Municipal Complex has open houseBy Staff Reports Published 4:04am Saturday, September 4, 2010
The Demopolis Municipal Complex, which houses the Demopolis Police Department and the Demopolis Municipal Court, held an open house on Thursday.
The building is located at the intersection of Cedar Avenue and Washington Street, the former site of Loyd Jones Chevrolet.
The open house ceremony was held in the city courtroom, viewed by a capacity audience that included state troopers and officials from Selma as well as several local dignitaries.
DPD chief Tommie Reese welcomed the audience, and the Demopolis Police and Fire Honor Guard presented the colors. Toney Nixon, who provided music throughout the ceremony, played the National Anthem, and Dr. Allen Atkins of Fairhaven Baptist Church gave the invocation.
Demopolis mayor recognized a number of people who worked with the project, and JoAnn Webster King sang “My Country ’Tis of Thee.”
“My father and grandfather built half of this building back in the mid-’60s,” said Brian Brooker, the senior project manager for Ellis Architects, which designed the plans for the $1.7-million renovation. “I’m very pleased (with the result).
“The people who got up and talked (at the ceremony) today tells you what preserving a structure in your town can do. It’s not just about an old building; it’s about a community and lives and people who have gone before you and what they did here and what they left here, what they contributed here. The people who spoke each had a connection to this building, and that’s what it’s about.
“I don’t think any of us would like to what we left here as being disposable, once we’re gone,” he said. “You want to have counted for something in your family and in your life. If you designed a building, and you were a part of it, like Loyd Jones Chevrolet was, you don’t want that to be just negated after you’re gone.”
Brooker said the site was considered for demolition before Ellis got involved, and the building contained a lot of valuable material in its construction.
“The building looks very, very good,” said Buddy Jones, the son of Loyd Jones, who owned the Chevrolet dealership. “They did a lot of things with the original appearance. There is a bit of a modern look to it, but it looks very much the way it was.”