The elements of nature and time have damaged the copper dome allowing water to seep beneath into the wooden supports. The primary focus of the project is to repair the copper dome making it water tight to secure this historic landmark for future generations. The Courthouse clock which chimes on the hour is housed beneath the dome. “The Courthouse dome has significant safety and deterioration concerns,” stated Dennis Stuckey, Lancaster County Commissioner. “Without the funding provided today and the restoration work to follow, we were in danger of losing a significant part of courthouse structure.”
The first phase of the restoration project took place on Saturday, October 11 at 9:00 am when the physical removal of the copper statue of Lady Justice, the iconic symbol of justice that has been perched atop the 1854 Historic Lancaster County Courthouse building for 85 years that took place. The 10-12 month project, estimated at $500,000, will address weather-related deterioration and oxidation from decades of exposure to the elements.
The restoration of the courthouse dome echoes a growing historic preservation movement to preserve the structural integrity of historic landmarks throughout the nation. “Lancaster County has actually been on the forefront of restoring our nation’s historical treasures including agricultural land preservation, covered bridges and the County Courthouse,” stated Scott Martin, Lancaster County Commissioner, “In addition to the safety and maintenance concerns, we are exercising our responsibility and stewardship of a significant county treasure. The Courthouse dome and Lady Justice will once again become a safe, beautiful and vibrant landmark of Lancaster County.”