Exterior work begins on County Courthouse Monday – 8/3/2009

Press release from Allen County:

Allen County Courthouse to Undergo Exterior Restoration
First phase of project to begin Monday

She still looks good for her age. But beginning Monday, the historic Allen County Courthouse will undergo a nearly $1.3 million “facelift” designed to preserve and protect its magnificent features.

The project, which was awarded to General Restoration Corporation of Columbus, Indiana, will be conducted in two phases and is expected to be finished in late 2010. It will involve restoration and repair from top to bottom of the 107-year-old structure.

As part of this project, one lane of Calhoun Street and the sidewalk adjacent to the Courthouse will be closed from August 3 through December and again in the spring to be used as a staging area for the contractors.

A complete survey of the building was performed last year by Arsee Engineers, Inc. after a carved ornamentation fell from the building. The survey showed that the building was in good shape for its age, but also found that many of the joints needed to be cleaned and tuck pointed, limestone and granite needed to be repaired, and the surface and ledges needed to be cleaned to remove algae buildup and pigeon droppings.

The low bid for the project was about $100,000 below engineers’ estimates. The project has already been approved by both the Allen County Board of Commissioners and the Allen County Council.

“In 2002, the Allen County Courthouse completed an $8.6 million interior restoration,” said Commissioner Linda Bloom, who sits on the Courthouse Preservation Trust. “Completion of the exterior restoration will ensure the historical and architectural integrity of this county jewel.” “We are so pleased that the Allen County Commissioners and the Allen County Council have placed the exterior repair and restoration of our National Historic Landmark at the top of the County’s priorities,” added Robyn Zimmerman, executive director of the Courthouse Preservation Trust.

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