Crow Wing County Board: County to repair Historic Courthouse
The 95-year-old Crow Wing County Historic Courthouse will soon receive a facelift. County Administrator Tim Houle described the needed repairs as "routine housekeeping" to the building, which was built between 1919 and 1920 and was listed on the ...
The 95-year-old Crow Wing County Historic Courthouse will soon receive a facelift.
County Administrator Tim Houle described the needed repairs as "routine housekeeping" to the building, which was built between 1919 and 1920 and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.
"It's a grand structure," Houle said. "I just absolutely love this building. We will do whatever we can do to make sure we take really good care of it. We don't build public buildings like this anymore, and so we will make sure we take care of the one the public gave us."
Areas in need of repair on the building's exterior include degraded mortar joints, broken stone sculpting, cracks in the exterior masonry and dirt, mold and mildew staining from water coming off the roof. A request for bids on the repair work prepared by Reid Thiesse, facilities manager, notes several windows are in need of repairs due to degradation of sealant and overall functionality. Improvements will be made to increase the energy efficiency of the windows as well.
"Delayed repairs could result in continued degradation of the stone exterior of the building," Thiesse's request for board action states.
The repairs, accounted for in the county's 2014 and 2015 capital improvement plans, are estimated to cost $350,000, although Houle said he expected bids to come in under this total.
"We try to make sure there are sufficient resources within the project budget," Houle said.
The Historic Courthouse, located on Laurel Street between Third and Fifth streets in Brainerd, was the second courthouse built in Crow Wing County. The first was erected in 1883 on the corner of Kingwood and Fourth streets, where it continues to stand today as an apartment building.
According to the Crow Wing County Historical Society, the Historic Courthouse was designed by Alden and Harris of St. Paul, the architectural firm that also designed Brainerd City Hall in 1914. It's built in the Beaux Arts style, a style typical of the early 20th century, using smooth-cut gray stone. Marble floors and walls adorn the interior and a stained-glass skylight decorates the dome above the rotunda.
There are no plans to make any changes to the stained glass windows, Houle said.
The courthouse was built the same time as the new sheriff's residence, within which the Crow Wing County Historical Society Museum now resides.
The county board approved Thiesse's request to send out for bids on both the exterior restoration project and the window repairs project. Repairs are expected to begin in later winter or early spring.
CHELSEY PERKINS may be reached at 218-855-5874 or email@example.com . Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/DispatchChelsey .