Courthouse renovations complete

| April 10, 2015
The Coshocton County Courthouse has been undergoing renovations in its court room since December 2014. Lepi and Associates recently completed the work, which included tearing down the drop ceiling installed in the 1950s and reopening the balcony used by the public during court hearings. When they removed the ceiling, they discovered three small murals, which have been repainted. Pictured here is the view from the recently-opened balcony featuring the new globe chandeliers which are reminiscent of the gas-lit lights that were originally hung in the court room.

The Coshocton County Courthouse has been undergoing renovations in its court room since December 2014. Lepi and Associates recently completed the work, which included tearing down the drop ceiling installed in the 1950s and reopening the balcony used by the public during court hearings. When they removed the ceiling, they discovered three small murals, which have been repainted. Pictured here is the view from the recently-opened balcony featuring the new globe chandeliers which are reminiscent of the gas-lit lights that were originally hung in the court room.

COSHOCTON – Renovating the Coshocton County Courthouse has long been a dream of Irene Miller.

“It’s important to keep these things for our heritage,” she said. “This is the public’s building. Our ancestors built it for us to use and for our children and our heritage.”

Miller’s dream is becoming a reality as phase two of the courthouse renovation has been completed on Thursday, April 2. The $222,000 project was contracted to Lepi and Associates for 120 days. Work began in the court room on Dec. 3, 2014.

While renovating the balcony in the court room, Lepi and Associates found three small murals painted on the walls. Sculpture and painter Alan Cottrell came to study the murals and found that they were probably created between 1910 and 1930 when Coshocton was known as the Artist Playground of the East. The three murals were not signed by the artist, and were in such a state of disintegration that, after photos were taken of each mural, they were plastered over. Cottrell then recreated the murals in three days. The murals represent the Seal of Coshocton, the Seal of Ohio, and the federal emblem.

Another new feature of the court room is several chandeliers that resemble the original gas-lit chandeliers that were once hung in the court room. The balcony, which has been closed off since the 1950s when the drop-ceiling was installed, has been reopened with all new dark hardwood floors and benches for the public to sit.

Renovating the court room was stage two of the court house renovation process. The first stage was completed last summer 2014 when the court house was repainted and new windows were installed. The court house also received a new roof and the clock tower was reconstructed.

Phase three is expected to start in the summer of 2016. The outside of the building will receive some additional work including tucking and sanding the brick and touching up the sandstone ornate pediments which are starting to crumble. The total cost of that project is expected to be approximately $200,000.

The $222,000 project recently completed in the court room was funded through donations made from the Montgomery Foundation, SABA Trust, Schooler Foundation, and the Coshocton Foundation. Some funds also came from the General Fund and the Special Project Fund.

Construction on the Coshocton County Courthouse began in 1873 and was finished in 1875 for a cost of $67,000 and was built by Carpenter and Williams from Meadville, PA. With all the furnishings, the cost was approximately $100,000. This was during the Industrial Age in Ohio when many county courthouses were constructed.

“The setting here is absolutely beautiful with the court square,” said Miller. “There’s probably no prettier setting. We should be very proud of what we have here.”

A community open house is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 1 from 4 – 7 p.m. for the public to view the renovations. Bring your lawn chairs and picnic blankets for a concert on the courthouse lawn with the Coshocton Community Band and food by Oscar Rose.

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Category: Government

About the Author ()

I have been employed at the Coshocton County Beacon since September 2009 as a news reporter and assistant graphic artist. I am a 2004 graduate of Newcomerstown High School and a 2008 graduate of Capital University with a bachelor’s degree in Professional Writing. I am married to John Scott and live in Newcomerstown. We have two beautiful daughters, Amelia Grace Scott and Leanna Rose Scott.

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