Florissant’s first City Hall sits unnoticed to most people traveling up and down St. Francois Street. Tucked back from the streets edge at 619 St. Francois, the little white brick building was once the center of activity for the City of Florissant.
The City Council authorized the construction of the building in the spring of 1876 to serve as the City Hall and Calaboose, or local jail. Throughout its more than 130 years, it has been used for a variety of purposes, adjusting to the needs of the town.
The first time the building was altered was in 1919, when the Florissant volunteer fire department was formed. An addition to the east side of the building made room for the fire truck and other equipment.
The city grew quickly after World War II and a larger City Hall was needed. A new building was built on the same lot at the corner of St. Francois and Jefferson. When the government offices moved out, the Police Department took over the old building.
As years past, other additions were made to suit the needs of the city. From 1958 until 1963, it was used as the public library prior to the building of the current library in Bangert Park. It has been used as a public works annex, a police department annex and even a “Teen Town” operated by the Jaycees in the late 1950s. In 1983, it became our Senior Center after another series of alterations inside and out.
If you look closely and use your imagination just a little, you can still see that proud little building from 1876 that was the hub of government for a growing community.
To learn more about this amazing little building and see photographs of its many changes, visit Historic Florissant in the Gittemeier House, 1067 Dunn Rd.
Information for this article provided by Historic Florissant, Inc.