Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Now an Update:
Newsline Muncie: Local Randolph County citizens hold rally at courthouse, 4000 sign petition to save courthouse.

And from our Oakland newsdesk, Morgan Jones:
Good to see you've been a posting mucho on the blog. I'm checking daily in my unemployment. "Meth Mouth" is a good one. We had that story, which originally came from a paper in Minnesota. I was proud to include it in the mag. Also followed the Randolph Courthouse dilemma with interest. I've seen that scenario play out many times. In Randolph's case, the historical society seems to have waited until the last second to get involved. But it's usually the historical societies that lead the successful pushes to save the court. Another difference in Randolph was this group of business "leaders"
called Stop Courthouse Annex Now. Seems like they convinced the county commissioners that their little group *was* the community and that their interests were pretty narrow, wanting only to save the foot traffic in front of a few shops. If they had been willing to compromise, I'm sure the architects could have and would have come up with a plan that did both. But from what I can tell, the shopkeepers just wanted to shitcan it. The fact is, building an annex is the most common strategy for saving a court while also upgrading the facility to make it efficient. When the "leaders" opposed the annex outright, they doomed the renovation.

Hope it's not too late for a wider community movement to swell up behind the historical society. Architects and commissioners actually tend to be very responsive, in my experience. It's just the only ones opening their mouths were $#!+heads.

And in Winchester, Indiana, out with the old, in with the new.
128 year old courthouse slated for wrecking ball.
Town council says "Ugly old building's just in the way of progress." A council member added that the city of Winchester is plain out of space, "With the overcrowding of Randolph County and the incredible building boom going in Winchester there is no way we could find another piece of property to put the new courthouse."


WINCHESTER, Ind. -- The 128-year-old Randolph County Courthouse will be demolished and replaced -- the first courthouse in Indiana razed since the 1970s, officials said.

County Commissioners voted 2-1 against renovating the three-story brick building and in favor of building one on the city's courthouse square. They spent a year discussing almost a dozen options before reaching the decision Monday.

Officials have not said how much a new building will cost or when demolition will begin.

The Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana was planning a strategy to save the courthouse, one of the state's oldest, said executive vice president Tina Connor. The Cass County Courthouse was the last one in Indiana to be razed and replaced, according to the group.

About three dozen residents who opposed the move left the meeting after the vote, mumbling under their breath.

Read the rest of the story here in the Indy Star:

Winchester News: http://www.winchesternewsgazette.com/

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