons of parking and it retains a connection to Key West's past. I am glad they turned Glynn Archer school into this. Including the masonic symbol cut into the gymnasium name plate. Odd but true:
More controversy was generated by the solar panels in the parking lot. The whiners argued they are ugly and violate the rules of building design for the historic district. I think it's about time the Keys went solar.
Besides I think the argument that the houses across United Street aren't spoiled by the solar panels.
Look and decide for yourself:
Conversely the huge old fashioned emergency generator, a giant lump, causes no comment at all. Nor do the huge cement poles for power lines and all the infrastructure we are used to seeing. Change freaks people out. 
I can't wait to see the interior of this building which was rebuilt from the ground up inside the original shell.
And the landscaping is already in use: