To The Editor:
Although we left Vermillion years ago, we still care about its people and its history. We are worried that one of the city’s finest classical buildings will be lost.
When the Siegrist library was in the planning stages, the Carnegie library on Church Street was much maligned as too small (which it was) and unsound (which it wasn’t). There were serious plans to demolish the old library and put up a parking lot.
Dedicated people worked hard to save the library, and this jewel box of a building continues to grace Vermillion.
Now similar dynamics apply. To sell the public on a new courthouse/law enforcement center, all the faults of the old, classical building are emphasized.
Thankfully, there are people in Vermillion who see its strengths and are rallying to save the courthouse for its intended purposes.
The functions of law enforcement and the courts should be separated because they are very different parts of the legal system.
Nevertheless, it makes perfect sense to have the desperately needed new jail near the courthouse with a secure passageway between them.
Another important consideration is to have public buildings that inspire respect. We need a little grandeur to express the importance of our legal system. (Why else would the U. S. Supreme Court look like a Greek temple?)
A trip to Pierre to visit the Capitol is always inspiring. Although on a smaller scale, Clay County needs an impressive building for its most important government functions.
It has that building! A single-story building somewhere on the edge of the city will never have the dignity that the present courthouse provides.
Jim and Judy Krueger