After years of planning, construction, coordinating and moving, we are now in our new City Hall building and are fully operational! The building has been well received by the public, and we believe it will serve us well for decades to come. A lot has been communicated and promoted about the major revitalization of the downtown including the new Mishawaka City Hall, the Ironworks Plaza and Skate Ribbon, as well as development to the north and other major developments throughout the City of Mishawaka.
As we dedicate this building on Veterans Day, we also dedicate it to the permanent display of a historical relic of national significance. Just off the main entrance to City Hall is a hallowed piece of the battleship U.S.S. Arizona. Arizona’s loss has special meaning for Mishawakans because one of our own, Seaman 1/C Arthur Albert Huys, was among the sailors who died because of the attack on the ship.
City Hall Dedication
A top priority throughout his tenure, Mayor Wood has been dedicated to upgrading Mishawaka’s government facilities to maximize efficiency and service to our citizens. Some facilities identified included Mishawaka City Hall, Mishawaka Utilities Business Office and major upgrades needed at the Mishawaka Police Department. When the former Liberty Mutual Building Call Center (100 Lincolnway West) announced, pre-pandemic, that they were encouraging many of their staff members to work from home and that they would sell their large 95,000 square foot building, the City of Mishawaka began its initial planning and discussion toward those goals.
As Mayor, Dave Wood has taken the opportunity and worked in collaboration with the City Council to acquire the building to solve multiple issues simultaneously. The acquisition of the former Liberty Mutual Building has provided the City the ability to consolidate these three buildings into one efficient building. The prime downtown location has the added benefit of contributing to the downtown redevelopment efforts by becoming a key centerpiece, as well as providing additional public parking for downtown businesses and special events on evening and weekends.
The new Council Chambers has become our citizens’ public house: the space where the City’s legislative business is conducted and where many of our Boards and Commissions meet. The renovation to create this space was extensive and required the removal of a concrete deck floor to create an open and airy two-story space. The new chamber has seating for 150 people which is about double the capacity of our previous City Hall.
It is with great pleasure that Mayor Wood and the City of Mishawaka dedicate the new Mishawaka City Hall, Mishawaka Utilities Business Office, and Mishawaka Police Station in downtown Mishawaka. It is a building which is convenient for our citizens to access our services and provides an opportunity for us to offer our city services most effectively. It remains an honor of a lifetime for Mayor Wood to serve as your and to present the Citizens of Mishawaka with this extraordinary building that will serve us well for years to come.
USS Arizona Permanent Display Dedication
As we dedicate this building on Veterans Day, we also dedicate it to the permanent display of a historical relic of national significance. Just off the main entrance to City Hall is a hallowed piece of the battleship U.S.S. Arizona. During the December 7, 1941, Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, over 2,300 U.S. military and civilian personnel were killed, including 1,177 on board Arizona, which sank after being torn in two by a massive explosion.
Arizona’s loss has special meaning for Mishawakans because one of our own, Seaman 1/C Arthur Albert Huys, was among the sailors who died because of the attack on the ship. Huys was born in Mishawaka on December 3, 1916, grew up in the West End, and attended Mishawaka schools before his family moved to Wabash, where he graduated from high school. Arthur enlisted in the U.S. Navy on October 8, 1940, received his boot camp training at Great Lakes Naval Training Station in Illinois, and joined Arizona’s crew on December 9, 1940.
According to Navy records, Seaman Huys “died of wounds received in action at Pearl 12/7/41” and was assigned “death #125” by the Naval Hospital at Pearl Harbor. Unlike most of Arizona’s crew, 1,102 of whom remain entombed within the ship’s hull, Huys may have initially survived the attack and died soon after, or his body was recovered from the wreckage or the harbor’s fiery waters.
Arthur Huys was one of 4,400 Mishawaka residents to serve in the armed forces during World War II, and he was one of 105 Mishawakans to give the last full measure of devotion for our country during that war. This relic stands as a memorial– a lasting tribute– to all the men and women in uniform from Mishawaka who saved our country and the world by defending freedom and democracy during World War II.
May our lives be worthy of their service and sacrifice.