WAMPSVILLE — The Madison County Courthouse Renovation project has been awarded the 2019 Pat Earle Award by the Preservation Association of Central New York for a singular outstanding historic preservation project that benefits the community.
According to PACNY, “It demonstrates the willingness on the part of Madison County’s staff and administrators to respect the historic fabric of the Madison County Courthouse, a public property which provides vital services to the county’s residents.”
“We appreciate PACNY recognizing the dedication of our staff, supervisors, and construction crews to keep the history and craftsmanship of the courthouse,” said Madison County Chairman John M. Becker. “This building is part of our history, and we wanted to create a building that the people of Madison County would be proud of. We believe we have done just that.”
In June, Madison County completed an 18-month renovation of the 109-year-old courthouse. The county worked closely with an engineer and architect to develop a design that meets both the present operational needs of the courts as well as the needs of the courts for the foreseeable future. The project included a 9,000 square-foot addition and a 20,000 square-foot renovation to the interior. The layout now provides Americans With Disabilities Act accessibility with upgrades such as two elevators, ramps in each courtroom, and the replacement of all the doorknobs. A new single-story accessible entrance to the courthouse and County Office Building of approximately 1,800 square feet was newly built as well.
Efforts were made to save and restore elements such as the original Italian marble floors, stained glass windows, original hand railings and woodwork. The overall new design did not allow for everything to be saved, but when materials could be utilized efforts were made to mimic the original courthouse look such as wood trim, doorways and light fixtures.
“We were able to preserve the historic character of the building while upgrading it to today’s standards,” said Madison County Historian Matthew Urtz. “The courthouse is now something wonderful for all to see and experience.”
Past recipients of the Pat Earle Award include Hotel Syracuse in 2016 and the Crescent Commons Project in Cortland in 2018. The award will be presented at a formal ceremony on Oct. 23 at the May Memorial Unitarian Universalist Society in Syracuse.