"For several years the old city hall has been vacant. Recently, Mayor Ballard requested ideas from developers. Rather than attempting another residential project, maybe the city should re-develop the old city hall into a new city hall. Transparency ...and access could be improved if the Mayor was accessible to the people and not ensconced on the 25th floor of the city county building."
Candidate for Mayor of Indianapolis, Brian Williams, posted that on his Facebook page last night. It's an interesting proposal. Using the old City Hall as a way to bring the Mayor's Office down closer to the people. I must admit; it makes some really good sense.
The classic old building was the home of Indianapolis city government from its construction in the early 20th Century to 1962 when the City-County Building opened. County government was housed in the old Marion County Courthouse which was razed shortly after the CCB opened.
The City-County Building was supposed to solve office space issues, and it did for a while. If you've been inside the building lately, you will see that Marion County and the City of Indianapolis have outgrown this skyscraper even as some key offices have moved out...the Prosecutor's Office among them. Maybe moving the Mayor's Office off the 25th Floor and into the Old City Hall is the right thing to do. I don't know that it will solve the overcrowding problems at the CCB, but it might help.
I would also advocate looking into what it would cost to ease some of the courts overcrowding in the current City-County Building by opening space in the Old City Hall. In today's City-County Building, there are cases being heard in spaces that were never designed to be courtrooms. Perhaps a hybrid office/courts building could find a home in the Old City Hall.
One way or another, Williams' suggestion is worth fleshing out.