Faced with mounting costs of maintaining and renovating an 82-year-old historic building, a nonprofit board of trustees has given it to Fairfax City.
For years the Fairfax City Council has played foster parent to Old Town Hall, readily supplying money for its upkeep. Despite its name, the building was never a government-owned town hall, but a private facility rented to social and political groups.
The Fairfax City Council last week accepted the deed to Old Town Hall from a board of trustees overseeing operation of the two-story brick building. The trustees, meeting now as a city government board, will study ways to raise money to renovate the one-acre site at University Drive and Main Street.
In the last five years, $30,000 in city and private funds has been spent on renovating the building. In March, the City Council appropriated $6,000 for repairing the chimney and foundation and installing emergency exits.
To raise money for further renovations, the Old Town Hall board will consider renting part of the building for private offices.
At the same time, the city staff is studying two other historic sites in Fairfax City: Earp's Ordinary and the McCandlish House. Both buildings, built in the early 1800s, are badly in need of repairs, according to city reports. The staff is looking into the possibility of renting parts of both city-owned buildings for private offices, if tenants agree to pay for renovation.