By Lisa Kopochinski
NEWARK, Ohio – Almost 100 windows in Licking County’s 144-year-old Newark Courthouse could soon be replaced.
Work on the $ 1.25 million project could begin next spring. The completion date is planned for 2022.
Tim Bubb, Licking County commissioner, said the project was neither cheap nor fast, but the time was right.
“We thought it was too good an opportunity to pass it up. We have approached this process twice. It’s a collection of old windows in a historic building that don’t look good and are leaking. “
While some of the windows on the first floor are original, dating from 1876 when the courthouse was completed, most are replacement windows from the 1930s and 1940s that vary in size and some of which are up to 13 feet tall.
In 1978, the county added central air conditioning and storm windows to the historic structure.
A decade ago, district officials had planned to replace the windows in a $ 25 million building energy-saving project that included new stoves, boilers, insulation, and water heaters.
“Court windows were part of it,” said Bubb. “But some windows are very large and the manufacturer came back and said they were not sure they could make large windows with the security specifications. That was a huge frustration. We had to withdraw. “
A massive renovation of the courthouse was completed in 2017. This included a new golden dome and the outside of the building’s bell tower, a new roof, the restoration of the statues of the “Ladies of Justice” on the roof, a new LED lighting system for the outside area, as well as the restoration of an interior skylight and a new elevator .
Five circular, three foot high stained glass Tiffany windows near the ceiling of the historic West Courtroom on the second floor were removed and restored during the 2016-17 renovation. The historical pictures on these windows show George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, James Madison, and the Marquis de Lafayette, an aide to Washington.
“It depends on what type of replacement windows you choose,” Bubb said of potential complications. “We want historic looking windows with 21st century technology. That will be the challenge. It’s a process like a custom remodel. We’ll be using it there for the next half century. “
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