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Old Courthouse’s interior renovation is next up for Woodstock

Published: Monday, Oct. 21, 2013 12:25 a.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, Oct. 21, 2013 2:26 p.m. CDT

WOODSTOCK – The city has taken a major step toward repairing one of the most distinct historical aspects of the Old Courthouse.

On Friday, the Historic Preservation Commission expressed its satisfaction with the city’s commitment to a full restoration of the building’s dome and roof before turning its attention to the interior of the building.

“It’ll be worth it in the long run,” said commission member Erica Wilson about the council’s decision to approve a bid that will restore the dome and roof in copper.

The winning bid by Renaissance Restoration, which City Council members accepted Tuesday night, came in at $376,000. It’s about $90,000 over the cost estimate for the two projects in a baseline conditions report completed in 2012.

That report suggested that the city would need to put about $2 million into renovations before selling to a private owner, who would need to spend a subsequent $2.7 million on the courthouse and sheriff’s house to bring the buildings in line with the city’s expectations.

Officials decided to accelerate the process this summer, in part because an uncertain future was cutting the courthouse off from potential funding help. A request for proposals is set to go out early next year.

The Historic Preservation Commission turned its attention to interior renovations Friday afternoon.

During a tour, commission members knocked on walls, picked at molding and examined brick in an effort to compile a set of suggestions that will be taken to the City Council and eventually to potential buyers.

“We’re pointing out features the city should include in a request for proposals,” board President Allen Stebbins said.

Among the points they’d like to preserve are a heavy, wooden cell door with a waist-level, diamond window; original moldings on several doorways; and several vault doors sprinkled throughout the building.

“This is kind of one of the symbols of this building is the vault doors throughout,” Wilson said.

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