Logan Fiscal Court recently awarded Dixie Restoration, a Kentucky-based full-restoration company, the bid for work needed at the historic courthouse. The necessary work is a result of last winter’s deep freeze.
Judge-Executive Phil Baker explained, “During the cold snap in December, a waterline froze and burst in the historic courthouse. During the following weeks, while repairs were being done, we discovered water entering the building because of the shift in the wall.”
“After close inspection, we found that the wall had shifted and opened a gap allowing water to enter the building. At this point we do not feel there is a danger of the wall falling,” Baker added. Once the work begins, several areas of concern with the building will be addressed and restored.
Baker explained, “Approximately a 23’x30’ section of the wall has moved and will require repair work. This wall will be pulled back into place and anchored. Dixie Restoration will be repairing structural cracks around the entire outside area of the building that have developed over time in the brick structure.
“All of the cracks in the brick will be cleaned and filled with a watertight rubber sealant. All of the sanded joints affected will be striped over with a mortar mix consisting of Portland Cement, sand mortar, and colored to match, existing brick as closely as possible. After repairs are done, areas will be painted to match,” continued Baker. Issues with the foundation will also be addressed.
“They will also be repairing structural cracks in the foundation. The joints will be filled with a urethane rubber sealant. All joints repaired will have a sand aggregate added over the sealant to give it a masonry-like appearance. The structural cracks through the brick will be handled in the same manner,” shared Baker. Repair to the Beltline (the horizontal bed and water joint tables) is necessary, too.
Baker said, “All of the horizontal bed joints of coping and water table will be cut back approximately half of an inch, cleaned of all dust and loose debris, and then caulked with a urethane rubber sealant.”
“The last work that will be done is window caulking. The perimeter of all windows and door frames will be cleaned of existing caulking and then recalked with an elastic rubber sealant. The new sealant will provide a watertight condition and will match the window trim or mortar joints,“ explained Baker.
The judge said the work will take some time. “At this point, I do not have a start/finish date, but I have spoken with the contractor (Dixie Restoration Company). They, like every other contractor, have fallen behind with their schedules but have assured me that we are on their schedule and will give us notice when they will be here to start work,” shared Baker.
The dozens of windows around the courthouse are also in need of recaulking and painting, which was also bid by Dixie Restoration.
Dixie Restoration submitted the sole bids for both jobs totaling $57,035. Magistrate Tyler Davenport said during the meeting, “If we’re going to continue to maintain this historic building, it’s going to cost us a little bit at times.”
The historic courthouse was constructed in 1904 and has been in use since then. Architect Robert P. Manley, of Atlanta, Ga., was awarded the contract for $38,000, or the equivalent of almost $1.27 million in today’s costs. The stone was quarried from north Logan between Epley Station and Lewisburg. After completion, the total bill, including steel furnishings, furniture, and grading, totaled almost $50,000 or almost $1.66 million today.
The first major renovation came shortly after its completion. In 1907, cracks in the foundation appeared. Some believed these were from the ground settling where a cemetery had once been located and removed to Maple Grove for the building’s construction. This wasn’t the only concern with the new courthouse.
The building once featured an elaborate roofline with a hefty, central clocktower, water tanks to supply the building’s water needs, a cone-shaped roof at each corner of the building, and an observation deck overlooking 4th Street. The tower’s weight seemed to be too much for the interior structure of the building to bear, and concerns that it might collapse into itself soon emerged. Kenneth McDonald, a Louisville architect, was hired to inspect the courthouse. At the time, McDonald reported many problems.
Among McDonald’s concerns was that the tower’s main floor had sunk enough that drainage had caused the tin roof to “rot out.” Citing more issues with the roof, McDonald reported that Manley had used “green oak lumber” and that “every piece had twisted or warped.” The improper materials left the structure too weak to support even a tile or slate roof. In the end, McDonald reported a new courthouse would be necessary within 10-12 years if renovations were not completed immediately.
Welcome to the discussion.
Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.