Ms. Gandolfo shares her impressions of the Municipal Restored event, including the artworks and performances taking place throughout the building.
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INTERVIEWER: Okay, today is December 8th, 2018 and we’re at the Madison Municipal Building Re-Opening. My name is Carmen Niemeyer and our narrator is Mary Gandolfo. Can you state your name to make sure we have that correct?
NARRATOR: Mary Gandolfo.
INTERVIEWER: Okay, if you wouldn’t mind, you can just tell us any memories or stories of the building that you have.
NARRATOR: Well, I’ll tell you—the truth is, I’ve never been in this building before. [LAUGHS] I came to help with the Living History Project. And as long as I’ve had a little break and I’ve heard some fascinating stories, about people who grew up in Madison and remember coming here for the post office, and the courthouse, the federal courthouse was upstairs. And after hearing those stories, I had to take a look around.
And the funny thing is, I didn’t know that this—this event was going on, other than the fact that I was here to take stories from people. And it’s fascinating. There is art, music, dance, jugglers, contortionists—everywhere you turn, there’s just something interesting and amazing going on. And there’s video art, there are some great musicians, a cello and a flute, playing in one stairwell—did you hear them? They’re wonderful. So, um, the art on the walls, it is just, it’s really an amazing event. We’re able to walk through and go into all the little back rooms and it is—I’m really excited that I’m here. I had no idea what I was missing.
So, that’s my story. I did have to look for—I was looking for the courthouse, and the judge’s chambers. Because one of the storytellers mentioned that she works in this building, and people who worked in this building before the renovation are convinced that there is a ghost in the room where they work, or near the room. That they heard doors slamming, and they heard footsteps in the hall, and they are very sure that it’s a presence—that it’s not a physical presence. And so I had to go find the judge’s chambers.
INTERVIEWER: Were you convinced?
NARRATOR: Well, they’re now using it as—a kitchen, the catering is set up there today. So I don’t know if that was the judge’s chamber, but I did get to see the courtroom. It’s been all refurbished and it is, it’s really lovely. And this whole building—what a huge asset this is. All the different meeting rooms and gathering spaces, I’m just—it makes me proud to live in Madison. That’s my story.
INTERVIEWER: Do you have anything else you’d like to share?
NARRATOR: Not at this time.
INTERVIEWER: Well thanks so much.
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