Friends of City Hall was started in 2011 to restore, protect and promote the historic, 1884 City Hall in Marine City, Michigan. We have a business plan in place to create a rental venue and performance center in what was an empty building. We envision the main floor as perfect for small group celebrations. The well preserved Opera House on the second floor is perfect for large group celebrations and, of course, music and theatrical presentations. A dramatic, double winding staircase rises for two flights to bring attendees up to the Opera House. The original builders, not unusual for the times, made no arrangements for a lift or elevator. (Otis Elevator was founded in 1853.) Every doorway but one must be approached via stairs. Inside the building has five levels requiring lots of stairs. The handicapped, elderly and infirm just could not use the building.
We have accomplished many major restoration goals but now we must make the building compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The one barrier free door has become, by default, our main entrance. To make all levels within the building accessible we must install an elevator near that door. Meeting that Code and safety requirement allows all our plans to move forward. That means a dark, empty building comes to life. It means jobs and commerce, an increase in draw for the city and perhaps an increase in Heritage Tourism. It is no little thing to say it will be the first time everyone can use the building.
Elevators a expensive and we are hampered by the pandemic with many of our fundraising activities cancelled. Landing a Community Thrives grant would be wonderful but first we must become eligible. That's where your donation moves the dial to and beyond the $3,000 minimum. If we can demonstrate our ability to raise that money on line we then qualify for the grant competition. Please give us all the help you can.
Thank you so very much.