Shining up a Southern jewel
Coweta County, Ga.’s most iconic symbol, the 106-year-old Coweta County Courthouse has been rehabilitated to preserve its historic character and its usefulness for county operations. The $7.5 million project comprised the selective demolition of non-historic building features, exterior restoration and interior rehabilitation to house the Coweta County Probate Court and the Coweta County Convention & Visitor’s Bureau.
Funded by a special-purpose local-option sales tax approved by residents, the project was led by the Atlanta Historic Preservation Studio of architecture firm Lord, Aeck & Sargent. The comprehensive project included updating the HVAC system, installing a fire suppression system and an elevator, designing courtroom seating based on historic photographs of the original seats, and painting the walls historically accurate colors. Louisville, Ky.-based Steinrock Roofing & Sheet Metal restored the building’s copper-clad clock tower by removing each piece of the copper and fabricating thousands of new, hand-cut 20-ounce copper pieces to replicate the original details. New shoring and wood framing were required to stabilize the clock tower before the new copper could be installed. “The tower still leans slightly, but it’s hardly noticeable, and then only when the building is approached from the south,” says Eddie Whitlock, Coweta County assistant administrator.