The Monroe Township Building has helped define the word community in Tipp City for the past century.
The massive building at the southeast corner of Third and Main streets downtown was constructed beginning in 1915 with 12-inch thick exterior walls and a roof of steel beams and 2 foot by 4 foot concrete slabs. The building was dedicated in 1916, the year of its completion.
The township with an open house and tours celebrated the building’s 100th birthday Sept. 18.
The building offerings such as offices and space including a theater, auditorium and large basement gathering room has made it the site of high school graduations in the auditorium until 1952. Class plays, other school programs and church congregations have utilized space over the decades.
Major renovations were carried out in the early 1960s, with conversions to office suites. The second floor area home to KIT-TV’s studio previously was the theater balcony.
The basement kitchen facilities enable local organizations to serve meals to large groups. The local Rotary Club has held its luncheon meetings in that space since 1939.
The basement space is used for receptions, parties and other activities. The additions of a wheelchair ramp and chair lift were completed in the 1980s.
The building today is home to township offices, KIT-TV, the Chamber of Commerce and Tipp City Downtown Partnership along with Third Street Salon, McKee Asset Management, Donna Clements Piano Studio and Daniel Gilbert financial consultant.
Past businesses have been many. Among them have been Monroe Federal Savings & Loan, Topper Dress Shop, dental offices, barber shop, Favorite Insurance, Five and Ten Cent Store, lawyers and a driver’s education classroom.
The center space upstairs was home to the local municipal court until it was moved to the Miami County Courthouse.
The building is one of the few still owned and maintained by a township and made available for community use in Ohio.
Township Trustee Martin English said the listing of the various uses of the building over the years is the best description of it value to the community “besides providing easy public access to township government.”
The government use takes up more space in the building than in the past, he said. Without the building, the township would need space elsewhere for its operations. “That new space would likely cost the township much more than it does to maintain the current building and would not provide a community room with kitchen or space for KIT-TV, or the Chamber, etc.,” English said.
Although he didn’t have the number on hand for annual expense to operate the building, he said the rental fees cover the cost of building upkeep.
(Source: The Monroe Township Building – “A Century of Memories” 1915-2015)