Still Another Step Before State Decides Fate Of Cordell Hull Office Building

Historic preservationists have urged the state to keep the Cordell Hull, calling the building next to the statehouse a key example of midcentury modernist architecture. Credit: Bartleby via Flickr

Historic preservationists have urged the state to keep the Cordell Hull, calling the building next to the statehouse a key example of midcentury modernist architecture. Credit: Bartleby via Flickr

Everyone agrees the state’s Cordell Hull office building is old and leaky. But just how extensive its damage is and whether it’s worth saving continues to be a matter of contention. Before officials make up their minds whether to fix the structure or tear it down, they want to reconcile the differences between two conflicting reports.

The first report came from a real estate firm. It called the Cordell Hull building and another next door “functionally obsolete,” both due to extensive damage and an outdated design. It’s conclusion: both building should be demolished. But that firm also stood to benefit from moving state workers into leased space. Concern over that conflict of interest lead officials to order a new evaluation.

In it, an architectural firm says the sixty-year old building is fixable, and that the layout is as efficient and useable as some of the state’s most recently renovated office space. However, it says stabilizing just Cordell Hull and bringing it up to code would cost about 30 million dollars. Following the state’s current standards for things like energy efficiency in both buildings could push the price tag as high as 76 million.

The next task is to sort through both reports and catalog where they differ and why. Until that’s done, officials say they won’t decide the fate of the Cordell Hull building.

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