The old brick Pineville City Hall was a modern building when it opened in 1931. The structure provided all of the services of the local government under one roof, including a garage for the town’s police car and fire engine.
everything under one roof
Michael Wynne, who writes historical articles and books, gives me a tour of the now-closed city hall. “Fire, police, water, city taxes, public library, city court, judge’s office, clerk of court, jail,” Wynne explains, were all under one roof. The very first department on the right was city taxes and the water department, which probably was the most common need for any citizen of any town. The Mayor’s office was a few steps away. Just past the old police and fire department offices, you enter the garage. Pineville’s first fire truck and police car are still housed there.
The stairs take you to the building’s large courtroom. And when the court was not in session, it was also the library and the place where the city council held its meetings. And at the back of the building behind steel doors was the city jail. Wynne believes that spending time in a jail cell could be extremely uncomfortable. “They must have been incredibly cold in the winter,” Wynne says, “and incredibly hot in the summer.”
old pineville city hall a unique design
The steel frame and brick is a Dutch style, designed nearly a century ago by Alexandria architect Errol Barron. Local amateur historian Paul Price likes the way the architect used different shades of bricks on the building’s exterior, “He made shapes and patterns. He really got creative on this building,” Price says.
old city hall museum featured on tv
City hall becomes museum
Pineville built a new city hall in 1974. And with community support, the old building became the town’s museum. But years of neglect caught up with the old building which has been shuttered since the 1990s.
Wynne hopes the museum can reopened. “They just need some attention, some renovation, some cleanup, some repainting, and some repairs to a few leaks in the building,” Wynne says. And if those repairs are made, it may reopen as a community center and continue telling the story of Pineville’s past.