It’s the beginning of the end for the Huntsville City Hall Annex

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - A dominant part of the Downtown Huntsville skyline is one step closer to meeting its demise.

Huntsville City Council voted Thursday night to hire an architect to develop a plan to demolish the annex portion of City Hall.

Much like bell bottom jeans and mood rings, it could be argued that this portion of City Hall, built in the 1960s, hasn't stood the test of time.

“It’s just time to tear the building down," said Jeff Easter, the Director of General Services.

Unlike those other fads, Easter said the building needs to be demolished, not because of style, but because of safety.

“It has never been renovated, it’s really a dormant building and has been for many years," he said.

Now, even the State of Alabama is requesting the move.

State law prohibits unused elevators from staying in buildings, so if they have to come out anyway, "It’s our opinion instead of paying to take those out which will be more costly than just including it in a demolition, that we do it all at one time," said Easter.

Several citizens spoke out against the move at council, saying this is just the first step of replacing all of City Hall with something new. The City Administrator disagrees.

"Even if you all took a vote to say we’re never building a new City Hall, we would still want to demolish that annex portion of the building because of its condition," John Hamilton said in the meeting.

Leaders won't deny, clearing the annex land would make the process easier.

"Right now, there’s no vacant area around the admin building so this will gain staging area, it also helps break the project down into two phases," said Easter.

So while the resolution doesn't put a timetable on when demolition will begin, Mayor Battle and others argue, like other 60s trends, it's better served in our memory than out in public.

“It has a lot of old memories for those of us around a long long time ago, but its memories are not outweighed by the cost that it has," Tommy Battle said during the council meeting. 

Jeff Easter said the demolition process will be complicated, especially since the main City Hall building is connected to the annex, through an underground hallway.