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Holmes County Courthouse – Tower Restoration

Midstate Contractors On-Site Work

Midstate began restoration during the summer of 2020. This project came about because the tower was experiencing leaks and lifting copper due to a previously completed improper restoration. Midstate began with the demolition of the old copper and sheathing to reveal the original steel frame. Once exposed, the frame was cleaned, primed and painted. Following the work on the steel structure, Midstate began cladding the tower with sheathing to create a base for the copper to later be attached. (The sheathing underneath gives the tower its base shape, provides added strength to the structure and creates the overall template of where copper pieces will be attached.) As the wooden layer is being installed Midstate began working from the bottom up installing the final layer of copper to resemble the original architectural design. The copper went on in various forms, including: sheets, decorative moldings, cornices, embellishments and more. Along with restoring the current skin of the tower, Midstate also designed and fabricated ornamental pieces which brought the tower back to its original Second Empire style design. This included, modified ionic capitals and columns, a decorative cornice with dentils and modillions, details around the clock faces, a pediment above the clock and the fabrication of a cupola. Midstate then went on to restore the original Lady of Justice, place her on a new base and reinstall her in the traditional location.

Cornice Works Shop Fabrication

Something that many people do not realize is that each piece of the new tower was hand made! Using old courthouse photos and drawings, Cornice Works, a division of Midstate Contractors, broke the tower into various design levels so they could focus on each tiny detail. The artisans of Cornice Works spent countless hours designing, drawing and fabricating each piece of the tower. in order to craft these intricate pieces, Cornice Works used a combination of old world techniques (soldering and architectural designs) with modern technology (CNC Machinery and Press Brakes.)

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