Monday, August 08, 2011
Ind. Courts - "You can't keep a good building down": The Jefferson County Courthouse in Madison reopens
Peggy Vlerebome of the Madison Courier has the happy story, along with a striking photo apparently taken over two years, on May 20, 2009, when smoke engulfed the cupola. From the beginning of the long report:
The repaired Courthouse looks much like it did the afternoon of May 20, 2009, before a spark from a welder's torch ignited wood during restoration. The resulting fire destroyed the roof, the cupola and the dome.
Water, smoke and weather damage resulted in the inside of the building being mostly gutted and rebuilt.
The end result is a Courthouse that has had the same appearance for 100 years, but does not look like the original in 1855 or long-ago revisions.
Link Ludington, an architectural historian who wrote a study of the Courthouse in 1998, said that for the most part the repairs are true to what was there before. An expert looking closely would see minor differences, but given limitations put on the work by the county's insurance carrier, those differences are insignificant, he said.
That the Courthouse has had the same appearance for 100 years makes it acceptable to keep that look and not try to go back to the original, he said.
There was a major rebuilding of the Courthouse before the Civil War after fire destroyed the cupola, the roof and much of the interior on Feb. 20, 1859. The county had been in its new Courthouse for a little less than three and a half years before the fire.
Posted by Marcia Oddi on August 8, 2011 09:12 AM
Posted to Indiana Courts