YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Preliminary work has begun on the restoration of the façade of the Mahoning County Courthouse.
A boom lift or Cherry Picker was placed near the front of the building Monday so inspectors could get a closer look.
The sidewalk in front of the courthouse is blocked off. The front of the courthouse is still open but pedestrians are detoured through cones to avoid the center front steps of the building.
MS Consultants architectural firm is in charge of the project.
The restoration of the 102-year-old building’s exterior could total about $6 million.
Although officials talked about making repairs for years, lack of money kept the work from ever getting started.
Then in 2010, crews were forced to remove the 2,000-ton copper statues from the pedestal they had stood on for nearly 100 years to keep them from falling off the building. The steel supports holding the statues in place had rusted away to practically nothing.
Since then, water from rain and snow melt is now getting inside and causing even more damage.
Money to pay for the work will come from a combination of bonds and federal grants, which will require the county to adhere to requirements from the National Register of Historic Places.
The county will pay a little over $500,000 for the architects, which is roughly 8 percent of the overall project costs.