YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The renovation of the Mahoning County Courthouse will cost about $6 million. And when the project is done next year, the courthouse roof and facade will be fully restored.
When the architectural firm of MS Consultants finishes the plans, the project will be put out to bid. The first step in the process will be to repair the leaking roof where water is causing much of the top of the structure to rot away.
Before the work is done, terra-cotta decorations will be taken off and duplicates will be hand-cast. The courthouse statues will return to their rooftop perch as well.
Commissioners had tried to find a way to display the 17-foot tall statues inside the courthouse instead. Commissioner David Ditzler said bringing the statues inside would save about $350,000 in renovation costs, but the Historical Society told commissioners that was not permitted.
Whether the statues are in or out, Ditzler believes renovating the courthouse is important to the cultural heritage of the downtown area and the city of Youngstown.
“It is really the most historical building we have in our downtown and in our city,” Ditzler said. “It is very important to make sure we protect not only the structure itself but also the heritage of our community.”
The Mahoning County Courthouse was built in 1902 and underwent a modernization project in the 1950s. Commissioners have been working to restore the building since 1985.