MACCI turns 75: On the move
By Kris Leonhardt
Editor’s Note: As the Marshfield Area Chamber of Commerce & Industry (MACCI) celebrates 75 years, we take a look at its formation and presence in the community. Continued from previous edition.
The chamber spent 17 years operating out of their facilities in Civic Center Plaza at 111 S. Maple Ave., Marshfield.
When the city decided to expand their senior center, MACCI lost their space and needed a new location.
To kick off the new year in 1991, MACCI held a ribbon cutting for themselves, to host the community in their new home at Tower Hall, 110 E. Second Street.
At Tower Hall, MACCI took over the space that once housed the Marshfield Police Department and Marshfield Parks & Recreation Department. The offices now consisted of a visitor’s center, board room, and offices for the executive director and program director, with Janet Loeffler now filling that role.
The restoring and decoration of the offices was all completed by MACCI members, which were now 450 strong.
MACCI board members saw the relocation to Tower Hall as the start of a movement to restore and revitalize the downtown area.
In MACCI Executive Director Marilyn Hardacre’s annual report, Hardacre listed the previous year’s accomplishments, including: the dedication of the new $5.8 million Lawton Center for Research and Education; a presentation before the Transportation Projects Commission for a Highway 13 bypass; groundbreaking for a new Mid-State Technical College campus; groundbreaking for a four-track elementary school on Marshfield’s north side; and an increase in chamber membership from 335 to 445.
The chamber operated out of Tower Hall for a couple of years, but with the facility being converted into apartments, MACCI decided to look for other accommodations before the lease expired at the end of 1993. The chamber also needed more space, finding it difficult to fit 14 people in the board room. Organization leaders agreed that the new site should also be located on Central Avenue for high visitor visibility.
The group quietly began raising funds in November 1992 to build its own facility, setting a campaign goal of $350,000. They also purchased a site on the corner of South Central Avenue and West Seventh Street from John Figi, near the then city hall.
By April 1993, they were nearing their goal, and a month later, the chamber announced that construction would start in early fall. They planned to be in their new home by the end of the year.
Continued next week