For many years, the front door of New Rochelle’s City Hall facing North Avenue has been locked. That hasn’t really been a functional problem, because the building’s main entrance is located around back next to our parking area, but the symbolism has always bothered me, and I’ve quietly advocated for getting the door open.
There were two obstacles: (1) the condition of the front steps, which presented a serious trip and fall hazard; and (2) security within the building, which becomes more difficult to monitor with a second entrance.
The first obstacle was addressed about a year ago, when the front steps were finally repaired. (The cracked and dislocated stone slabs were starting to look a little like an ancient ruin, especially with City Hall’s columns as a backdrop.)
The second obstacle is being addressed by the City Council this month, as we approve the placement of security cameras at various sensitive sites around the public complex, including the North Avenue entrance.
Once the cameras are installed, probably a little later this year, we’ll be able to open City Hall’s front door – and extend a proper welcome – to the community for the first time in decades.