Commissioners take step on courthouse renovation

The Warren County Commissioners have taken a preliminary step toward renovation efforts of the exterior of the courthouse.

An agreement with Larson Karle Architects was approved during Wednesday’s meeting.

Commissioner Jeff Eggleston said the goal is “to finish the renovation of the exterior of the building” and said that the architectural firm would serve as a project manager for the effort.

They will also develop the requests for proposals that will be needed, he said.

The county from time to time handles the proposal process on its own

“In this case,” Eggleston said, “we have a historic building that has a lot of intricate pieces.” Some pieces will need to be “recreated… in order to maintain the aesthetic.”


Several years ago, renovations were undertaken to preserve everything above the roofline. This project would address everything below. The county previously tried to secure grant funding to complete but was unsuccessful.

Eggleston said the feedback from the funding agency was that more detail on the scope of work was needed in the grant application. As a result, he said, the architectural firm would contribute in this space, as well.

The original portion of the courthouse was built in the mid-to-late 1870s with several additions and expansions over the years. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The total value of the contract with Larson Karle is $26,200.

Eggleston speculated the cost of the project would reach $250,000 or higher.

“This isn’t like residing your house,” he cautioned. “The building is 150 years old.”

During the first phase, Eggleston said there were “whole stretches where the (wood under the) roof had rotted out.” As a result, hand-carved pieces were needed to restore the structure.

“That is the price of having a historic courthouse building,” he said.


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