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Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer is permanently reopening the front doors of Metro Hall, which have been closed since merger in 2003.

The opening will be held November 19 on the front steps at 1 p.m. and is a free public celebration that includes tours of the building and music by local choirs.

Fischer is following a similar symbolic step made by the Metro Council, which reopened the main entrance to City Hall in December 2010.

“This historic, beautiful building should be experienced as architect Gideon Shryock intended. Ascending the stone front steps and entering the impressive rotunda is a humbling experience,” says Fischer.

The city has made several improvements to the interior of Metro Hall, which was formerly known as the Jefferson County Courthouse, over the past month. Metro Government has installed energy-efficient LED lighting, historic displays and artwork, such as an oil painting of the city’s first mayor, John Carpenter Bucklin.

Fischer’s office announced the current entry to Metro Hall—in the back, off Congress Alley—will remain open to accommodate the disabled.