Danville Federal Courthouse To Become New County Admin Building
For years, the old post office and federal courthouse building in downtown Danville has been nearly empty, except for Congressman John Shimkus’ office. But over the next few months, the building will become the new home of Vermilion County government.
In a ceremony last Friday, Vermilion County Board Chairman Mike Marron formally accepted a deed and possession of the three-story building on behalf of the county from the U-S General Services Administration, which has overseen the building since its court operations were moved to Urbana in 1988. The county is paying nothing for the building, while the federal government is freed of the expense of maintaining it.
Marron says the 106-year-old federal building comes to the county in good shape.
“There’s some minor things that need to be addressed, some old carpet and things like that,” said Marron. “But the federal government has made the investment to keep that building up, keep it modern. It’s kind of got some pretty late-model HVAC (heating, ventilation & air conditioning) units in it. And it’s been well-maintained, well-taken care of over the years.”
Over the next year, the old federal building on North Vermilion Street will become home to the Vermilion County Board, county clerk, supervisor of assessments and other county offices.
Marron says the county wants to get those offices out of the smaller Courthouse Annex, a half-mile away.
“This is kind of an old building,” said Marron of the Courthouse Annex. “It’s got some issues, and of course, we’re attached to the vacant Bresee Tower, which is a serious issue for the future of this building.”
The county-owned Courthouse Annex is conjoined with the privately owned Bresee Tower, which has been vacant for several years. Marron said he assumed Bresee would eventually be demolished. However, an Alabama-based non-profit organization recently acquired the building, with hopes of renovating it.
In addition to offices from the Courthouse Annex, Marron says he expects Vermilion County’s Emergency Management Agency will move into the old federal building, and that State Senator Scott Bennett may rent office space there.
Danville’s old federal building was designed by U.S. Treasury Dept. architect James Knox Taylor in the Neo-Classical Revival style, with a limestone façade. Its public lobby was restored in 1991. A memorial to Revolutionary War soldiers buried in Vermilion County was installed in front of the building by the local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.