The Waldron Recommendation Task Force has named members and announced a tentative schedule for the development of recommendations of future uses for the circa-1915 building at 122 South Walnut Street that will revert from Ivy Tech Community College to City of Bloomington ownership in January 2021.
Led by co-chairs Miah Michaelsen, Deputy Director of the Indiana Arts Commission, and Valerie Peña, Assistant Vice President/Chief of Staff for the Office of Government Relations & Economic Engagement at Indiana University, the taskforce comprises a cross-section of the Bloomington community including visual and performing artists and stakeholders, real estate and tourism industry professionals, historians, architects, and residents with insight into the facility’s previous transfers, as follows:
The task force will hold its first meeting in December, when it will prioritize discussion of the immediate and short-term uses of the building. Thus far the City has conducted an inspection of the physical plant, forecast potential near-term operating expenses, obtained an appraisal of the property’s value, and reviewed early proposals for the building from some interested organizations.
“The Waldron has been an anchor of Bloomington’s downtown for over a century, and we look forward to working with a broad swath of residents to determine the best use for this property as we continue to foster our vibrant community,” said Mayor John Hamilton.
In its process of evaluating the building and considering future uses, the task force will consult with a variety of groups with a particular interest in, or expertise related to the functionality of the facility. Among those groups to be consulted will be downtown restaurateurs and merchants, groups that have historically used the facility, business groups, tourism industry representatives, arts groups, youth, developers and all those interested in engaging in the process. Recommendations for the building’s future use are anticipated by April. Ongoing updates will be posted at the City’s website here.
Built in 1915, the building served as Bloomington’s City Hall and subsequently housed the City’s police and fire departments until the City deeded the property in 1990 to the Bloomington Area Arts Council. Since then, the building has provided gallery space, classroom space for art classes, two performance spaces, meeting rooms, and offices, and since 1994 has been the home of WFHB Community Radio. Ivy Tech has owned and operated the building as a community art center since 2010, when it purchased the building from the City of Bloomington. Bloomington’s Old City Hall building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is part of the Courthouse Square Historic District.