Friday, May 8, 2009

Save The Calvert City Hall

I was horrified to read Gracia Casey Thibodeaux's article on the website, Fort Tumbleweed. The article tells that Calvert's Mayor, Marcus Greaves, and the City Council, are planning to bulldoze the old City Hall and replace it with one of those awful metal buildings.
The City Hall was damaged by an arsonist and more damage occured as they tried to extinguish the fire.
The article said that they city cannot afford the million dollars that it would take to repair the building, so they plan to bulldoze the building.
As far as I have heard, there has been no effort to call on people to donate or help raise funds to restore this grand old building. I feel sure that there are grants, etc. that could help, as well as contributions from private sources. I had only heard one person say that they didn't think that they could save the building. It would be too expensive.
Calvert cannot afford to let go of any more of its wonderful old structures.
Gracia's article tells much more of the history of the building and plans.
She asks people to write to the Mayor, the City Council, and anyone else who might have some influence to save the building.
Calvert does have a National Historic District, and there might be some help there, through the state, etc. Maybe they could ask the George Bush Library for help with fund raising.
They certainly need to know that there are people who would like the building saved and do not want any of those ugly modern metal buildings.
At this time, the offices are being housed in various buildings downtown.
I haven't heard anything about the progress in catching the idiot who set that fire.
I hope that each of you will pass this on to anyone who might be interested or have some influence, or ideas on how the City Hall can be saved. And let the Mayor and City Council know that this important building is worth saving.
There are certain places in town that we all cherish and the City Hall is one of them.
Dances, pageants, and programs were held in the upstairs. I remember seeing a sea of Singer sewing machines upstairs at the end of WWII, when my mother went there to get a sewing machine for $10. They had been rationed before that and you couldn't get one for any price.
It's where we voted and heard speakers.
The Red Cross met there sometimes.
Men went there to get their classifications and information about going off to War.
The small jail was a place that was a holding place for criminals or those who just got a little too rowdy or drunk. It was a place we were warned to stay away from.
The Calvert Fire Department , at the back, housed the fire trucks and gave the volunteer fire department a place to meet and have their mulligan stew nights. The fire hoses were stretched out between fires, on wooden racks behind the building. A metal tower held the fire whistle that summoned people to fires and told us what time it was. It also was used to call the City Marshall or call firemen to fires.
The City Marshall had an office on the north west corner. Tile floors and old oak furniture. The City Council and other civic groups held meetings there at night.
The City Secretary's office on the southwest corner held a huge walk in safe. This was where we went to pay water bills and any other payments including a dog license. This was where I went with my friend, Edie, when her father was City Secretary. We also would visit with Marvin, in the back, who took care of the jail and other duties.
Walking from town on a hot day, it was a pleasure to walk up the cool concrete steps of the City Hall, between the white columns, and enter the hall lined with cool small tiles. After cooling off at the City Hall, we went from tree to tree, seeking shade. We might even stop off in the park to try to find a breeze in the bandstand, and get a drink of water from the concrete water fountain.

It wasn't until recently that I found that my great-grandfather's name is on the cornerstone of the City Hall. Emil Conitz Sr. was one of the members of the City Council when the City Hall was built. C. O. Shelander was also related.

I do have special memories of this building, like many of the places in Calvert. And I'm sure that many others do too.

So, do what you can to help, please. Thank you!

I intended to post something about the National Day of Prayer, which Washington D.C. chose to ignore this year, yesterday, but I got some kind of rash which has spread to my face and my eyes. So, instead of posting, I took Benadryl and slept.
With all the problems in our country and the world today, we need all the prayer we can get. That certainly sent out another wrong message.
My eyes are still very swollen, and my face is swollen and red. I haven't been outside in the poison ivy, so I don't know what it is.
My eyes are nearly as bad as the time that I sunburned the insides of my eyes while on duty at a track meet at Wood Field in Hearne. That time, they were swollen almost shut for 2 weeks.
Between the purple spot from Macular Degeneration in my left eye, cataracts, and now the rash, I'm not seeing really well. I guess I will take more benadryl and sleep, later.
I've set up groups on Yahoo for Calvert, Texas and Calvert High School Trojans alumni. And the same groups on Face Book. If you have an interest in Calvert, or went to school in Calvert. I hope that you will join. I set up 2 separate groups because some people are on Face Book, and some don't use that site-thus the Yahoo group. I have to approve members to make sure that we don't get spammers, etc.
There are pictures on all the groups, and you are invited to add your own, as members.
Save the Calvert City Hall!
I tried to add the top photo of the cornerstone at the City Hall to the bottom of this post. Instead, it went to the top, and left this huge space at the end of the article. I tried to move it seveal times, but it wouldn't move and left even more space at the bottom, each time. I wish I knew how to fix this. My apologies. Scroll down to add comments and read more.

Look in my sidebar under Interesting Sites for Fort Tumbleweed. Scroll down to the history of Robertson County and under that, Calvert, for the article about the City Hall. I tried to add the url here, but it isn't adding, for some reason.
You can also just search for Fort Tumbleweed Calvert, Texas and find it.

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