CADILLAC — A little elbow grease can go a long way.

Workers have been busy this summer renovating the inside and cleaning the outside of the old city hall building on Mitchell Street.

Passersby may have noticed professional cleaners spraying sections of the building with a substance called One Restore during the past week; the chemical is used to remove built-up grime and substances on limestone and brick.

Building owner Robb Munger said he planned to have crews do at least two applications of the chemical on the building to bring back some of its original luster.

“They’re going to be working more on the some of the darker areas,‘ Munger said. “They’ll be back again next spring.‘

As far as work being done to the interior, Munger said they’ve installed new carpet, tiles, trim and are in the process of renovating the bathrooms and installing energy-efficient lighting.

Munger purchased the former Cadillac city hall building — which is now home to a variety of businesses and organizations, including the Cadillac Area Visitor’s Bureau — in 2018.

He previously bought and fixed up another historic building in town — the Cobbs and Mitchell building — which is now home to engineering firm Prein and Newhof, among other businesses.

Munger said when the downstairs tenants of the old city hall building decided to relocate, he began thinking of ways to spruce up the floor to give it a decidedly 21st-century appeal.

“The last time the building was redone was in the 1980s,‘ Munger said.

Built in 1901, the building served as the Cadillac City Hall and fire department hall until 1977, when the new, larger municipal building on Lake Street was completed.

According to an application submitted in 1986 to the United States Department of the Interior requesting that the structure be designated as a historic place, the city council’s decision to build the structure in 1899 did not come without some political infighting.

At the time the new building was proposed, several aldermen argued it shouldn’t be so large and expensive.

Despite no longer being used by the city, signs of the building’s history can still be observed today, including the double doors facing Mitchell Street that once served as the entrance for Cadillac fire trucks.

Once downstairs interior work is complete, Munger said he’ll start marketing the building for use by tenants. Currently, the only tenant they have on the bottom floor is Rep. John Moolenaar’s Cadillac office.

Cadillac News