The Warren County Courthouse in Pennsylvania was in dire need of some serious restoration. Julie Butler, lead project manager and preservation director for The Durable Slate Company, describes the massive project in detail during a last Monday’s commissioners work session.
“This was a functional repair rather than an aesthetic one,” Butler said, calling the work “sorely needed. The work we completed absolutely will functionally fix some of the issues you were dealing with. (I) feel confident that you won’t be seeing any issues in the near future or far future.
The historic portion of the Warren Courthouse is over one hundred years old, having been completed in the 1880’s. Built in the same style as The Louvre, Paris, the Warren Courthouse has survived where other similar buildings have since been demolished.
“You are all very lucky to have this structure,” Butler emphasized, indicating that this work “shows the general public (that) restoration isn’t a quick fix…. Historic structures aren’t static. (They) must live, must move forward. You have a lot of historic fabric here.”
Curiously, some of the original wood used throughout the structure has since gone extinct and a suitable replacement had to be found.
Besides wood replacement, painting, copper repair, and reworking hundreds of improper caulk joints, minute attention to detail in the metal work surrounding the windows was a highlight of this project.
“I think when you pass by a structure,” she said, “if (it is) part of your cultural heritage, it is the same as its always been to you. I like how bright our restoration is here.“