The beauty of Farmington's Long Memorial Hall, located in the Courthouse District at the corner of South Franklin and East Columbia Street, has been enhanced recently by several minor improvements that included the installation of new front steps and railings, as well as the addition of two lampposts to better illuminate the front of the building after dark.
According to Farmington City Administrator Greg Beavers, the building's landscape had at one time included lampposts, but they were removed at some unknown time and for an unknown reason. Where the original lampposts were taken once they were removed from the building's grounds also posed a mystery for the city.
“There were originally lampposts very similar to that on the front stoop of Long Hall,” he said. “We know that from some old photos of the building. We also know that the cut stone stoops that are on the building still have the bolt holes where those lamps were attached. Nobody seems to recall them being there that I talked to. We don’t know when they were removed and where they went.
“We needed to re-pour our front steps because the concrete was breaking up and causing some safety hazards and we needed to replace the handrail. While we were doing that, we took time to try to find some lampposts that were pretty close based on the picture. It does give the building a new, different kind of look.”
Although they are apparently similar to the ones seen in a very grainy photograph, Beavers said there are some differences.
“The ones that were there, as best as we can tell, were very similar to the ones that are on the front of the post office,” he said. “We just couldn’t find those, so we went with something a little different in style — but it still matches the building well.”
Long Hall, which was built in 1924, was financed by Mrs. James A. Bisby in honor of her brother, Dubart Long — both direct descendants of Farmington's founder, David Murphy. The building originally served as a community center that included the public library, city offices, a bowling alley, an auditorium, and a dance floor. Today, the building serves as Farmington's city hall and is still used for community events.
Mark Marberry is a reporter for the Farmington Press and Daily Journal. He can be reached at 573-518-3629, or at firstname.lastname@example.org
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