Of historic proportions
Bloomington, Minn.’s 19th century-era Old Town Hall is one of the few remnants of the city’s historic downtown area. Constructed in 1892, the two-story, Gothic revival-style facility also is one of the few remaining historic town halls in the Twin Cities metropolitan region. In the 1930s, the town was burgeoning, and the house-like structure became a gathering place for government meetings and community events.
Today, the building houses the Bloomington Historical Society and a museum. After years of limited funding for maintenance, the building’s condition had deteriorated. Officials were faced with the decision to preserve the historic structure or to demolish it. The Bloomington Historical Society raised $140,000 for the building’s preservation, and in February 2006, the city contracted with Minneapolis-based Kodet Architectural Group to return the building to its original appearance. The building’s stucco exterior was replaced with cedar siding, and cast stone took the place of the brick veneer near the foundation. A cupola similar to the original also was constructed. By March 2008 — the city’s 150th anniversary — officials hope to complete additional renovations to add exhibit space and restore the building’s purpose as a gathering place for residents.