The stately Ray County Courthouse is the jewel of the square, but some of the century-old buildings that encompass it have lost their luster. For attorney Mark Goodwin, transforming the old Ben Franklin building into an up-to-date law office was a win-win situation.
“As an attorney, I love to be on the square and walk across the street [to the courthouse]. The square was somewhat in decay, and I felt it was giving back to the community,” he said.
Goodwin hired a community of Richmond tradespeople and businesses to make the building into a stylish office space with many amenities.
“Everything I could do local, I did,” he said. Goodwin contracted John Dorton for the project, and the first course of action was a new roof. Dorton’s daughter, Amy, selected the wall color and stain on the woodwork throughout the office. Derstler’s Lumber provided all the lumber for the remodeling as well as the leaded glass front door. Frank Brooks, co-owner of Signs and Wonders, faux painted a ceiling in rich browns and golds in Goodwin’s office. Other businesses that were part of the renovation were Four Seasons, The Jones Store, Larry’s True Value, Oliphant’s and Hamilton Heating and Cooling. The exterior stonework was done by Donnie Baker and Harry Ritchie of Richmond.
The office, located at 199 W. Main, boasts 2,500 square feet of renovated space that includes a receptionist area, two offices, conference room, storage room and baths. An additional 4,500 square feet with a finished basement is available in the building, which Goodwin hopes to rent as office or retail space one day.
“I love it. And I’m fortunate to have it,” he said.
Goodwin purchased the building from Woody Howell and Jeff Adams last May; however, it was not move-in ready until this February. Goodwin said he and paralegal Jennifer Hamilton were in temporary quarters in Farrell Hockemeier’s law office for nearly a year.
Goodwin, who was the Ray County assistant prosecutor, is now fully in private practice. He now works in nearly all fields of law, which include family law, criminal defense, estate planning, trust work and probate.
Photo: Mark Goodwin settled into his new offices on the south side of the Square earlier this year. (Photo by JoEllen Black/The Daily News)