City cannot afford to save the hallPublished 9:15am Friday, July 5, 2013
It looks like Ironton’s Memorial Hall will soon very likely see its last days.
Last week, the Ironton City Council’s Finance Committee voted to move forward with funding for the demolition of the former city building and jail. Council as a whole will still have to vote for the actual demolition, but seeing how this structure has continued to collapse in on itself and be allowed to deteriorate, this seems to be the best course of action.
We have long advocated that the city government did not need to be in the building restoration business and that a nonprofit organization or preservation group should step forward.
That hasn’t happened.
The city simply doesn’t have the money to try to salvage the building, and residents are asked to foot the bill for enough already.
Ironton’s other community organizations have their hands full with things such as the restoration of the Ro-Na Theater and the beautification and development of downtown.
But, before bringing in the wrecking ball, council should explore the idea of turning the land into a small pocket park and determine if keeping the tower and archway of the historic building standing is a feasible concept.
If this could be accomplished, with minimal additional expense, it would add some green space to downtown and preserve a key part of Ironton’s history.
Letting go of the past can be a painful and heartbreaking process, but holding on too long can be costly and damaging to the city’s future.