2016-09-29 / Front Page

City Hall Stairs To Be Rebuilt

By Sam Morgen


At left: The brick siding to the steps of the St. Ignace Municipal Building have crumbled. Chips of brick rest on the stairs Thursday, September 22. At left: The brick siding to the steps of the St. Ignace Municipal Building have crumbled. Chips of brick rest on the stairs Thursday, September 22. The crumbling brick siding and fractured concrete front steps at St. Ignace City Hall will soon be rebuilt. Two contractors have reviewed the project with architect Susan Edwards of R.S. Scott Associates and will submit bids to City Manager Les Therrian for review by the city council Monday, October 3.

The project is expected to cost between $5,000 and $15,000 and will be financed from part of a $100,000 low-interest loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), obtained in October 2015. The loan also paid for window replacements at City Hall last December, made the building more energy efficient, and repaired and waterproofed the brick facade.

To rebuild the staircase, the steps and their foundation will be removed to make the new staircase more structurally sound. Around 15 years ago, the concrete along the edges started to deteriorate. To patch the damage, the city installed brick siding, which was not historically accurate.


The steps to the St. Ignace Municipal Building, known as City Hall, are in need of repair. Seen here Thursday, September 22, the brick siding of the steps has crumbled and the concrete bottom has fractured. The steps to the St. Ignace Municipal Building, known as City Hall, are in need of repair. Seen here Thursday, September 22, the brick siding of the steps has crumbled and the concrete bottom has fractured. “The last job was a cover-up job and it didn’t last,” Mr. Therrian said.

The new design will return the steps to their original appearance when the building was completed in 1940. The walls will be cast stone and the steps will be concrete.

The new steps will look much better, said St. Ignace Mayor Connie Litzner, and retaining the historical accuracy of the steps will add to the beauty of city hall.

Both the state Historic Preservation Office and USDA Rural Development have concluded City Hall is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places, although the building has not yet been placed on the list.


City engineer and project architect R.S. Scott Associates devised plans for the new steps based on this drawing by original building architect, Arnold Anderson, from 1939. (Photograph courtesy of the St. Ignace City Manager’s Office) City engineer and project architect R.S. Scott Associates devised plans for the new steps based on this drawing by original building architect, Arnold Anderson, from 1939. (Photograph courtesy of the St. Ignace City Manager’s Office) When designing the project, Mrs. Edwards said she attempted to restore the building’s historical accuracy while meeting present-day safety standards.

She said the project will take one or two months to complete, but could take longer if any problems are found.

“Every time you take something apart on an old building, it seems like there are surprises,” she said.

For the duration of the construction, public access to City Hall will be through the clerk’s office on the south side of the building, at the side parking lot. Handicap accessibility will not be affected by the construction.

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